USC announced Tuesday morning that former Los Angeles Sparks head coach Julie Rousseau will chair USC Athletics’ Black Lives Matter Action Team.
The team was established in mid-June by USC Athletic Director Mike Bohn, who said in a letter at the time: “This moment is our call to action. Our shared mission is to confront – head on, together, and with urgency and purpose – the social injustices that are tearing our communities apart. Therefore, today I am establishing a USC Athletics Black Lives Matter Action Team. The charge of this group will be to lead our program through a process of continued listening, learning, and educating with the ultimate goal of developing a series of meaningful and substantive actions and reforms for implementation. In alignment with University initiatives, the USCABLM Action Team will work collaboratively with student-athletes, from our Trojan Athletic Senate to the United Black Student-Athletes Association, to ensure that all voices are equally represented and the actions we take reflect our collective spirit and desire for change. Indeed, this is a time for actions, not words. Our intention is not to take the first action, but rather to take the actions that will deliver sustained, long-term impact and progress.”
Bohn today also announced the steering committee, which features Senior Associate Athletic Director/Senior Woman Administrator Joyce Bell Limbrick, Faculty Athletic Representative Dr. Alan Green, Senior Associate Athletic Director/Director of Student-Athlete Academic Services Dr. Denise Kwok, Deputy Athletic Director Paul Perrier, and Senior Associate Athletic Director/Chief of Staff Brandon Sosna, and will “collaborate with Rousseau on the eventual execution of the actions and reforms identified through the work of the USCABLM Action Team,” according to today’s statement.
A number of other Trojans are involved, as the advisory committee charged with providing ideas and feedback as “representatives of the broader athletics program” includes student-athletes, coaches and staff.
According to the release, it is comprised of:
Student-Athletes (7): Ethan Anderson (Men’s Basketball), Croix Bethune (Women’s Soccer), Desiree Caldwell (Women’s Basketball), Mireille Codjia (Women’s Rowing), Ben Easington (Football), Joy McArthur (Women’s Track and Field), John Thomas (Baseball)
Coaches (8): Aarika Hughes (Women’s Basketball), Jason Hart (Men’s Basketball), Mike Jinks (Football), Kris Kwinta (Men’s Tennis), Keidane McAlpine (Women’s Soccer), Lindsey Munday (Women’s Lacrosse), Jeff Nygaard (Men’s Volleyball), Caryl Smith Gilbert (Track and Field)
Staff (10): Kevin Bolen (Student-Athlete Academic Services), Chanel Buccola (Human Resources), Dylan Firsick (Sports Psychology), Greg Gilbert (Development), Craig Kelley (Marketing), Jordan Moore (Digital Media), De-Neita Peoples (Compliance), Hatcher Parnell (Facilities), Dunford Rodill (Athletic Medicine), Kurtis Schultz (Strength and Conditioning).
Rousseau coached the Sparks and Seattle Storm, as well as at Stanford, Pepperdine and Nevada. She is now an adjunct professor at USC.
“The anger, sadness and desperation that I have heard from our student-athletes has led us to an unrelenting resolve to effect change,” Bohn said in today’s statement. “Our shared mission is to confront – head on, together, and with urgency and purpose – the social injustices that are tearing our communities apart. We all share the same commitment to building an inclusive athletics program that provides our student-athletes with a safe and supportive environment. We stand for justice and embrace a culture of respect for all.”