Athletics Director Mike Bohn announced via a letter to the USC Trojans family, that he’s created a USC Athletics Black Lives Matter Action Team. There are other initiatives involved to help combat racism and support the Black community.
Bohn’s letter, sent out via social media, states the following:
“Dear Trojan Family,
We have all been so deeply affected the past several weeks by the horrific deaths of George Floyd, Bronna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Rayshard Brooks, and so many others, combined with the demonstrations and unrest throughout our country.
On my first day at USC, I stated my intent to listen, learn and then lead. I’ve learned more in the past few weeks than I ever thought I would. From team and individual Zoom sessions, to Athletic Department Town Hall meetings, and Student-Athlete Voice Surveys, our commitment to that mission in the wake of these senseless tragedies has never been stronger. I’ve heard anger, sadness and desperation from which has emerged an unrelenting resolve to effect change.
All of these combined conversations - listening, learning, educating, empathizing, understanding - will inform and inspire us as we: (1) address the social injustices that impact so many of our student-athletes, (2) embrace the meaning of Black Lives Matter to USC Athletics and our overall University community and (3) stand in solidarity with Black student-athletes, coaches and staff in our program and beyond.
As Dr. Folt stated, this moment is our call to action. Our shared mission is to confront - head on, together, and with urgency and purpose - the social injustices that are tearing our communities apart. Therefore, today I am establishing a USC Athletics Black Lives Matter Action Team. The charge of this group will be to lead our program through a process of continued listening, learning and educating with the ultimate goal of developing a series of meaningful and substantive actions and reforms for implementation. In alignment with University initiatives, the USCABLM Action Team will work collaboratively with student-athletes, from our Trojan Athletic Senate to the United Black Student-Athletes Association, to ensure that all voices are equally represented and the actions we take reflect our collective spirit and desire for change. Indeed, this is a time for actions, not words. Our intention is not to take the first action, but rather to take the actions that will deliver sustained, long-term impact and progress.
This morning I received an email containing a statement from the UBSAA outlining a list of initiatives that are important to our Black student-athletes. I enthusiastically encourage our students to use their platforms to effect change, and we are excited to work together - student-athletes, coaches and staff - to make real and meaningful impact. We all share the same commitment to building an inclusive athletics program that provides our student-athletes with a safe and supportive environment.
There is no family stronger than the Trojan Family, and I believe that, together, we will rise to the occasion this moment demands from us. We will stand for justice and embrace a culture of respect for all.
You can take action at the USC Athletics Black Lives Matter Action Team website — here
You can also read the full statement from the UBSAA — here