ACC Spring Unity Week set for April 16-23

By | April 14, 2022
As part of the Atlantic Coast Conference’s continued commitment to social justice and racial equity, the league will host its second Spring Unity Week, April 16 – 23, 2022. ACC Unity Week was developed through the efforts of the ACC’s CORE (Champions of Racial Equity ) in conjunction with its member institutions as a meaningful and fulfilling week to unite around social justice for all and eliminate systematic racism.

The theme for the 2021-22 academic year is ‘Awareness to Action,’ which is intended to challenge each individual to get involved in activities that promote unity and connect with people and organizations that affect positive change in our communities.

The Atlantic Coast Conference has hosted Unity Week during the fall, winter and spring sports seasons since it was launched in October 2020.

The Virginia Tech Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) will host a ‘Unity Through Awareness’ panel on Monday, April 18th at 6:15 pm on the steps of Cassell Coliseum. The panel will include student leaders from across campus and will focus on how to move from “awareness to action” in promoting social and racial justice, equality and unity. The panel discussion will be moderated by VT SAAC president and men’s soccer student-athlete, Kahlil Dover. Current panelists include:

Jacelyn Lazore, Tech Lacrosse student-athlete and member of Native at VT
Danny RobertsonHokie Pride
Mohamed Hussein, president of the Muslim Student Union
Timi Adams, Men’s Soccer

This is a free event and open to the Virginia Tech and New River Valley communities. The panel is a continuation of the group’s efforts to continue raising awareness and taking action on social and racial injustices. In October 2021, the group hosted a Unity Walk around campus to raise awareness around social justice and included Tech student-athletes, coaches and administration.

Throughout the remainder of Unity Week, Hokie student-athletes will watch “The Loyola Project” film and participate in discussion following the film. Virginia Tech is one of a limited number of schools across the country chosen to screen The Loyola Project film as part of the 63 for 63 Screening Series presented by Northwestern Mutual.

The Loyola Project is an independently produced documentary film by O’Malley Creadon Productions about the Loyola University Chicago men’s basketball team, which won the 1963 NCAA Championship. The team featured four Black players in the starting lineup during an influential time of the civil rights movement, and overcame extreme racism both on and off the court.

“We are honored Virginia Tech was selected as one of the universities to screen the movie,” Reyna Gilbert-Lowry, Senior Associate Athletics Director of Student-Athlete Development and Athletics Diversity and Inclusion Council Chair said. “This documentary emphasizes the platform sports can provide to highlight social issues. We are excited to be able to utilize this film as a way to continue the conversation around diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging within the department and our community.”

On Tuesday, April 26th, the Virginia Tech Athletics Diversity and Inclusion Council will host a special screening of the film for Virginia Tech and the surrounding community. The screening will take place at 6:30 pm in Merryman McConnell Auditorium in the Merryman Athletic Center.

Following the movie, Dr. Letisha Engracia Cardoso Brown, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology, will host a conversation about the movie and the impact of the 1963 Loyola Ramblers’ success on race, sports and society.

“I think every student-athlete in the country should watch this movie,” Chhinda Som, women’s tennis student-athlete and member of the Athletics Diversity and Inclusion Council said. “It is, unfortunately, a part of American sports history, and we need to have these open conversations to allow us to progress in life with a greater understanding of people and the differences that don’t divide us.”

Admission is free but space is limited. Those interested in attending the screening should RSVP using the following link: https://bit.ly/3603cHs
To learn more about The Loyola Project and to see a short trailer, click here.

The Virginia Tech Athletics Diversity & Inclusion Council is an eight-member committee which includes student-athletes, coaches, and staff tasked with cultivating departmental initiatives designed to increase awareness and promote the importance of diversity.

For questions, please contact Reyna Gilbert-Lowry at reygil@vt.edu

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