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Pac-12 Impact

CONFERENCE OF CHAMPIONS

With tipoff of Pac-12 men’s basketball conference play, student-athletes, universities and the Pac-12 continue drum beat for social justice on campus and in communities

Dec 1, 2020
Stanford/Stanford
SAN FRANCISCO - All Pac-12 men’s basketball programs, as part of the Conference-wide Pac-12 imPACt program, continue the drum beat for social justice as conference play tips off tomorrow. Over the past several months, the Pac-12 has worked with its member universities, Student-Athlete Advisory Council (SAAC), Student-Athlete Leadership Team (SALT) and Pac-12 ImPACt Leadership Council, the Conference’s social justice and anti-racism advisory committee, to identify activations that illustrate the unique perspectives of student-athletes on each campus in order to amplify their voices through the platform of collegiate athletics. 
 
This past July, every head men’s basketball coach from the Pac-12 Conference pledged his support to participate in the McLendon Minority Leadership Initiative. The Initiative provides minorities a jump-start to their careers through practical experiences and opportunities to build their networks, all while instilling the values of John McLendon: integrity, education, leadership, and mentorship. Each of the league’s 12 head coaches have pledged a four-year commitment to provide funding to the MLI program, which will establish athletics administration educational experiences for minority candidates on each Pac-12 campus.
 
Ahead of the November elections, led by the Pac-12 football and men’s basketball head coaches, the Conference announced a collective commitment among all 12 member athletics programs to facilitate registration prior to National Voter Registration Day. All Pac-12 men’s basketball programs achieved 100% voter registration by Election Day. Additionally, Colorado head coach Tad Boyle and Washington State head coach Kyle Smith both joined the “Amplifying Voices For Change” webinar hosted by the Pac-12 Conference and discussed the power of utilizing sport as a vehicle for change and activation. 
 
“I’m very proud of how our student-athletes and campuses continue to rise to the occasion in the fight for social justice,” said Colorado men’s basketball head coach Tad Boyle. “Our student-athletes appreciate the megaphone their sport provides and have embraced the opportunity to be role models for their fellow students and communities.”
 
The demonstrations of each Pac-12 university’s commitment to anti-racism and social justice will come to life through a variety of campus-led activations throughout the season. Examples of these activations include uniform marks and logos symbolizing the commitment to fighting for social justice and equality; warm-ups designed collaboratively by student-athletes, alumni and campus leaders; and shows of solidarity on the court in support of social issues. By giving Pac-12 student-athletes the stage to speak about what matters to them, the Pac-12 hopes to encourage conversations and action that will bring teammates, athletic departments and fans together in the fight against racism.
 
“My teammates on the court and across the Pac-12 are motivated to lead by example and continue the fight for change,” said Stanford men’s basketball student-athlete Spencer Jones. “What matters to me is doing more than just showing a different face in the crowd. Social justice comes down to distribution of equity – it’s important to be proactive at this moment in time.”
 
“With the start of conference play for our men’s basketball programs, we are reminded once again of how dedicated our student-athletes are to improving themselves and the world around them,” said Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott. “This generation is one that has demonstrated its willingness to lead and effect change, especially when it comes to the cultures on their campuses and society at large.”
 
The Pac-12 imPACt Leadership Council, the Conference’s advisory committee on social justice and anti-racism, will prioritize and be informed by the student-athlete voice. The committee will evaluate and implement policies, programs and resources to guide Conference-wide efforts in support of student-athletes and other stakeholders that result in diverse and inclusive communities.
 
About Pac-12 ImPACt
Pac-12 ImPACt is the social activism arm of the Pac-12 Conference, seeking to do what the name implies – make an impact in the communities and lives of Pac-12 student-athletes, member institutions and society at large. The focus of Pac-12 ImPACt is to harness the power of sport to build awareness, identify solutions and provide leadership to promote initiatives across the social activism landscape, particularly those that encourage a culture of diversity and inclusion, support sustainability efforts and fuel the pioneering spirit of the West Coast. Pac-12 ImPACt creates and supports transformational policies, programs, resources and services designed to strengthen our university communities from the inside out, spreading the messages of inclusion and empowerment by celebrating diversity, fostering fairness and good sportsmanship, and working towards the ultimate goal of equitable opportunities and outcomes for all. Launched in 2012, Pac-12 ImPACt is headquartered in the Pac-12 Conference office in San Francisco, California. For more information on Pac-12 ImPACt, please visit Pac-12.com/impact. 
 
About the Pac-12 Conference
The Pac-12 Conference has a tradition as the “Conference of Champions,” leading the nation in NCAA Championships in 54 of the last 60 years, with 529 NCAA team titles overall. The Conference comprises 12 leading U.S. universities - the University of Arizona, Arizona State University, the University of California, Berkeley, the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), the University of Colorado, the University of Oregon, Oregon State University, Stanford University, the University of Southern California, the University of Utah, the University of Washington and Washington State University. For more information on the Conference’s programs, member institutions, and Commissioner Larry Scott, go to Pac-12.com/conference.
 

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