2022 Inclusion Forum to feature King and Parker as keynote speakers

The NCAA Inclusion Forum returns in 2022, bringing together administrators, coaches and student-athletes from member schools around this year’s theme: “It’s Time: Delivering Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and belonging”. The 10th annual event will take place virtually on June 15-16. Registrations are open until June 3.

“The Inclusion Forum is always an event where attendees can experience that sense of belonging and support no matter how they identify,” said Felicia Martin, NCAA senior vice president for inclusion. , education and community engagement. “The 50th anniversary of Title IX adds another layer of meaning that will be celebrated with reflection on how far we have come and encouragement on how far we still have to go. It is important that we use this time to motivate and inspire each other. each other.”

The speaker list is full of experts representing the five core areas of the NCAA Office of Inclusion: Disabilities, International Student Issues, LGBTQ Issues, Race/Ethnicity, and Gender Equity and men..

Sports icon and equality champion Billie Jean King is set to address attendees on the first day of the event, commemorating the 50th anniversary of Title IX with a special keynote address. King won 39 Grand Slam titles as a tennis player, including a record 20 at Wimbledon, en route to one of the greatest careers of all time. In 1973, 90 million people saw her defeat Bobby Riggs in the “Battle of the Sexes”, a pivotal moment in the history of women’s sport. Life magazine named King one of the “100 Most Important Americans of the 20th Century.” On August 12, 2009, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, America’s highest civilian honor, by President Barack Obama for her advocacy work on behalf of women and the LGBTQ community.

On day two of the Inclusion Forum, attendees will hear from Candace Parker, college and professional basketball legend, entrepreneur and NBA broadcast analyst. The Tennessee graduate led her team to the NCAA Division I National Championships in 2007 and 2008, earning Most Outstanding Player at the Women’s Final Fours and National Player of the Year each season. His professional career has included two WNBA championships (2016 and 2021), two WNBA Most Valuable Player awards (2008 and 2013) and six WNBA All-Star selections (2011, 2013, 2014, 2017, 2018 and 2021). She also won two Olympic gold medals (2008 and 2012). Besides her WNBA career, she is an NBA analyst for Turner Sports on TNT and NBATV. Parker will present on “It’s Time: Kicking Glass, Breaking Barriers & Inspiring Social Change.”

Other speakers on day two include Haben Girma, Harvard Law School’s first deafblind graduate and disability rights advocate, and Yorri Berry, poet and children’s rights advocate.

In addition to receiving several other awards and accolades, Girma was named the White House Champion of Change by President Barack Obama. She believes that disability is an opportunity for innovation and she teaches organizations the importance of choosing inclusion. The New York Times; O, Oprah’s magazine; and the “Today” show featured her memoir, “Haben: The Deafblind Woman Who Conquered Harvard Law.” Girma’s presentation is titled “It’s Time: Leading & Advocating for Access and Inclusion”.

Berry founded the DREAMSgirl Summit, a holistic, multi-day conference that gives hundreds of middle and high school girls interested in science, technology, engineering, and math the opportunity to shadow STEM professionals in the workplace. work. She is a former energy, technology and healthcare consultant and has managed educational and community development projects for Martha’s Table Inc., KIPP Los Angeles Schools, Communities in Schools and the Children’s Defense Fund. She will close the event on June 16 with a special spoken word performance.

Registration for the 2022 NCAA Inclusion Forum is free. Sign up at inclusionforum.ncaa.org. Attendees have access to each of the main presentations mentioned above, as well as additional sessions for more focused conversation and development. Preview the full agenda here.

To learn more about the Inclusion Forum, click here.

Melvin B. Baillie