Carla Williams, Chris Long, Akil Mitchell to participate in panel on race at UVA

virginia uvaVirginia athletics director Carla Williams and former UVA All-American football player, two-time Super Bowl champion Chris Long and All-ACC men’s basketball performer Akil Mitchell will be participants on a panel focusing on Athletics and Race. The event is scheduled for Friday, April 27 from 5-6:30 p.m. at 101 Nau Hall at the University of Virginia.

The event is free to the public, but seating is limited with a capacity of 245. Nau Hall is located at 1550 Jefferson Park Avenue. Parking is available at the University’s Central Grounds Garage ($1/hour, payable at exit).

The panel discussion is sponsored by the UVA Corcoran Department of History, the College of Arts and Sciences and the athletics department. The discussion will be moderated by UVA professor of African American and African Studies and History Claudrena Harold.

Williams assumed the role as Virginia’s director of athletics in December. She became the first African-American female to lead a “Power Five” conference school’s athletics program. Previously, Williams served as an athletics administrator at the University of Georgia for 13 years and was named deputy director of athletics in 2015. During Williams’ tenure as an administrator at Georgia, its athletics teams won 16 NCAA team championships and 37 Southeastern Conference titles.

Williams was a three-year starter for the Lady Bulldogs from 1987-89. Williams was then an assistant at UGA from 1991-96, including teams which reached the 1995 and 1996 Final Fours. Following the 1995-96 season, Williams moved into a career in administration.

Long starred for Virginia as a defensive end from 2004-07. He was a unanimous first-team All-American in 2007 and was named the Ted Hendricks Award winner as the nation’s top defensive end. He was 10th in the Heisman Trophy voting and the second overall pick in the 2008 NFL Draft.

Long played for the St. Louis Rams from 2008-15. In 2016, he signed with the New England Patriots who went on to win the Super Bowl that season. Last year, as a member of the Philadelphia Eagles, Long helped that NFL franchise to the Super Bowl title.

In May of 2015, Long launched The Chris Long Foundation which helps raise money for the Waterboys.ORG Initiative. The initiative is dedicated to building wells for communities in East Africa. In 2017 he donated his regular-season NFL salary to education-based youth support organizations and started the Pledge 10 for Tomorrow campaign.

Mitchell was a standout player for coach Tony Bennett’s UVA teams from 2010-14. As a senior he helped UVA to a 30-7 record and the ACC regular-season and tournament championships. He was named to the ACC All-Defensive team and All-ACC Tournament squad.

Since graduating, Mitchell was played professionally in South America and had several stints with NBA Summer and Developmental League teams.

Harold is a professor of African American and African Studies and History. In 2007, she published her first book, The Rise and Fall of the Garvey Movement in the Urban South, 1918-1942. In 2013, the University of Virginia Press published The Punitive Turn: New Approaches to Race and Incarceration, a volume Harold coedited with Deborah E. McDowell and Juan Battle. Her latest book is New Negro Politics in the Jim Crow South, which was published by the University of Georgia Press.

As a part of her ongoing work on the history of black student activism at UVA, she wrote, produced, and co-directed with Kevin Everson six short films: Sugarcoated Arsenic, Fastest Man in the State, 70 kg, U. Of Virginia, 1976, How Can We Ever Be Late, and We Demand. These films have screened at the National Gallery of Art, the Whitney Museum, Berlin International Film Festival, the International Film Festival Rotterdam, the Oberhausen International Short Film Festival, the Edinburgh International Film Festival, Vienna International Film Festival, New York Film Festival, Festival du Nouveau Cinema, the Media City Film Festival, and Porto Post Doc Film and Media Festival.


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