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Big 10 vs HBCU Basketball Match-Ups Part Of New Anti-Racism Initiative

Prairie View A&M, credit: Brianna May

Coaches Vs. Racism (CVR) is a 501c3 national non-profit leading the charge to end systemic racism in sports.  They are mobilizing coaches in the pro ranks as well as collegiate and amateur levels across the country to create an action-filled, educational and grassroots approach to inspire cultural and societal change in the world of sports.

CVR has teamed with the Big 10, College Coaches, Historical Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), and professional sports teams to promote awareness of Social Injustice, Economic Divide, Equality, Reform, and Systemic Racism (SEERS).  Together, the groups aim to create a positive sports environment for all players by using education, conversation and community to build equality and understanding.  The non-profit will work with coaches to ensure all players have access to the tools and resources necessary to develop student and professional athletes to their full potential and level the playing field.

As part of their mission, Coaches Vs. Racism has created the HBCU Roundball Experience, bringing Big 10 Schools, major Universities and HBCU teams together for high-profile competitions.  The games seek to amplify awareness of incredible athletic talent from both schools, and will place an emphasis on HBCUs who traditionally lack resources and equipment and are routinely overlooked by professional talent scouts.

“Our focus is to shine the spotlight on systemic racism as a root cause of the inherent disparities that exist in the sports,” said Mr. Darryl Woods, Executive Director of Coaches Vs. Racism.  “Economic inequality continues to exist today in our Elementary and High Schools, Colleges and Universities and is detrimental to our youth. By working together, and using our collective passion for sports, we hope Coaches Vs. Racism will spark productive conversations to change the narrative about race in sports and serve as a revolutionary voice for change in our society.”

To reinforce the anti-racism message, CVR has initiated a series of match-ups between Big 10 schools and HBCUs to bring awareness to the anti-racism initiative.  The inaugural game pits the University of Michigan Wolverines vs. Prairie View A&M University Panthers.  The teams are led by coaches Juwan Howard and Byron Smith respectively.

The high-profile game will be held on neutral territory at the Entertainment and Sports Arena (ESA) in Washington, DC., on Saturday, November 13th.  Tickets will be available at coachesvsracism.org effective Friday, October 15, 2021.  Tickets will also be available at University of Michigan and Prairie View A&M University.

A portion of the proceeds from all CVR games will be used to support marginalized students and student-athletes who are unable to complete their education due to lack of tuition funds. CVR hopes to engage these students in a “Good Start” program before they drop out of college by raising funds to pay tuition for struggling students and paying off their respective student loans. The non-profit will place special focus on students at HBCUs. 

In addition to athletic programs and coaches across the country, Coaches Vs. Racism has partnered with HBCUGO.TV to support its mission.

About Jerry Milani

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Jerry Milani is a freelance writer and public relations executive living in Bloomfield, N.J. He has worked in P.R. for more than 25 years in college and conference sports media relations, two agencies and for the International Fight League, a team-based mixed martial arts league, and now is the PR manager for Wizard World, which runs pop culture and celebrity conventions across North America. Milani is also the play-by-play announcer for Caldwell University football and basketball broadcasts. He is a proud graduate of Fordham University and when not attending a Yankees, Rams or Cougars game can be reached at Jerry (at) JerryMilani (dot) com.

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