Creating an Institutional Environment That Leads to an Inclusive Culture of Belonging: Kinesiology’s “Impoverishing Errand”

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Ketra L. Armstrong School of Kinesiology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA

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People have an innate and fundamental need to belong (i.e., to establish and maintain high-quality and enriching relationships with others). Belonging is important to our personal and professional lives, and culture is often the conduit filtering our sense of belonging. Some organizations are culturally inclusive wherein a culturally diverse array of individuals feel connected and have a sense of belonging. In contrast, others are marred by cultural exclusion, leaving some individuals culturally disconnected, culturally disengaged, and lacking a sense of belonging. This article posits cultural belonging as the “impoverishing errand” that kinesiology must accomplish. It discusses personal and positional culture, organizational culture, and the leadership needed in kinesiology to create institutional environments that support and sustain inclusive cultures of belonging for faculty, staff, and students. In so doing, it illustrates the need for the philosophical/ideological and managerial focus on people-centered leadership that normalizes cultural inclusion.

Address author correspondence to ketra@umich.edu, https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7323-3927

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