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July 23. Sports as voice and tool for Social Progress

Sports stars are increasingly using their huge personal platforms to speak out and promote social justice. It is worth recalling the proud tradition of athlete activism in the US. Jackie Robinson’s example of integrating professional baseball, Billie Jean King pushing for gender equality in tennis, Arthur Ashe and Magic Johnson’s role played in de-stigmatizing HIV/AIDS are only a few examples. Leagues, teams, athletes, and grassroot organizations have long championed social causes. In recent years sports have crossed paths in significant ways with issues of domestic violence, community engagement, conflict resolution, to name a few. Sport professionals and activists are increasingly expected and encouraged to take up a wider social role. They are thought to foster social capital, social inclusion, and democratic participation among members, and to strengthen social cohesion in local communities.

The webinar explores the following questions:
• Should athletes be vocal on social justice issues and what are the best ways to generate impact?
• Can sport be transformational in disadvantaged communities?
• What is the best approach to shape youth and instill good values through sports participation?
• Is sports engagement a path towards equality and inclusion?

Watch the discussion:

Tamara Awartani │Co-founder and Director, Palestine: Sport for Life (PS4L)│Palestinian Territories

Risa Isard│ Sports for Development Expert│USA

Chasity Melvin │Former WNBA player, Assistant Coach, Phoenix
Mercury, Podcast Host │ USA

Mohamed Amine Zariat │Founder & President, TIBU Basketball Academy │ Morocco

This webinar is part of World Learning’s International Sports Programming Initiative for Middle East, North Africa, and Sub-Saharan Africa Program (ISPI) —Virtual Together program, a series of virtual events, launched in the context of the COVID-19 crisis. ISPI is a program of U.S. Department of State's Sports Diplomacy division. The series aims to engage the sports community globally, to creatively problem solve, share digital tools and work together, follow health guidance, and continue to promote active, healthy
lifestyles both physically and mentally throughout this crisis.
Additional modules related to these objectives are being developed and will be announced.

The webinar is produced by Digital Communication Network, a diverse professional coalition in the digital space.