In the summer of 2020, the SEC was one of many around the world seeing unrest and demonstrations in countless cities and communities following the deaths of African American men and women in Minneapolis, Louisville and Brunswick, Georgia. Those events ignited a movement around the equal treatment of all historically underrepresented individuals, and especially African Americans.
At that time, the SEC took steps to gather and understand the perspectives of many stakeholders, including student-athletes, presidents and chancellors, directors of athletics, senior female administrators, faculty athletics representatives, various sports head coaches, mental health professionals, and SEC staff. – Ultimately in response the establishment of the SEC Council on Racial Equality and Social Justice.
The list below outlines activities and discussions related to racial equality, social justice, and diversity and inclusion within the Southeastern Conference.
- Edward Aschoff SEC Digital Communications Intern. The SEC announced University of Arkansas alumnus-athlete and recent graduate Sidney Davis was selected as the first Ed Ashoff intern On April 1, 2021. The internship honors the late Ed Aschoff, a reporter for ESPN and University of Florida graduate who died in December 2019 at the age of 34. Eschoff was an advocate for improving representation in the sports media industry, and Eschoff interns will work on the SEC network in partnership with the SEC and ESPN’s digital content team.
- SECSports.com/equality. a The page was added to the SEC website To serve as a common, online space for conference activity related to racial equality, social justice and diversity and inclusion. This page includes public announcements, videos and details on the SEC Council on Racial Equality and Social Justice. (November 2020)
- College Football Playoff Foundation Extra Yard for Teachers. The SEC traditionally earmarked funds from the College Football Playoff Foundation’s Extra Yards for Teachers program to less resourceful schools in SEC communities. (September 2020)
- Together. it just means more. The SEC announced on September 18, 2020 Student-athletes will wear pre-event warm-up shirts which displays “together”. It means more. The first day of competition in all sports during the 2020-2021 athletic year. The TOGETHER theme was first introduced by the SEC in 2017 when it celebrated the 50th anniversary of the unification of SEC Athletics in 1967.
Also, coinciding with the opening weekend of the football athletics competition, the SEC began a series of televised public service announcements with TOGETHER. It just means more message. The initial announcement was 60 seconds long and was broadcast during each football game to be played on 26 September 2020. Later, the SEC began four 30-second announcements that included all sponsored sports and universities.
- SEC Voter Education and Participation Program. On September 3, 2020, the SEC announced its first voter and citizen engagement effort. Through this SEC Voter Education and Participation ProgramAll 14 member universities are committed to supporting the non-partisan engagement of SEC student-athletes, coaches and staff in the November 2020 general election and future local, state and federal elections.
- SEC Student-Athlete Enhancement Grant. The SEC lists racial equality, social justice and diversity and permissible types of programs funded by the convention’s student-athlete enhancement grant, which is facilitated through applicable campus units. (August 2020)
- SEC Council on Racial Equality and Social Justice. On August 20, 2020, the SEC announced Building your own council on racial equality and social justice, a league-wide body consisting of a diverse group of student-athletes, administrators, coaches, and SEC staff. The council identifies resources, outlines strategies and assists in the implementation of efforts that, when taken together, promote racial equality and social justice, as well as promote diversity, address racism and to pursue non-discrimination in intercollegiate athletics.
- Men’s Basketball Acting Association Con. On June 17, 2020, the SEC announced In addition to the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC), the conference’s men’s basketball caretaker associationIncluding appointing the SWAC Coordinator of Officers as Assistant SEC Coordinator.
The SEC regularly works with SEC Network producers and directors to produce interviews, specials and regular series that highlight racial equity, social justice, and diversity and inclusion. The list below throws light on such ingredients.
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