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Athletes Using Their Power (A4)

Now more than ever, student-athletes use their platforms to speak out about the injustices in our country. As they strive for a more inclusive world, they are looking to their institutions’ athletic departments and communities to evaluate their polices, identify change opportunities and be leaders in fighting against injustices.

Our mission in leadership development is to educate and empower student-athletes, coaches, and athletics administrators through transformative experiences that develop effective leaders, cultivate an inclusive community and enhance the college sports landscape.

In alignment with this mission, NCAA leadership development has created a four-part virtual series that will educate student-athletes on the power they have and how they can use it to effectively enact meaningful change. Weekly sessions will be engaging and center on action, preparing student-athletes to be effective change leaders on campus and within their communities.  

Sessions will take place at 6 p.m. EST and run for 90 minutes on Sundays throughout the month of August. Each topic will be led by subject matter experts and/or practitioners. Registration links will be available the Monday prior to each session in the program schedule below. Participants will only be able to register for one session at a time. All sessions will be recorded and posted following their completion.

This virtual program is accessible only to student-athletes. Only student-athletes will be eligible to register to attend the program meetings and we ask that no coaches or administrators are present with student-athletes when they tune in to A4. There is a plan to hold a similar program for administrators and coaches in the coming months, but we ask that the August series remains solely student-athlete participants.

Program schedule:

Address Difficult Conversations

Participants will gain a skillset to effectively address issues of injustice and inequality that they observe or face within their daily lives. Registered attendees will explore how they can start the conversation on these topics, different approaches to discussing difficult subjects and the role of identity in addressing these issues. Facilitators will create a brave space for participants to engage with peers around their experiences, emphasizing listening and learning from one another.

Activism for the Student-Athlete

Athletes have stood on the frontlines of protests surrounding racial inequality, with examples in college sports including kneeling for the National Anthem and refusing to partake in donor events and workouts. It is evident that activism takes various forms. During this session, participants will learn what is activism, how it plays a role in sports and how they can use their voice to create change within their teams, campuses and communities. Participants will hear from a panel of student-athlete activists about their experiences, triumphs and challenges.

Allyship Best Practices

Allyship is a critical to support many different groups and individuals, but the term is often misused and misunderstood. During this session, participants will learn what allyship looks like and how they can show up as an ally. The participants will gain an understanding of the importance of self-awareness, education and empathy as it relates to allyship.

Action Sustainability

Participants will engage in conversation on how they can best make this a movement and not a moment in history. This session will talk about the importance and power of voting, continuous education and changing culture so that diversity, inclusion, equity, and justice are imbedded into the institution and community’s structure.


For more information about the A4 programming series, please contact us at