Parent Page: Upcoming Events id: 29302 Active Page: “I’m Black Before I’m an Athlete”: College Athlete-Activists and Blackness as a Transformational Forceid:30844

Wednesday, March 8, 2023  |  3:00-4:30 PM Central Time

 (4:00-5:30 PM Eastern, 2:00-3:30 PM Mountain, 1:00-2:30 PM Pacific; convert other time zones here)

Registration: Free  |  Register


Live captions and sign language interpretation provided. Email for assistance.

Webinar Description:

Athlete activism skyrocketed in 2020, in concert with the Black Lives Matter movement that reignited in response to the murder of George Floyd. However, the relationship between social justice and the athletic arena has been highly contested, with the National Collegiate Athletic Associations directly restricting activism via institutional policy. Still, athletes are bringing activism into the arena, and asserting that they are Black people first, not athletes first. Through the examination of a qualitative interview study exploring Black athlete-activists’ motives to protest and perceptions of the risk related to protesting, session participants will discover how an increase in racial identity salience, resulting from the events of 2020, led Black athletes to deprioritize their athletic identity and dismiss the risks activism posed to their athletic careers.

This session will particularly benefit participants who are interested in the intersection of collegiate athletics, social justice, and the development of collegiate athletes. A prominent concern in the field of intercollegiate athletics research is the disproportionately low graduation rates of Black male athletes. Given the ways in which an overly emphasized athletic identity suppresses academic identity and decreases academic success (Adler & Adler, 1991), supporting identity evaluation through engagement with racial justice would positively impact collegiate athletes academic success. This session will discuss the potential for intentional Black identity development to be utilized as a tool for increasing the academic success of Black athletes.

Additionally, this session will highlight the importance of Black identity development for Black college athletes, while also identifying the potential for the NCAA and athletic departments to harm that development through race-evasive, anti-activist policies. Participants will be compelled to re-examine how Black athletes in their institution are siloed and will leave this session motivated to build bridges between relevant departments and the athletic department. For non-athletic higher education professionals, this session will inspire a new understanding of college athletes and their needs. Athletes are often seen as an elite privileged group; this session will dispel that myth, making clear the racialized experiences of Black college athletes. 


Dresden Frazier, MA, University of San Francisco Literacy Program Manager, Leo T. McCarthy Center for Public Service and the Common Good and PhD student at University of California Riverside, Riverside (UCR) & San Francisco (USF), CA

presenter Dresden Frazier-Smith

Dresden June Frazier is a scholar-activist committed to humanizing education through love, justice, joy, and rest. She is originally from San Luis Obispo, California where she received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. While at Cal Poly, Dresden was a walk-on Division I Track and Field Athlete competing in the 100-meter hurdles. At the University of San Francisco, Dresden manages Engage San Francisco Literacy, a K-5 tutoring program partnering with the Western Addition neighborhood of San Francisco. Under her leadership the program has increased its emphasis on learning and unlearning, teaching tutors to deconstruct the savior narratives that occur in community engagement or service work. Dresden also received her Master's Degree in Higher Education and Student Affairs from USF. Currently, she is pursuing her doctorate in Higher Education Administration and Policy at University of California, Riverside. Her research centers the racial identity development of Black college athletes. She seeks to humanize the experiences of Black athletes on college campuses, allowing them to step out of the singular identity prescribed to them by society, and instead define themselves in whatever way they see fit.  


Important Details:

  • Download the latest version of Zoom on your device BEFORE the webinar begins. Launch and sign into Zoom, click on your profile picture (top right corner) and select Check for Updates. 
  • A recording will be sent to registrants approximately one week after the webinar.


Questions? Email