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Rhett, Marquez to represent University of Arizona in Alabama for Pac-12 Social Justice Experience

Jul 13, 2022

Morgan Rhett (track & field) and Diego Marquez (track & field) will represent The University of Arizona as the Pac-12 Conference will send a 46-member delegation of student-athletes, coaches, administrators, conference staff, and other key stakeholders to Selma and Montgomery, Alabama July 15-17. The experience will include an immersive journey to one of the centers of the civil rights movement, as the group will participate in various activities, highlighted by a march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge, the site of the 1965 "Bloody Sunday" attacks.

The Pac-12's social justice experience will begin Friday night in Montgomery with Sheyann Webb-Christburg – author and an in-person eyewitness of the original Bloody Sunday attack – serving as the keynote speaker. The trip continues Saturday in Selma as Lydia Blackmon Lowery will share her story of marching at the Selma Voting Rights march alongside Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as the group visits the First Baptist Church, the headquarters for the Dallas County Voters League, which was the student nonviolent coordination committee. The church earned the name "The Movement Church" and is where hundreds of students began their day-long journey from Selma to Montgomery in 1965. The trip will continue with a march across the historic Edmund Pettus Bridge before the group returns to Montgomery to visit a series of landmarks, museums, and learning centers.
 
In Montgomery, the group will visit the Interpretive Center at Alabama State University, a Historically Black University (HBCU), to learn more about the profound impact that students had on the civil rights movement. The group will also spend time at the Civil Rights Memorial Center, the Alabama Department of Archives and History, and the award-winning Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) Legacy Museum, which provides a comprehensive overview of America's history of racial injustice – from enslavement to mass incarceration.
 
On Saturday evening, EJI Legacy Museum founder and social justice lawyer Bryan Stevenson will address the group while the campus diversity, equity, and inclusion director lead small group debrief sessions with the student-athletes to discuss the Selma to Montgomery experience.
 
All 12 member institutions will have conducted a series of introductory virtual meetings prior to traveling to Alabama to discuss the purpose of the trip and to prepare for their experience. Upon returning to campus after the trip, the conference will provide tools and opportunities for each attendee to convey their experiences about the trip to their peers.
 
"The Pac-12 is committed to developing meaningful educational opportunities for our student-athletes, including in the critically-important area of social justice," said Pac-12 Deputy Commissioner Teresa Gould.  "The trip to Selma & Montgomery will provide an unforgettable opportunity to learn about the civil rights movement, and to use the positive impact of those learnings to build a better society for all."

The initiative, conducted in collaboration with the ACC and Big Ten, is part of a commitment to supporting student-athletes through meaningful educational opportunities, including the area of social justice.  The Pac-12 has developed a unique social outreach initiative with "Pac-12 Impact," under which this trip is being conducted. Learn more about the initiative at Pac-12.com/impact.
 
Pac-12 Student-Athlete Attendees
Arizona - Morgan Rhett, Women's Track & Field; Diego Marquez, Men's Track & Field
Arizona State - Juliette Boyer, Women's Gymnastics; Isabel Redmond, Women's Gymnastics
California - Tramayne 'Trey' Paster, Football; Jameson McKenna, Women's Rowing
Colorado - Ian Gilmore, Men's Track & Field; Karly van Leer, Women's Lacrosse
Oregon - TJ Gilbert, Football; Zoe Williams, Women's Acrobatics & Tumbling
Oregon State - Ariana Young, Women's Gymnastics; Tre'Shaun Harrison, Football
Stanford - Nya Harrison, Women's Soccer; Elijah Higgins, Football
UCLA - Charisma Osborne, Women's Basketball; Sam Herenton, Men's Track & Field
USC - Julien Simon, Football; Jalaysiya Smith, Women's Track & Field
Utah - Maya LeBar, Women's Track & Field; Hannah Truax, Women's Swimming & Diving
Washington - Nia Lowery, Women's Basketball; Langston Wilson, Men's Basketball
Washington State - Chris Jackson, Football; Anna Rodgers, Women's Track & Field