University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota

African American Athletes, Black History and Community.

African American Athletes, Black History and Community

Wednesday, March 2, 2016, 6:30-8:00pm
Hallie Q. Brown Community Center, 270 North Kent Street, St. Paul

Free and open to the public, but please RSVP

Though the media often focus on the stories of elite Black athletes’ successes, sparse attention is paid to the relationships between African American athletes and their communities. Even less attention is given to how athletics and recreation are part of Black history, social justice initiatives, and contribute to the sustenance of community ties and health.

This event brings together the experiences and insights of three notable athletes who continue to have an impact on African American communities in Minnesota: Frank White, Lea B. Olsen, Leo Lewis, and Natasha Moore. Current U of Minnesota student Natasha Moore, who is a former student-athlete, will serve as moderator. The panel and audience interaction will advance conversations regarding athletics, recreation, and racial disparities in health and well-being, to inspire action and community involvement.

Frank White is the founder of Respect Sports and has been a college and high school basketball official for over 30 years, a member of the Minnesota High School League Officials and Sportsmanship Advisory Committees and a former Basketball Rule Clinician. He’s the author of They Played for the Love of the Game: Untold Stories of Black Baseball in Minnesota (2016).

Lea B. Olsen appears on Fox Sports News North as the analyst for the Minnesota Lynx and serves as the host on Gopher Football with Tracy Claeys. She also appears on the “Prep Bowl” broadcast and as analyst and reporter for state basketball tournaments on KSTC-Channel 45. Olsen played basketball for the U of M and was tri-captain and received the Patty Berg Award for academics as well as the Fast Break and Coaches’ Awards.

Leo Lewis, PhD, founder and director of the Leo Lewis Foundation, is an educator, counselor and mentor to athletes on all levels. Lewis is committed to the development of young athletes and attempts to help them find a balance and perspective in their lives. He founded the Leo Lewis Football Academy in 1993 after five years of sponsoring sport camps for youth and an eleven-year career as a wide receiver for the Minnesota Vikings.

Natasha Moore was born and raised in Saint Paul, Minnesota. She is a senior at the University of Minnesota, studying Sociology and African American & African Studies. Moore is a former member of the U of M track team, and is currently the CLA Communications Agent for the African American & African Studies Department.

For more info, contact RIGS (, 612-624-9847). This event is cosponsored by the African American Research Collaborative, the Race, Indigeneity, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Initiative, and the Department of African American and African Studies.

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