DURHAM – As part of its continued commitment to inclusion, social justice and racial equity, the Atlantic Coast Conference is holding its second annual Fall Unity Week, and in conjunction Duke Athletics wants to showcase three organizations on campus that affect positive change within our community.
The theme for the 2021-22 academic year is ‘Awareness to Action’ and is intended to challenge each individual to get involved in activities that promote unity and inclusion.
Athlete Ally believes that everyone should have equal access, opportunity and experience in sports, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. Their mission is to end the rampant homophobia and transphobia in sport and to activate the athletic community to exercise their leadership to champion LGBTQI+ equality.
“The mission of Duke’s chapter of Athlete Ally is to create visibility, inclusivity and awareness surrounding the LGBTQI+ community in sport and champion equality for all individuals. We work to make space for Duke’s student-athletes to feel free to be their authentic selves and educate those around us in regard to queer experiences and safe verbiage. We, as an athletic department and sports community, are at our strongest when we acknowledge, learn about and accept with open arms the differences amongst us.” – Holland Stam, Duke Women’s Soccer | President of Duke’s Athlete Ally Chapter
Morgan’s Message strives to eliminate the stigma surrounding mental health within the student-athlete community and equalize the treatment of physical and mental health in athletics. Morgan’s Message aims to expand the dialogue on mental health by normalizing conversations, empowering those who suffer in silence and supporting those who feel alone. Morgan’s Message’s mission to build a community which respects, supports and actively engages all aspects of identity, including race, color, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, spirituality, religion, disability, age, national origin and socioeconomic status.
“Morgan’s Message provides Duke student-athletes with a platform to discuss and open up about mental health struggles. The group is an amazing way for athletes to recognize that they are not alone in their struggles with mental health and wellness. The ability to highlight mental health as one of the key factors to wellness, performance and growth is extremely beneficial to young adults in out Duke community. You are not alone!” – Anna Callahan, Duke Women’s Lacrosse | President of Duke’s Morgan’s Message Chapter
UNITED BLACK ATHLETES
United Black Athletes (UBA)’s mission is to provide a space for black student-athletes to heal, uplift and encourage one another through challenges faced in athletics, academics and campus life, as well as generate a family-oriented support system on the foundation of common experience. UBA envisions a unified body that commits to serving the Duke and Durham communities through open and honest dialogue and service, using athletics as a vehicle to encourage a healthy lifestyle, social justice, hope and unity.
“UBA is important to Duke Athletics because we create a safe space for our Black athletes and give them a voice. We push Duke Athletics to change and learn in order to make our campus a more inclusive space for all.” – DeWayne Carter, Duke Football | President of Duke’s UBA Chapter