More than 250 scholars, athletes and sports industry professionals came together to explore the unique challenges facing African American student athletes at the annual Black Student-Athlete Summit, which took place Jan. 17-19 at the AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center.
This year’s summit, hosted by the DDCE’s African American Male Research Initiative, was themed “The Power of Race in College Athletics.” Below are just a few quotes and images from the summit. Be sure to follow the online conversation: #BlackStudentAthleteSummit.
Sanya Richards Ross, Olympic gold medalist and former Longhorn track star, discussed the ups and downs of her Olympic journey and highlighted some words of wisdom from her new book “Chasing Grace.”
“Position yourself for success; allow yourself to get outside of your comfort zone and set yourself up to win.”
Imani McGee-Stafford, former Longhorn basketball star and current player for the WNBA’s Atlanta Dream, shared her story of adversity and her rise to success on and off the court, highlighting the value of mental health counseling.
“Nobody is an island. You have to ask for help.”
Emmett Gill, clinical assistant professor at the Steve Hicks School of Social Work, addressed the need to prepare student athletes for the long-term future.
“Let’s change the conversation from dollar signs to things that will take you to the next level.”
Akilah Carter-Francique of Prairie View University gave a talk on supporting and empowering female athletes of color. She invited all student athletes up on the stage and delivered her closing words.
“It’s important for us as administrators, as sisters, as mothers and parents to give them all the skills and resources they need so they can live their purpose.”
Caylin Moore, former Texas Christian University safety, shared his journey from living in poverty to pursuing his dreams as a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University. Along the way, he kept these words of wisdom in mind:
“You have to dream dreams that are too big.”
Mari Ross (center) of Ross Behavioral Group shared her expertise in mental health counseling, emphasizing the need for more proactive intervention strategies.
“You have to go inside the bubble to affect change.”
Tommie Harris, former Chicago Bears defensive tackle, discussed his experiences navigating grief after his wife’s untimely death, imploring the audience to never lose sight of the things in life that matter the most.
“As long as you have a beating heart, you should be sharing your love with others.”
Chris Singleton (left), Chicago Cubs baseball player, spoke with Daron Roberts, director of the Center for Sports Leadership and Innovation, during a taped podcast session titled “Playing through Forgiveness.” Singleton’s mother and eight others were killed in the Charleston, South Carolina church shooting. Read the ABC News 4 story for more about his talk.
“When you all talk about forgiveness, not everybody is going to forgive you immediately. Not everyone is going to forgive at all. I push them to do that because it’s like a weight has been lifted off your shoulders once you do, but everybody is not built that way.”
Shaka Smart (right), Texas Men’s Basketball head coach, talked with Dr. Leonard Moore, interim vice president for diversity and community engagement, about setting students up for success on and off the court.
“Every year my wife and I have New Year’s intentions and one of mine this year is doing a better job living the principles we try to instill in our players.”
Scholars shared their research during the poster session, highlighting important areas of study in collegiate athletics.
The three-day event concluded with a town hall discussion about the big takeaways from the summit, and how to incorporate new knowledge into student programming. Find more photos on our Flickr site.