For the first time, the USTA will be hosting the sixth annual Sports Diversity & Inclusion Symposium, Aug. 30-31, during the 2017 US Open.
The symposium is the annual conference of the Diversity and Inclusion in Sports Consortium (DISC), with meetings and events to be held at The Westin Grand Central Hotel in New York.
The symposium is presented by the members of DISC, which include, MiLB, MLB, MLS, NASCAR, NBA, NCAA, NFL, NHL, PGA of America, PGA Tour, RISE, USOC, USTA and You Can Play, as well as US Open broadcast sponsor ESPN, highlighting D&I best practices in the sports industry.
This year’s theme will be “Dispelling the Myths: Diversity in Sports is a Winning Business Strategy.” Attendees will gather to discuss various topics that focus on amplifying the business case for Diversity and Inclusion, and how the value of D&I supports business success in the sports industry.
Attendees include Diversity & Inclusion practitioners, leaders of the DISC member organizations, leaders from sports business partners and related companies, and New York-based corporate D&I leaders.
“On behalf of the USTA’s Diversity and Inclusion department, I want to welcome all of this year’s symposium attendees, D&I leaders and panel participants to the US Open,” said D.A. Abrams, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, USTA. “We are proud to gather and share best practices on utilizing Diversity and Inclusion to not only grow and expand our sports, but use D&I as a key strategy to ultimately succeed in our business units.”
The symposium will also focus on the celebration of the 45th anniversary of the Title IX Statute of the Education Amendments of 1972, hosted by the USTA. Title IX states that "No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance." The statue has had an immutable impact on the world of sports, especially for women.
Later that evening, USTA Chairman of the Board, CEO and President Katrina Adams will host a panel in celebration of the 45th anniversary of Title IX to be held on the US Open grounds. Tennis Hall of Famer Billie Jean King and “Good Morning America” co-anchor Robin Roberts will participate in the panel discussion. Adams, King and Roberts will discuss the historic impact Title IX has had on women in sports, on and off the playing fields. The event is set to take place just prior to the evening matches and will be held in the Chase Center.
“I am delighted and honored to lead the panel on Title IX and share the stage with two of the most iconic women in sports and broadcasting,” said Adams. “This year’s attendees are in store for an in-depth discussion on the impact of this amendment and how it helped to foster a path that led to opportunities for women to play any sport they choose without fear of discrimination. I wouldn’t have achieved the heights I’ve accomplished on the court, or in my current role in leading USTA, without Title IX.”