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‘Culture in Conversation Series’ kicks off with its first webinar

The “Culture in Conversation Series” at Western Carolina University will hold the first of three fall semester virtual sessions on Tuesday, Sept. 22.

The series is part of a campus forum on equity, racism and justice. The first session, which begins at noon, is titled “Athlete Activism and Social Justice.” It will feature keynote speakers Anthony Weems, a WCU assistant professor of sport management, and Billy Hawkins, a professor and interim chair of the University of Houston’s Department of Health and Human Performance.

Topics that will be discussed include race and racism, athlete activism, social/political change, organizational leadership and policy development. A question-and-answer session will take place at the end. To register, click HERE.

Weems’ teaching and research interests are centered around social, ethical and legal aspects of sport. His research focuses on leadership and policy development with an emphasis on race, equity and (in)justice. He is the founder of “The Sporting Justice Collective,” which serves as a collaborative platform for anti-racist scholarship and activism in sport.

Hawkins received the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences Distinguished Faculty Award at the University of Houston. He is a North American Society for the Sociology of Sport Research Fellow and a recipient of the Robert Maynard Hutchins Award for his research on intercollegiate athletics.

The event is a collaborative initiative between the Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity Programs, the Faculty and Staff senates, and the Student Government Association. The goal is to inspire campus dialogue, community engagement and civic education about the national narrative on diversity and inclusion.

Future sessions are scheduled for Oct. 20 on “Women, Equity and Social Justice,” and Nov. 10 on “The Cherokee: On Sacred Ground.”

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