DifCon series tackles ‘Taking a Knee’

UB panelists will lead conversation about contemporary controversies in sports

UB will begin the year’s Difficult Conversations series with “Taking a Knee,” a talk centered around kneeling for the national anthem, culturally offensive mascots and language in sports.

“Taking a Knee and Other Issues of Speech and Expression in Sports” goes from 10 a.m. until 12 p.m. on Oct. 18 in 10 Capen Hall, presented by the Office of Inclusive Excellence, the School of Law and the Division of Athletics.

Nellie Drew, adjunct professor in the School of Law, and Kathy Twist, senior associate athletic director, will moderate the discussion.

Panelists include members from across the university: Michael Schwartz, UB law student; Devon Patterson, vice president of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee; James Jarvis, associate counsel; Rhianna Rogers, associate professor of interdisciplinary studies at Empire State College; and Donald Grinde, director of graduate studies in the Department of Transnational Studies.

The Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion began hosting the DifCon series in 2015 as a way for students, faculty and staff to discuss controversial topics looming over campus and around the country.

Their next event, “Cultural Appropriation: DIFCON meets ‘Project Runway’” will be held on Oct. 24 from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in 228 Student Union.

Sarah Crowley is the senior news editor and can be reached at sarah.crowley@ubspectrum.com