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ACC Announces Spring Unity Week

GREENSBORO, N.C. ( – As part of the Atlantic Coast Conference’s continued commitment to social justice and racial equity, the league has announced plans for the conference’s Spring Unity Week, which will be held April 18-25.

“The ongoing work and commitment by CORE and our member institutions is incredibly important as we continue the critical conversations and initiatives surrounding racial and social justice,” said ACC Commissioner Jim Phillips. “The lineup of panelists as part of Spring Unity Week will provide thoughtful and necessary dialogue for all.”

The theme for the 2021 ACC Spring Unity Week is ‘Activism Through Sports’ which will be highlighted by notable guests headlining three webinars, and virtual walks across the league’s 15 campuses and in Greensboro, North Carolina, which is home to the conference office, in the coming weeks.

On Tuesday, April 20, the first webinar entitled ‘Activating Your Activism for Transformative Change’ will be held with Dr. Joseph Cooper, Special Advisor for Black Life at UMass Boston. ‘The Call to Activism’ session is slated for Wednesday, April 21 with Ms. Lonita Baker, JD, Attorney for Breonna Taylor as the panelist. ACC athletic directors Heather Lyke, JD (Pitt) and Carla Williams, PhD (Virginia) will speak to ‘The State of Collegiate Athletics’ in the final webinar which will be moderated by Hall of Fame Head Coach and ACC Network analyst Muffet McGraw on Thursday, April 22.

All webinars will begin at 7 p.m. and can be watched after they conclude on the ACC’s YouTube Channel.

ACC Unity Weeks are an initiative of the ACC’s Committee for Racial and Social Justice (CORE – Champions of Racial Equity) and have been developed in conjunction with its 15 member institutions. The league celebrated Unity Week in the fall (Oct. 24-31), winter (Feb. 20-28) and has plans to continue with the initiative in the future.

Each of the ACC’s spring sports are in action during the upcoming Unity Week, including four Olympic Sports Championships – Women’s Golf (April 15-18), Men’s and Women’s Tennis (April 21-25) and Men’s Golf (April 23-26). Baseball, men’s and women’s lacrosse, softball, rowing, men’s and women’s track & field teams are also scheduled to see action that week.

Among the ACC’s initiatives during Unity Weeks:

·    Social Media – All league social handle profile pictures will feature the ACC UNITE logo

·    ACC has provided all student-athletes a UNITE wristband to wear during the week

·    ACC Network – UNITE logo will be included in ACCN television broadcasts, Packer and Durham/ACCN to wear UNITE shirts and wristbands on air

·    Unity Week information and initiatives will be highlighted on the league’s communications platforms

ACC Unity Week Theme – “Activism through Sports”

·    “Activating Your Activism for Transformative Change” – A session with Dr. Joseph Cooper, PhD, Appointed First Special Advisor for Black Life at UMass Boston, moderated by an ACC Network Talent – Tuesday, April 20

·    “The Call to Activism” – A session with Ms. Lonita Baker, JD, Attorney for Breonna Taylor, moderated by ESPN and ACC Network’s Dalen Cuff – Wednesday, April 21

·    “The State of Collegiate Athletics” – A panel with Athletic Directors Heather Lyke, JD (Pitt) and Carla Williams, PhD (Virginia), joined/moderated by Muffet McGraw – Thursday, April 22

·    Each ACC institution is invited to participate in a 1.5 mile Unity Walk on its campus in recognition of the 15 member schools. Photos and video of the Unity Walks will be amplified and shared across ACC social platforms throughout the week.

·    Additionally, in the coming weeks, the conference office will participate in a 1.5 mile Unity Walk along the historic path during the Civil Rights Movement. The walk will begin on the campus of North Carolina A&T and end at the Woolworth building which now houses the International Civil Rights Center & Museum.