Inclusion, Diversity, Equity

Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity Team Mission Statement

Special Olympics Virginia uses the power of sport as a catalyst for inclusion and acceptance. We believe athletes, families and volunteers’ dedicated involvement in the movement helps them not only achieve their personal bests but also demonstrates a commitment to their communities. In order to uphold excellence and fulfill this vision, we must be committed to recruiting and including a diverse group of leaders, staff and volunteers. The Inclusion and Diversity Team will monitor, educate and support activities that ensure Special Olympics Virginia remains focused on its core values of respect, inclusion and unity.

Coming Soon: Take the Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity Training

Our trainings are designed to provide learners with the knowledge and skills necessary to create a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment. Each training module is short, interactive, and informative, making it easy to fit into a busy schedule.

What is Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity


Inclusion builds a culture of belonging by actively inviting the contribution and participation of all people.


Diversity is the representation of all our varied identities and differences (race, ethnicity, gender, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, tribe, caste, socio-economic status, thinking and communication styles, etc.), collectively and as individuals.


Equity seeks to ensure fair treatment, equality of opportunity, and fairness in access to information and resources for all.
"All people are to be respected and provided full access to the resources they need to better their lives. They should be given the opportunity to distinguish themselves based on their character, actions, and accomplishments."
- Sheriff Antionette V. Irving

Meet the IDE Team

Jackie Choi

As a sport coordinator and a parent of a Special Olympic athlete, I am committed to fully embracing diversity and inclusion. I learned to appreciate athletes of different religions, cultures, ethnic groups, socioeconomic status. I believe that sports have a place for everyone and that every person should be treated with respect and protected from any discrimination.

Alisha Ferrell

The greatest ideas and discoveries come from diverse minds, backgrounds, and experiences. As a special education teacher, I am deeply passionate about ensuring the diversity the students bring to the class is viewed as a resource, strength, and benefit. As a member of this team, I am committed to cultivating and supporting an inclusive mission to ensure that the Special Olympics Virginia is an equitable resource for everyone.

Sheriff Antionette V. Irving

“All people are to be respected and provided full access to the resources they need to better their lives. They should be given the opportunity to distinguish themselves based on their character, actions, and accomplishments. All individuals have the right to feel safe and experience a sense of belonging regardless of their race, gender, religion, abilities, orientation, or identity. When people are allowed to be their authentic self, while respecting others, it makes a positive difference in the community, at work, at home, and within families. It is important for us all to work together to create a space of inclusivity, equity, and acceptance.”

Veronica Jennings

As the Assistant Vice President of Local Program Services,
Veronica believes that our mission brings many people together from diverse backgrounds to make our wonderful program happen across the state of Virginia. As Co-Chair of this team she is committed to making sure our mission of inclusion continues to be equitable in an effort to make Special Olympics Virginia a resource for everyone.

Pam Mines

As the Capital Region Director & a parent of a Special Olympics VA Athlete, Pam believes in this mission. To her, inclusion, diversity & equity is an acknowledgement that must be implemented in the work, home, school & community. It's about making sure all communities feel respected, considered & remembered in our conversations, our thoughts, and our decision-making. Pam is passionate about ensuring the stakeholders of SOVA see themselves in the sports programming, the technology, and the marketing.

Marc Tate

As an Industry Technology Executive, I commit to spreading inclusion, diversity, and equity by eliminating discrimination, stereotyped through celebrating differences and promoting awareness about the great talents of people with all abilities.

Russell Turner

As a Special Olympics athlete, I feel that everyone should be included and should not be excluded because of their race, or ability. Special Olympics provides a community for everyone to belong.

Sean Wallach

As Marketing Director, Sean Wallach believes that diversity and inclusion are not just buzzwords, but essential components of any successful and ethical organization. He is passionate about promoting equity and empowering underrepresented communities, both in the workplace and in society as a whole.

Olga Moshinsky Woltman

Inclusion is at the heart of the Special Olympics mission. But we cannot authentically advocate for true equity for Special Olympics athletes without simultaneously advocating for equity and inclusion for all. For me personally diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility stem from the core value of fairness and giving everyone an opportunity to be their best and thrive in sports and in life. I want to be a proactive force for change, challenging biases and doing my part to contribute to a more inclusive world.

Roy Zeidman

As the Senior Vice President, I believe that it takes a village to accomplish any goal. Success in building the Special Olympics village needs diverse involvement to ensure that every activity is a welcome environment for all to achieve their personal best. We are building an inclusive culture that encourages, supports, and celebrates every athlete, coach and volunteer. Engagement from all fuels our innovation and allow us to build communities of acceptance and understanding that connects us closer as human beings, on and off the playing fields.
Special Olympics volunteers hanging out near Capitol Hill

Learn About the IDE Team's Goals

We're outlining a path forward with IDE goals.