Elevating Black Leaders in Sport Cohort Convenes in NYC

Last month, we held the first in person convening of ourElevating Black Leaders in Sport cohort in New York City. It was an incredible few days of learning and sharing and provided a chance for us to celebrate the great work of the leaders and their organizations.  

Launched in 2020, Elevating Black Leaders in Sport (EBLS) increases access to sport for Black youth in under-resourced communities by specifically funding and supporting Black Leaders and Black-led sports-based youth development organizations. Thanks to the support of Gatorade and NBC Sports, Laureus USA was able to provide 2-year grants to 8 initial organizations across 4 four cities- New York City, Chicago, Atlanta, and Minneapolis- and form a learning cohort with the 10 leaders of those organizations.  Over the past 18 months, these leaders have been meeting virtually to continue to develop their professional capacities and enhance the important work of their organizations. Collectively this group provides sports and wrap around programming for over 5,000 Black youth in the communities they serve.  

As part of this convening, the EBLS cohort had a chance to learn from Gatorade and Richemont executives about effective and authentic leadership and brainstorm partnership ideas with professional league representatives from the NBA, NFL, MLS and NHL to further enhance accessibility and equity in youth sports. They even had a chance to tour the National Basketball Players Association facilities and play a game of basketball at their indoor court.  

Another highlight of the convening was the group visiting the NBC Sports campus in Stamford, CT and getting a behind-the-scenes look at TV production. Thie visit included a panel with NBCU executives and talent around effective pitching and storytelling and interviews with each of the leaders about how what this initiative has meant to them.  We hope that the Elevating Black Leaders in Sport cohort will take these unique and valuable experiences with them as they head back to their communities and continue to lead their organizations organizations.  

A big thank you to those 10 incredible leaders — Mohamed Magassa, Madimakan Magassa, Travis Seka, McKinley Nelson, Sally Nnamani, LaTeef Pyles, Tony Sanneh, Michael (Mike) A. Shelton, Kelli Stewart, and LaVonte Stewart — for their commitment to this work, willingness to learn from one another, and willingness in sharing their knowledge with us so collectively we can continue to improve the lives of youth and unite communities through the power of sport.  

Watch a video highlight, courtesy of NBCU.

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