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Atlantic Coast Conference announces creation of Committee for Racial and Social Justice

accAtlantic Coast Conference Commissioner John Swofford announced Tuesday the formation of the ACC’s Committee for Racial and Social Justice.

Operating under the moniker “CORE” – Champions of Racial Equity – the committee’s charge is to lead in college athletics by promoting and instilling racial and social justice, and equity for all.

CORE is chaired by ACC Senior Associate Commissioner Mary McElroy and consists of numerous members of the conference office staff, who will work with campus representatives and Student-Athlete Advisory Committee members from each of the ACC’s institutions.

The committee was formed in June and held its first meeting with the campus representatives Tuesday.

“The ACC Committee for Racial and Social Justice will work both internally at the league office, and externally with our 15 member institutions, to develop and implement action items to combat racism and social injustice within our society,” Swofford said. “Our committee will also work collectively with our ACC SAAC and staff from each of our schools to educate, empower and encourage our student-athletes to be a voice of change. The ACC remains committed to upholding the values of equality, diversity and non-discrimination.”

CORE’s mission statement is “to promote and encourage racial equity and social justice through education, partnerships, engagement and advocacy.” The ACC is committed to seeing all people as equals and treating each other with respect and dignity at all times, recognizing that our differences don’t divide us, but they make us stronger.

“I am excited to serve as the chair for this important committee as we work to create important dialogue and change,” McElroy said. “This is a critical step as we develop initiatives to bring people together and eradicate hate and racism. I am very grateful to the Commissioner and senior staff for their leadership and support, but most grateful to the ACC staff members who have volunteered to serve on the committee and work to translate our words into meaningful actions.

“CORE already has had insightful meetings and shared exciting ideas for the path forward. We want this to be a collaborative enterprise, where we can share resources and ideas within our conference office and with our league members in order to create meaningful initiatives to unite our community and make a difference. We will engage our league’s student-athletes by way of SAAC as well as our campus representatives to CORE,” McElroy said.

Among CORE’s central values and goals:

  • Create meaningful, lasting change by improving systems, organizational structures, policies, practices and attitudes
  • Have representation at all levels that is reflective of the make-up of the student-athlete population
  • Inclusion and empowerment of diverse individuals
  • Accountability for hiring practices
  • Integrity
  • Fairness

Each of the ACC’s 15 institutions has designated campus representatives to CORE, providing a conduit for information and initiatives between the Conference office and campuses. Among the roles of the campus representatives:

  • CORE will support and amplify the work that the Campus Representatives facilitate/provide information for on their campuses
  • Advance Conference initiatives endorsed by CORE and approved by Athletics Directors and Presidents
  • Liaison with Institutional SAAC and other student groups on campus as appropriate
  • Exchange best practices, establish benchmarks, etc.

Consisting of 20 members from the ACC office, CORE held its first meeting on June 16 and is meeting weekly, while subcommittees also have been created and meet weekly to address both internal and external initiatives. As part of the first full meeting, the committee requested that the ACC office consider observing Juneteenth as an official office holiday, which was approved by Swofford.

McElroy is joined on the committee by ACC staff members Kelvin Anthony, Andrew Bacon, Kevin Best, Shamaree Brown, Maggie Boulton, Matt Burgemeister, Lee Butler, Ashley Champigny, Andy Fledderjohann, Bri Funte, TC Gammons, Kelsey Harris, Marra Hvozdovic, Donald Moore, Brandon Neff, Samantha Pujol, Jessica Rippey, Eric SanInocencio and Justin Wilson.

ACC Campus Representatives to CORE

  • Martina Ballen, North Carolina, Senior Associate Athletic Director, Human Resources & Chief Financial Officer
  • Boo Corrigan, NC State, Director of Athletics
  • Bubba Cunningham, North Carolina, Director of Athletics
  • Stephanie Ellison Johnson, Clemson, Senior Associate Athletic Director & Senior Woman Administrator
  • Shoshanna Engel, Georgia Tech, Senior Associate Athletic Director for Compliance
  • Jocelyn Fisher Gates, Boston College, Senior Associate Athletic Director & Senior Woman Administrator
  • Reyna Gilbert-Lowry, Virginia Tech, Senior Associate Athletic Director, Student-Athlete Development/SWA
  • Ashton Henderson, Florida State, Assistant Athletic Director, Student-Athlete Development & Leadership
  • Dwight Hollier, North Carolina, Senior Associate Athletic Director, Student-Athlete Health, Well-Being & Program Outreach
  • Shirelle Jackson, Miami, Senior Associate Athletic Director for Student-Athlete Development
  • Fumi Kimura, Pitt, Associate Athletic Director for Administration
  • Jordy Kirr, Clemson, Special Assistant to the Director of Athletics
  • Cricket Lane, North Carolina, Associate Athletic Director/Student-Athlete Development
  • Jenna McLaughlin, NC State, Associate Athletic Director/Chief of Staff
  • Marvin Mitchell, Louisville, Senior Associate Athletic Director/Student Services, Diversity
  • Taren Moore, Duke, Executive Director of Human Resources
  • Patricia Moran, Virginia Tech, Senior Associate Athletic Director, Business and Finance
  • Renae Myles Payne, Miami, Senior Associate AD for Administration
  • Robbi Pickeral Evans, North Carolina, Associate Athletic Director, Strategic Communications/Special Assistant to the AD
  • Rick Steinbacher, North Carolina, Senior Associate Athletic Director, Capital Projects and Facilities
  • Angie Torain, Notre Dame, Senior Associate Athletic Director for Culture, Diversity and Engagement
  • Barbara Walker, Wake Forest, Deputy Athletic Director & SWA
  • Ashley Wechter, Wake Forest, Assistant Athletic Director for Student-Athlete Development
  • Ted White, Virginia, Deputy Athletic Director
  • Brittney Whiteside, Virginia, Executive Associate Athletic Director/SWA
  • Vaughn Williams, Boston College, Senior Associate Athletics Director – Administration
  • Salatha Willis, Syracuse, Associate Athletic Director for Diversity, Culture and Climate

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