By Earl Heath, Contributing Sports Writer
In our ever-changing world of race and human rights the American Athletic Conference has formed the Racial Equality Action Group which consist of student-athletes, coaches, and administrators all from the institutions within the Conference.
“We are at a pivotal moment in our nation’s history in terms of racial justice and equality underscored by the tragic and heartbreaking events in recent in recent weeks, and we have an obligation to our university and students to enact change,” said American Athletic Conference commissioner Mike Aresco. “Words are important but words are not enough. Action is required.”
The group is chaired by Dr. Derrick Gregg Vice President and Director of Athletics at the university of Tulsa. The groups goal is to translate words into conference wide actions to assist in eliminating racial in equality and in justice.
“This is a monumental time in American History for higher education, intercollegiate athletics and the entire world. I am honored to serve as Chair of this important action group that has engaged in meaningful impactful work,” said Gregg. “We will focus on meaningful initiatives that will focus on eliminating racism, hate and bias while fostering unity solidarity and equality. We will continue to engage our student athletes, coaches and campus staff members tom identify ways to unite and make an everlasting difference now and in the future. We certainly welcome input from our conference membership and others as we move forward TOGETHER.”
Another member of the group is LaKesha Alston-Forbes, Associate Provost for Equity and Diversity at East Carolina University. She is also the schools Title IX coordinator. Alston Forbes and the group will assist in developing messaging through public service announcements, help in putting together hashtags that will enable relative experiences, stories and uplifting relationships to be shared through utilization of platforms. She will also assist in group in sponsoring workshops that will seek to create dialogue with campus police and local police departments in communities of the American Athletic Conference communities.
This move is a great move by the conference to come up with solutions that will not only uplift the college communities but will have an international effect as many students come from other countries. Just as Black Lives Matters had a global effect so will the efforts of these brilliant minds.
Other Group members include: Donna DeMarco, COO, American Athletic Conference (ex officio member), Kelvin Sampson, Head Men’s Basketball Coach, University of Houston and Michelle Adams, Associate Professor of Sociology and Faculty Athletics Representative, Tulane University.