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University of Iowa News Release


Oct. 3, 2006

UI Symposium To Examine Race And Sport Oct. 12-14

The University of Iowa Department of Health and Sport Studies is hosting an international symposium and town hall meeting on the topic "Building Global Understanding of Race and Sport" Oct. 12-14 at the Iowa Memorial Union.

The event will bring together scholars, professionals and community members to discuss the intersections between race and sport from a global perspective.

"The global changes in sports are experienced locally, regionally and worldwide. The conference will provide a public stage to examine these trends and enhance public awareness," said conference organizer Michael Lomax, an associate professor in the Department of Health and Sport Studies in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS). "We'll be looking at issues that influence the intersections between race and sport for racial groups across the globe, such as aboriginal peoples, Asians and Africans."

The conference begins at 4 p.m. Oct. 12 with a session on "Sport, Race and the Media" moderated by Venise Berry, an associate professor of journalism in CLAS.

Following this session, the keynote address will be given at 6 p.m. by Colin King, a social science scholar and project manager of the Martin Shaw King Trust at Goldsmith College at the University of London. His book, "Offside Racism: Playing the White Man," examines the privileges held by white men, and how the environment in soccer coaching and management leads to different forms of racism and exclusion in England's professional soccer leagues.

More than 250 people are expected to attend the conference and 34 scholars and professionals will participate. Scholars in the sports studies field will present and get commentary on papers at sessions; the papers from the invited scholars will serve as a foundation for an anthology to be published by an academic press.

Session topics on Oct. 13 will cover a wide range of subjects, including the African-American experience in sports, the impact of colonialism and imperialism, involvement of Indigenous peoples in sport in Canada and the United States, and the cultural politics of race and sport in South Korea. Sessions continue Oct. 14 with "Understanding Africa Through Sports: Perspectives and Experiences," "Whiteness and Sport," "Mexican Americans and Japanese Americans: A Glimpse into their Sporting Lives" and "Race and the Olympic Games."

To close the conference, a town hall meeting will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Oct. 14 in the Richey Ballroom of the IMU. Panelists will discuss the current state of race and sport from a global perspective, and then field questions from the audience. 

Town hall panelists include Michael Boit, Olympic bronze medalist and professor, Kenyatta University, Kenya; Tina Sloan Green, professor and founder, Black Women in Sport Foundation; Darius Smith, director, Denver Anti-Discrimination Office; Bill Rhoden, New York Times sportswriter; Charlotte Westerhaus, vice president of diversity, National Collegiate Athletic Association; and Colin King, conference keynote speaker.

"We hope this conference will provide a public forum to enhance public awareness about how globalization has influenced the intersection between race and sport," Lomax said. "The combination of both academic sessions and a town hall meeting will bring scholars, professionals, and community members together to discuss this complex phenomenon, and engage the public to show how these issues affect them, particularly those within the sporting community."

The conference is sponsored by the UI Department of Athletics, UI Division of Student Services, the National Collegiate Athletic Association, Coca-Cola Bottling Company, Perry A. and Helen Judy Bond Fund, the Arts and Humanities Initiative, the Department of Health and Sport Studies, and Humanities Iowa. Both the academic sessions and town hall meeting are free and open to the public. For a complete schedule and presentation information, see

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

CONTACTS: Media: George McCrory, 319-384-0012,; Program: Michael Lomax, 319-335-9340,