Honors Program Rapid Response Salon on COVID-19: Racism, Athletic Activism, the Sports Industry


Contributed by Patricia Zimmermann

Friday, October 16 
11 AM in Eastern Daylight Time (US and Canada)



Kevin Blackistone, ESPN Panelist / Sports Journalist

Ramogi Huma, Executive Director @National College Players Association

Dr. Ellen Staurowsky, Professor, Sports Media, Roy H. Park School of Communications, Ithaca College

Moderated by Jon Gregory ’10, Associate Director, Alumni and Family Engagement

In partnership with the Ithaca College Honors program, join our faculty, alumni, and community experts in our latest Rapid Response Salon conversation that focuses on racism, athletic activism, and the sports industry during the COVID-19 pandemic. Hear their insights in an engaging live format meant to provide expert commentary.


Kevin Blackistone
ESPN Panelist / Sports Journalist / U. Of Maryland Visiting Professor

Kevin Blackistone is a longtime national sports columnist now at The Washington Post, a panelist on ESPN’s “Around the Horn,” a contributor to National Public Radio and co-author of A Gift for Ron, a memoir by former NFL star Everson Walls published in November 2009 that details his kidney donation to one-time teammate Ron Springs. Blackistone is a recipient of numerous awards, including awards for sports writing from the Texas Associated Press Managing Editors, for investigative reporting from the Chicago Newspaper Guild, and for enterprise reporting from the National Association of Black Journalists. Blackistone was a Wharton Business Journalism Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania. He was a Martin Luther King Fellow at Boston University as a grad student. Blackistone is on the board of directors of the Society for Features Journalism Foundation and he serves on the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication’s Task Force on Recruiting for Academic Diversity.

Ramogi Huma
Executive Director @National College Players Association

NCPA Executive Director Ramogi Huma became an advocate for college athletes' rights while playing football for UCLA when he founded a student group to give college athletes the means to voice their concerns and secure basic protections in NCAA sports. He started the organization after witnessing the NCAA suspend his All American teammate for eating groceries that were left anonymously on his doorstep when he had no food, and after being informed that the NCAA prevented colleges from paying for medical expenses for injuries that occurred during summer workouts. Huma has advocated for college athletes’ rights in countless media outlets including ESPN, Fox Sports, CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, CBS, ABC, NBC, 60 Minutes, Sports Illustrated, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and NPR. Huma was featured in TIME magazine's 12 New Faces of Black Leadership in 2015, was ranked 13th of College Football's 25 Most Intriguing People in Suits in 2014 by Yahoo! Sports.


Dr. Ellen Staurowsky
Professor, Sports Media @Roy H. Park School of Communications, Ithaca College

Staurowsky is internationally recognized as an expert on social justice issues in sport which include gender equity and Title IX, pay equity and equal employment opportunity, college athletes’ rights and the exploitation of college athletes, the faculty role in reforming college sport, representation of women in sport media, and the misappropriation of American Indian imagery in sport. She is co-author of the book, College Athletes for Hire: The Evolution and Legacy of the NCAA Amateur Myth (Praeger Press) and editor/author of Women and Sport: A Continuing Journey from Liberation to Celebration (Human Kinetics Publishers). As a teacher and researcher, she has received numerous honors including the Women’s Sports Foundation Researcher of the Year award, the National Association for Girls and Women in Sport’s President’s Award, the University of South Carolina College Sport Research Institute’s Lifetime Research Achievement Award, and the Laughlin Education Award from Ursinus College