Monday, the National Football League, Morehouse College and the Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality (RISE) announced the HBCU will host the Advocacy in Sport Workshop in Atlanta, Georgia, February 21-23, 2018 to educate athletes on how to develop and implement effective advocacy platforms that positively impact society. The workshop will take place at Morehouse College.

“Sport has been an international venue for social change since before Jesse Owens swept the 1936 Olympics and opened the world’s eyes to the image of justice and equality,” said Troy Vincent, NFL Executive Vice President of Football Operations. “This historic workshop is aimed at training the next generation of athletes who wish to use sport as a powerful platform for advocacy. Our partnership is designed to equip athletes as influencers and community leaders with the mechanics to develop their advocacy platform.”

According to a press release by the NFL, the League and Morehouse College partnership is the product of ongoing strategic meetings held at the school since October 2016, convened by RISE. Former and active professional athletes, academics, politicians, social activists and sport administrators developed a curriculum to equip athletes with tools and resources to impact social issues respectfully and responsibly. Athletes will be taught organizational development, relationship management, and best practices in media relations.

David Wall Rice, Associate Professor of Psychology at Morehouse College, has designed the Advocacy in Sport workshop curriculum through his Identity, Art and Democracy Laboratory. Students selected to participate in the workshop will also take his winter term course Psychology, Sport and Social Justice.

“Athletes have a unique ability to bring people together for solution-driven conversations that can bring about real change,” said RISE CEO Jocelyn Benson. “At RISE, we believe that harnessing the unifying power of sports and empowering athletes to be effective advocates can improve race relations and drive social progress in our country. We are proud to work with the NFL and Morehouse College to help enhance athletes’ ability to create positive change.”

Workshop participants will learn about previous movements and focus on process, acquire knowledge of purposeful tools and resources, and hear from politicians and athlete and social activists.

“Linking with the NFL and their players in pushing forward social justice agendas that mirror present and past activist foundations of Morehouse College is important work,” said Harold Martin, Jr., Interim President of Morehouse College. “We take our relationship here and the trust that many of the players have already communicated to Dr. Rice seriously, and we know that the work we do in February and beyond has the capacity to impact lives.”

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