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U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee And Athletes’ Advisory Council Convene Team USA Council On Racial And Social Justice

By U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee | Aug. 28, 2020, 6:15 p.m. (ET)

The UConn Huskies and the U.S. women's national team huddle together before the USA Women's National Team Winter Tour 2020 game on Jan. 27, 2020 in Hartford, Conn.

 

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — The United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee, Athletes’ Advisory Council, National Governing Bodies and the U.S. Olympians & Paralympians Association today convened the 44 members comprising the Team USA Council on Racial and Social Justice. The athlete-led council, formed to address the rules and systems in the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic movements that create barriers to progress, is committed to working collaboratively to provide solutions and recommendations with the aim of eradicating social injustice and cultivating change through strengthened athlete voices.  

 “We are grateful to this group of athletes and thought leaders who have joined the council, lending their perspective and dedication to help us confront the issues of racism and discrimination in sport and society,” said USOPC CEO Sarah Hirshland. “It is important that we continue this work of elevating athlete voices and addressing limitations within our Olympic and Paralympic community. This past week, we witnessed athletes across the country demand change through both words and actions – showing they are a powerful force in the community. We look forward to coming together as one Team USA to reflect and identify solutions toward meaningful change.”

 The product of athlete town halls, individual athlete discussions and ongoing meetings with outside experts about systemic racial and social injustice present in our country, the council will create pathways for dialogue, advocate for action and work toward implementing impactful change across the movements. The group will focus on four priorities:

  • The right to protest and demonstrations, to assess current policies and alternate options. 
  • Athlete voice and advocacy, to empower athlete voices on Team USA platforms.
  • Institutional awareness and cultural change, to review USOPC and NGB diversity and hiring policies.
  • Racism and acts of discrimination, to enhance reporting and dispute resolution processes.

“Over the past year, it has been heartbreaking to hear how many of our athletes have been deeply affected by racism and discrimination both on and off the field of play,” said Han Xiao, chair, USOPC Athletes’ Advisory Commission. “I am encouraged that we have chosen to acknowledge and address these important issues with the leadership of an inspiring and diverse athlete group.”

The 44-member council consists of 23 Team USA athletes, five Team USA alumni representatives, five NGB representatives, five USOPC liaisons and six external consultants and thought leaders – all serving in voluntary roles. Thirty-six individuals will sit on one of four subject-specific steering committees dedicated to addressing four areas of focus. Overseeing each of the four steering committees will be an eight-member leadership team, with the assistance of a distinguished team of outside experts. The council is currently supported by an additional group of community ambassadors featuring 26 Team USA athletes, alumni and USOPC and NGB/HPMO representatives, but with the ability to expand as interest grows.  

The full council participant list can be found below.  

“Now is the time for athletes and leaders in sport to form and commit to plans for real and lasting change,” said Max Cobb, chair of the NGB Council, and president and CEO of US Biathlon. “This group brings together athletes and sport leaders with so much experience and insight. I know the group will succeed, and I look forward to the process and the outcomes.”

The athlete-led council will identify areas for improvement and develop a set of recommendations with the goal of producing an action plan by early 2021.

Leadership Team 
Greta Neimanas, athlete, Para-cycling 
Jason Pryor, athlete, fencing 
Moushaumi Robinson, athlete, track and field 
Iris Zimmermann, USOPA, fencing 
Max Siegel, NGB/HPMO, track and field 
Dr. Judith B. Clarke, Vice President of Equity & Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer at Stony Brook University/track and field 
Dr. Scott Brooks, Associate Professor & Director (Interim), T. Denny Sanford School of Social and Family Dynamics and Director of Research for the Global Sport Institute at Arizona State University
Nicole Deal, USOPC, athlete safety and security 

Steering Committee: Protests and Demonstrations 
Race Imboden, athlete, fencing 
Grace Latz, athlete, rowing 
Colleen Quigley, athlete, track and field 
Noah White, athlete, track and field 
Kelsey Erickson, NGB/HPMO, cycling 
John Carlos, USOPA, alumni 
Guiselle Torres, USOPC, associate general counsel

Steering Committee: Athlete Voice and Advocacy 
Anthony Ervin, athlete, swimming 
Alyssa Fencil, athlete, Para taekwondo 
Jamal Hill, athlete, Para swimming 
Casandra Shaffer, athlete, swimming 
Katie Uhlaender, athlete, skeleton 
Suzy Sanchez, NGB/HPMO, weightlifting 
Carol Lewis, USOPA, alumni 
Amanda McGrory, Paralympian, USOPC archivist 

Steering Committee: Institutional Awareness and Cultural Change 
Tyler Carter, athlete, Para alpine skiing 
Rachael Flatt, athlete, figure skating 
Dawn Harper-Nelson, athlete, track and field 
Anna Johannes, athlete, Para swimming 
Alexander Young, athlete, track and field 
John Abdou, NGB/HPMO, water polo 
Candace Cable, USOPA, alumni 
Adam Wood, USOPC, collegiate partnerships  

Steering Committee: Racism and Acts of Discrimination 
Tianna Bartoletta, athlete, track and field 
Ben Bratton, athlete, fencing 
Nzingha Prescod, athlete, fencing 
Mystique Ro, athlete, skeleton 
Stephanie Zundel, athlete, Para-cycling 
Whitney Frye, NGB/HPMO, basketball 
Jan Palchikoff, USOPA, alumni 
Whitney Carter, USOPC, sport performance 

Thought leaders
Tiffini Grimes, Deputy Athletics Director, Chief Diversity Officer, University of Alabama
Kenneth Shropshire, Adidas Distinguished Professor of Global Sport and CEO of Global Sport Institute at Arizona State University
Amy Wilson, Managing Director of Inclusion, NCAA
Yannick Kluch, Assistant Professor and Lead Faculty Consultant on Sport and Social Impact, Rowan University

Community Ambassadors
Sarah Bofinger, athlete, Para swimming
Stephanie Bruce, athlete, track and field
Kyra Condie, athlete, sport climbing
Joe Delagrave, athlete, wheelchair rugby
Cheta Emba, athlete, rugby
Kate Grace, athlete, track and field
Farrah Hall, athlete, sailing
Sam Mattis, athlete, track and field
Kristen Rose Morse, athlete, track and field
Rachel Schneider, athlete, track and field
Alex Shibutani, athlete, figure skating
Maia Shibutani, athlete, figure skating
Ariel Simmons, athlete, fencing
Isis Washington, athlete, fencing
Brandon Dyett, NGB/HPMO, fencing
Kelley Humphries, NGB/HPMO, Para powerlifting
Kelly Fox, NGB/HPMO, diving
Mariejo Truex, NGB/HPMO, swimming
Megan Ritch, NGB/HPMO, triathlon
Melissa Zhang, NGB/HPMO, team handball
Nancy Atufunwa, NGB/HPMO, water polo
Sara Studebaker-Hill, NGB/HPMO, biathlon
Erin Cafaro, USOPA, alumni
Sharon Ann Jewell, USOPA, alumni
Allison Wagner, USOPA, alumni
Terris Tiller, USOPC, athlete services