U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee and Athletes' Advisory Council Convene Team USA Council on Racial and Social Justice

The UConn Huskies and the U.S. women's national team huddle together before the USA Women's National Team Winter Tour 2020 game on Jan. 27, 2020 in Hartford, Conn. (Photo by Getty Images)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — The United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee, Athletes’ Advisory Council, National Governing Bodies and the U.S. Olympians & Paralympians Association today convened the 44 members comprising the Team USA Council on Racial and Social Justice. The athlete-led council, formed to address the rules and systems in the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic movements that create barriers to progress, is committed to working collaboratively to provide solutions and recommendations with the aim of eradicating social injustice and cultivating change through strengthened athlete voices.

“We are grateful to this group of athletes and thought leaders who have joined the council, lending their perspective and dedication to help us confront the issues of racism and discrimination in sport and society,” said USOPC CEO Sarah Hirshland. “It is important that we continue this work of elevating athlete voices and addressing limitations within our Olympic and Paralympic community. This past week, we witnessed athletes across the country demand change through both words and actions – showing they are a powerful force in the community. We look forward to coming together as one Team USA to reflect and identify solutions toward meaningful change.”

The product of athlete town halls, individual athlete discussions and ongoing meetings with outside experts about systemic racial and social injustice present in our country, the council will create pathways for dialogue, advocate for action and work toward implementing impactful change across the movements. The group will focus on four priorities:

  • The right to protest and demonstrations, to assess current policies and alternate options.
  • Athlete voice and advocacy, to empower athlete voices on Team USA platforms.
  • Institutional awareness and cultural change, to review USOPC and NGB diversity and hiring policies.
  • Racism and acts of discrimination, to enhance reporting and dispute resolution processes.

“Over the past year, it has been heartbreaking to hear how many of our athletes have been deeply affected by racism and discrimination both on and off the field of play,” said Han Xiao, chair, USOPC Athletes’ Advisory Commission. “I am encouraged that we have chosen to acknowledge and address these important issues with the leadership of an inspiring and diverse athlete group.”

The 44-member council consists of 23 Team USA athletes, five Team USA alumni representatives, five NGB representatives, five USOPC liaisons and six external consultants and thought leaders – all serving in voluntary roles. Thirty-six individuals will sit on one of four subject-specific steering committees dedicated to addressing four areas of focus. Overseeing each of the four steering committees will be an eight-member leadership team, with the assistance of a distinguished team of outside experts. The council is currently supported by an additional group of community ambassadors featuring 26 Team USA athletes, alumni and USOPC and NGB/HPMO representatives, but with the ability to expand as interest grows.

The full council participant list can be found below.

“Now is the time for athletes and leaders in sport to form and commit to plans for real and lasting change,” said Max Cobb, chair of the NGB Council, and president and CEO of US Biathlon. “This group brings together athletes and sport leaders with so much experience and insight. I know the group will succeed, and I look forward to the process and the outcomes.”

The athlete-led council will identify areas for improvement and develop a set of recommendations with the goal of producing an action plan by early 2021.

Leadership Team

Greta Neimanas, athlete, Para-cycling

Jason Pryor, athlete, fencing

Moushaumi Robinson, athlete, track and field

Iris Zimmermann, USOPA, fencing

Max Siegel, NGB/HPMO, track and field

Dr. Judith B. Clarke, Vice President of Equity & Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer at Stony Brook University/track and field

Dr. Scott Brooks, Associate Professor & Director (Interim), T. Denny Sanford School of Social and Family Dynamics and Director of Research for the Global Sport Institute at Arizona State University

Nicole Deal, USOPC, athlete safety and security

Steering Committee: Protests and Demonstrations

Race Imboden, athlete, fencing

Grace Latz, athlete, rowing

Colleen Quigley, athlete, track and field

Noah White, athlete, track and field

Kelsey Erickson, NGB/HPMO, cycling

John Carlos, USOPA, alumni

Guiselle Torres, USOPC, associate general counsel

Steering Committee: Athlete Voice and Advocacy

Anthony Ervin, athlete, swimming

Alyssa Fencil, athlete, Para taekwondo

Jamal Hill, athlete, Para swimming

Casandra Shaffer, athlete, swimming

Katie Uhlaender, athlete, skeleton

Suzy Sanchez, NGB/HPMO, weightlifting

Carol Lewis, USOPA, alumni

Amanda McGrory, Paralympian, USOPC archivist

Steering Committee: Institutional Awareness and Cultural Change

Tyler Carter, athlete, Para alpine skiing

Rachael Flatt, athlete, figure skating

Dawn Harper-Nelson, athlete, track and field

Anna Johannes, athlete, Para swimming

Alexander Young, athlete, track and field

John Abdou, NGB/HPMO, water polo

Candace Cable, USOPA, alumni

Adam Wood, USOPC, collegiate partnerships

Steering Committee: Racism and Acts of Discrimination

Tianna Bartoletta, athlete, track and field

Ben Bratton, athlete, fencing

Nzingha Prescod, athlete, fencing

Mystique Ro, athlete, skeleton

Stephanie Zundel, athlete, Para-cycling

Whitney Frye, NGB/HPMO, basketball

Jan Palchikoff, USOPA, alumni

Whitney Carter, USOPC, sport performance

Thought leaders

Tiffini Grimes, Deputy Athletics Director, Chief Diversity Officer, University of Alabama

Kenneth Shropshire, Adidas Distinguished Professor of Global Sport and CEO of Global Sport Institute at Arizona State University

Amy Wilson, Managing Director of Inclusion, NCAA

Yannick Kluch, Assistant Professor and Lead Faculty Consultant on Sport and Social Impact, Rowan University

Community Ambassadors

Sarah Bofinger, athlete, Para swimming

Stephanie Bruce, athlete, track and field

Kyra Condie, athlete, sport climbing

Joe Delagrave, athlete, wheelchair rugby

Cheta Emba, athlete, rugby

Kate Grace, athlete, track and field

Farrah Hall, athlete, sailing

Sam Mattis, athlete, track and field

Kristen Rose Morse, athlete, track and field

Rachel Schneider, athlete, track and field

Alex Shibutani, athlete, figure skating

Maia Shibutani, athlete, figure skating

Ariel Simmons, athlete, fencing

Isis Washington, athlete, fencing

Brandon Dyett, NGB/HPMO, fencing

Kelley Humphries, NGB/HPMO, Para powerlifting

Kelly Fox, NGB/HPMO, diving

Mariejo Truex, NGB/HPMO, swimming

Megan Ritch, NGB/HPMO, triathlon

Melissa Zhang, NGB/HPMO, team handball

Nancy Atufunwa, NGB/HPMO, water polo

Sara Studebaker-Hill, NGB/HPMO, biathlon

Erin Cafaro, USOPA, alumni

Sharon Ann Jewell, USOPA, alumni

Allison Wagner, USOPA, alumni

Terris Tiller, USOPC, athlete services

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