Soolmaz - Ali Center Presentation


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Soolmaz - Ali Center Presentation

  1. 1. Educational Institutions… Athletes… Social Change…Soolmaz AbooaliMuhammad Ali CenterLouisville, KYMarch 29-30
  2. 2. Examples Muhammad Ali   Athlete, political, and social force Gholamreza Takhti  Athlete, political and social force Mia Hamm  Athlete, social force Dikembe Mutombo  Athlete, social force
  3. 3. Operationalizing Terms Athlete:  Mind – “I will”  Body – “I can”  Spirit – “I am” Social Change: an alteration in the social order of a society.  At the base is change in the human thought process
  4. 4. “Athlete” + “Social Change” Through sport, the athlete is required to engage in thought processes - as an individual first - in order to be successful  For example, “I will”, “I can”, and “I am” require analysis and reflection Athletes are thus trained and equipped with the skills to ask who, what, when, where, and why- the questions that lead to personal change, new insights, and ideas Mind-Body-Spirit Connection directly linked to Thought-processes that generate ideas
  5. 5. Questions: Should athletes even advocate anything beyond their respective sport? Why don’t we see more athletes engaged beyond the playing field?Answer: Absolutely. Athletes qualify as human beings with fundamental rights. Lack of 1) space 2) guidance on how to effectively engage
  6. 6. Utilizing Educational Institutions: The Athlete’s Court Away from Court Education as key to: (World Bank data) - Creating  Theory, Idea level - Applying  Praxis level - Spreading knowledge  Transformation levelOther key phrases related to education and social change:Reducing poverty and inequality, dynamic and democratic societies,sustained economic growth, critical thinkingEducational institutions as safe space to develop ideas thataddress key elements above
  7. 7. Initiatives Watson Institute for International Studies, Brown University  Sport and Development Project: change the way we define sport and how to enhance its role in community development University of Tennessee at Knoxville  Center for Sport, Peace, and Society: cultural understanding, to enhance student learning, to improve community welfare, and to foster social change. School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution, George Mason University  Sport and Peace: Scholar-Athlete Initiatives: media platform that highlights individuals and research in the sport, peacebuilding, development and sport diplomacy fields.
  8. 8. Case Study Israeli-Palestinian basketball youth group at the School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution, GMU  Purpose: emphasize leadership skills through sport/martial arts that transfer into life  Theory: identity, narratives, dialogue, conflict analysis  Praxis: martial arts drills focusing on building trust, emotional stability, energy exchange  Transformation: From skepticism to a hug
  9. 9. Moving Forward Merging Theory & Praxis:  Universities (Theory) = idea development  Fieldwork (Praxis) = transformations play out Creation of an Athletes for Social Change Association:  Promote and oversees theory & praxis in curriculum development  Create inter-disciplinary space for research, critical analysis, and exchanges  Leverage public-private partnerships between universities, corporations, non-profit, media, and governments
  10. 10. Key Messages To change social order, athletes must move toward becoming Scholar-Athletes Merge Theory & Praxis at university space that allows for thought processes/ideas to be developed Athletes for Social Change Association:  An interdisciplinary entity that helps develop curriculum, research, and public-private partnerships
  11. 11. Thank you 