The Division of Diversity and Community Engagement and two of its units will host the Black Student-Athlete Conference at The University of Texas at Austin on Jan. 7-9.
The three-day conference will cultivate important dialogue around the athletic and academic experiences of black student-athletes at institutions of higher learning. Discussion topics will range from the early days of integration to the current platform athletics have become for underserved students.
UT’s African American Male Research Initiative and the Longhorn Campaign for Men of Color will also be hosting the event
“By bringing together students, professionals, scholars and athletes, we hope that innovative new solutions can be found to positively address the issues that black student-athletes face,” said Gregory J. Vincent, UT Austin vice president for diversity and community engagement.
Vincent said the conference will also serve to launch UT Austin’s Longhorn Campaign for Men of Color, through which the university is convening local, state and national community partners to support the development of young men of color.
Conference highlights include:
- discussions of black student-athletes at predominantly white institutions; the experience of students at historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs); mental health of black athletes; the experiences of black female student-athletes, and academic excellence;
- a panel discussion about the history of integration at UT Austin with the school’s first black All-American, Roosevelt Leaks and retired women’s basketball coach Jody Conradt;
- a Q and A with former UT running back and Heisman Trophy winner Ricky Williams;
- a session with student-athlete academic support directors from across the nation.
The conference will open at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 7, with a special evening session and reception that is free and open to the public. It will include a keynote from Daron Roberts, director of UT’s new Center for Sports Leadership and Innovation who is a former UT Austin student body president and assistant coach in the NFL, and the panel discussion featuring Conradt and Leaks.
Conference sponsors include The Texas Program in Sports and Media of UT’s Moody College of Communication, the Longhorn Campaign for Men of Color, the Bell National Resource Center on the African American Male of The Ohio State University, and Wisconsin’s Equity and Inclusion Laboratory (Wei LAB).
For more information or to register for the conference, please visit http://ddce.utexas.edu/blackstudentathleteconference/.