HOUSTON – University of Houston Men’s Basketball Head Coach Kelvin Sampson has joined the board of directors for the Advancement of Blacks in Sports (ABIS).
ABIS is a non-profit organization with a mission to connect and inspire people to boldly advocate for racial, social, and economic justice for Blacks in sports. The organization works to foster a culture of equity and inclusion in all aspects of sports.
“I love this message because it is important and it is needed. People cannot be afraid to do the right thing. They cannot be paralyzed by fear,” said Sampson, who has led the Cougars to 139 victories and back-to-back American Athletic Conference championships in six seasons at Houston. “What we are saying here is the right thing to say. Now it just requires our action.”
Since the tragic death of George Floyd, ABIS founder and basketball grassroots coaching legend Gary Charles has identified and partnered with a unique collaborative team of leading African American professionals in sports, music, law and business to assist in the normalization of equal rights and fair treatment of Black people.
Sampson joins a prestigious group of African Americans coaches and social justice activists in the fight for racial equity. ABIS Executive Committee and Board members include: Gary Charles, ABIS Founder; Felicia Hall Allen, Felicia Hall Allen & Associates; Jackie Carson, Furman University; Etop Udo’Ema, director of Compton Magic (Adidas Grassroots Basketball); Nikki Fargas, Louisiana State University; Leonard Hamilton, Florida State University; Rob Lanier, Georgia State; Dave Leitao, DePaul University; Kimberly Morgan, USA Track & Field; Terrell Myers, We R 1(Under Armour Grassroots Basketball); Heather Palmore, Esq. (Quintairos, Prieto, Wood & Boyer, Law Firm); Marquis “Bo” Porter, Bo Porter’s Future All-Stars Development Academy; Dawn Staley, University of South Carolina; Keith Stevens, Team Takeover (Nike Grassroots Basketball); C. Vivian Stringer, Rutgers University; Dr. Deborah Stroman, University of North Carolina; Guy Troupe, Troupe21 & Associates; Ben Crump (Civil Rights Attorney), Michael Hausfeld (Human Rights Attorney), Dr. Richard Lapchick (UCF); Tracy McGrady (Former NBA Player) and Chuck D (Rapper).
“The passing of John Thompson means another American icon has passed away. One of the best ways to honor him is for us to continue the legacy he started. We have not been fully embraced in the board room, had more head coaching positions and been consistently blocked out of revenues earned through contracts specific to athletics,” Charles said. “ABIS seeks to align with student-athletes and other professionals who are willing to use their voices for the betterment of all Blacks in sports. It’s time for advancement!”
Keys to victory for ABIS include economic sustainability, education, grassroots and community outreach, racial equity research, and student athlete engagement. These keys to victory serve as the guiding framework for the elimination of inequitable hiring and retention practices in sports, access to economic opportunities at sporting events for black business owners, increasing awareness of the value of curriculum that teaches African American history, the promotion of civics and voter engagement, assistance with transition of student-athletes from graduation to careers, and the protection of student-athletes during and outside of competition.
For more information, fans can visit weareabis.org.
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