The theme for the 2021-22 school year is “Awareness for Action,” which aims to challenge each individual to engage in activities that promote unity and communication with people and organizations that influence positive change in our communities.
The Atlantic Coast Conference has hosted Unity Week during the fall, winter, and spring sports seasons since its launch in October 2020.
Virginia Tech’s Student Athletic Advisory Committee (SAAC) will host a “Unity Through Awareness” panel on Monday, April 18y 6:15 p.m. on the steps of the Castle Coliseum. The panel will include student leaders from across the campus and will focus on how to move from “consciousness to action” in promoting social and racial justice, equality and unity. The panel discussion will be moderated by VT SAAC President and Student Athletic Men’s Soccer, Khalil Dover. Current committee members include:
Jacelyn Lazore, Student Athletic Tech Lacrosse and Native Member of VT
Danny Robertson, Hokie Pride
Muhammad Hussain, President of the Muslim Student Union
Timmy Adams, men’s soccer
This is a free and open event for the Virginia Tech and New River Valley communities. The commission is a continuation of the group’s efforts to continue to raise awareness and take action on social and racial injustice. In October 2021, the group hosted an Unity Walk tour around the campus to raise awareness about social justice and featured student tech athletes, coaches and administrators.
Throughout the remainder of the unit week, Hokie student-athletes will watch “The Loyola Project” and participate in the discussion that follows the movie. Virginia Tech is one of a limited number of schools across the country selected to show The Loyola Project as part of Northwestern Mutual’s 63-for-63 show series.
The Loyola Project is an independently produced documentary by O’Malley Creadon Productions about the Loyola University of Chicago men’s basketball team, which won the 1963 NCAA Championship. The team featured four black players in the starting lineup during an influential period of the civil rights movement, defeating Extreme racism on and off the field.
“We are honored that Virginia Tech was selected as one of the universities to screen the film,” Rina Gilbert Lowry, said Senior Associate Director of Athletics in Student Athletic Development and Diversity Athletics and Chair of the Inclusion Board. “This documentary demonstrates that the platform sports can provide to highlight societal issues. We are excited to be able to use this film as a vehicle to continue the conversation around diversity, equality, inclusion and belonging within the department and our community.”
Tuesday 26th Aprily, Virginia Tech’s Diversity and Inclusion Council on Athletics will host a special screening of the film for Virginia Tech and the surrounding community. The show will take place at 6:30 p.m. in the Merriman McConnell Ballroom at the Merriman Athletic Center.
After the film, Dr. Leticia Ingracia Cardoso-Brown, Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology, will host a talk about the film and the impact of the 1963 Loyola Ramblers success on race, sports, and society.
“I think every student-athlete in the country should see this movie,” said Shinda Som, a student-athlete and member of the Diversity and Inclusion Council for Athletics. “It is, unfortunately, part of the history of American sports, and we need these open conversations to allow us to move forward in life with a greater understanding of the people and the differences that do not divide us.”
Entry is free, but space is limited. Those wishing to attend the show must respond to the invitation using the following link: https://bit.ly/3603cHs
Learn more about Loyola Project For a short trailer, click here.
The Virginia Tech Diversity and Inclusion Council for Athletics is an eight-member committee of student-athletes, coaches, and staff members tasked with refining departmental initiatives designed to raise awareness and promote the importance of diversity.
For questions, please contact Rina Gilbert Lowry at [email protected]