Just One Q with Dr. Melissa Horne Educational Podcast with Guest Ashland Johnson

Sports Leagues and Social Justice | Ashland Johnson

Ashland Johnson discusses three key takeaways employers can learn from how the sports leagues have addressed recent workers strikes. By proactively educating yourself and your team on social justice issues, your organization will be better equipped to deal with the issues your employees care about.

Asking employees to leave their advocacy concerns and commitments at the door before coming into work is problematic. Outside of being employed, people deal with personal and systemic struggles that influence their workplace performance and behaviour.

Don’t wait around for your employees to initiate these conversations themselves. By being proactive in your approach to address ongoing social justice issues as they unfold, your team will recognize you care about their individual interests and lives.

Ashland Johnson is a highly experienced attorney, equity and inclusion strategist and former Division I athlete, working with major sports leagues and associations, including the NBA, NCAA, USOC and various national governing bodies to strengthen their social responsibility programming, policies and platforms at the intersection of inclusion, race, gender and the law. 

She proposes three of the most important takeaways employers can bring to their own workplaces include: 

  • Creating coalitions between employees and employers
  • Providing employees with the tools they need to succeed in the DEI space
  • Building a team of social responsibility champions

There is no room for neutrality in our current political climate. Set your organization up for success and support your employees on their DEI journeys. Use the sports league worker strikes as a template for your own efforts and start the work today.



Ashland Johnson

The Inclusion Playbook

Ashland Johnson is the founder and president of the Inclusion Playbook, a sports impact consultancy. An attorney, equity and inclusion strategist and former Division I athlete, Ashland has over a decade of civil rights experience working with social justice communities, advising sports leaders and serving in leadership roles in advocacy organizations.

She recently authored the groundbreaking report, Play to Win: Improving the Lives of LGBTQ Youth in Sports which provides critical insights and action steps for more inclusive sporting spaces.