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A Conversation About Race

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A Conversation on Race...

and its impact on college athletics

January 23, 2021

This panel discussion focused on:

  • How the current racial landscape in American society and sports impacts college athletes 
  • Why activism and conversations promoting cultural awareness are important 
  • How to initiate conversations about race and create a “call-in” culture for productive conversations 
  • How do we move forward to impact change on our teams and communities?


Vicky ChunVicky Chun, Thomas A. Beckett Director of Athletics, Yale University

Vicky Chun is the first woman and first Asian American to serve as director of athletic at Yale University. In her previous job as vice president and director of athletics at Colgate University she was the first Asian American woman athletic director in NCAA Division I athletics. Chun is a member of the NCAA Division I Council where she serves as vice-chair of the NCAA Division I Football Oversight Committee. Chun was recognized as the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) Under Armour Athletics Director of the Year in 2018.

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Francois ClemmonsFrancois Clemmons, Grammy Award-winning performer

Most well-known for his role as Officer Clemmons in Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, Clemmons worked alongside Fred Rogers for 25 years, helping to do ground-breaking work on race relations beginning in 1968. Clemmons has performed with the New York City Opera, Los Angeles Civic Light Opera, Washington Civic Opera, Cleveland Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra and Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. Clemmons worked closely with college students, athletes and coaches during his 16 years as the Alexander Twilight Artist-in-Residence and director of the Martin Luther King Jr. Spiritual Choir at Middlebury College.

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Gil KimGil Kim, Director of Player Development and MLB Coach, Toronto Blue Jays

Gil Kim is a graduate of Vanderbilt University where he was a part of building the foundation for Vanderbilt’s two national baseball championships. After a professional baseball career, Kim became an international scout in Mexico, Venezuela and the Dominican Republic. He then moved to the Toronto Blue Jays’ front office as director of player development. He has worked closely with young players — mostly international — who are confronted with language barriers and cultural differences in transitioning to professional baseball life in America.

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Loretta RossProfessor Loretta J. Ross, Visiting Associate Professor, Smith College

Loretta Ross started her career in the women’s movement in the 1970s, working at the National Football League Players Association, the D.C. Rape Crisis Center, the National Organization for Women, the National Black Women’s Health Project, the Center for Democratic Renewal (National Anti-Klan Network), the National Center for Human Rights Education and SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective.

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This event is being sponsored by the Eastern Connecticut State University Department of Athletics.