The Muhammad Ali Center Athletes and Social Change Forum, held on March 29 - 30, 2013 at the Ali Center in Louisville, KY, was an engaging and productive gathering. The Forum is an innovative new conference designed to advance education, advocacy and research on the role and contribution of athletes toward social change, human rights and development.
A second Forum is being planned for 2014, and represents the beginning of a dynamic athletes and social change community developed in collaboration with the Muhammad Ali Center.
According to Sab Singh of Sports Doing Good, "This was the perfect venue, both in terms of physical layout, and emotional connection. The Center is a wonderful building housing great exhibits, along with a number of open arenas for meetings and dialogue. The conversation was lively, grounded, and motivating."
What does it mean for athletes to engage in social change, philanthropy and work within the community? The Forum addressed
perspectives in the intersection of athletes and social change. In attendance was a diverse group of practitioners, academics, athletes, and activists, who explored what it means for athletes to engage in social change, philanthropy and work within the community.
Specific focus areas discussed at the Forum:
• The roles and responsibilities athletes have beyond the playing field
• The ways athletes can serve as educators and advocates to address social problems within and outside of sports
• How the global sporting community encourages or discourages athletes working in the realm of social change
• The roles educational institutions play in providing grounding for athletes to make the connections between athletics, academics and the community