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Sports protest experts to speak at URI Honors Colloquium on Nov. 15

Media Contact: Dave Lavallee, 401-874-5862

KINGSTON, R.I. -- November 7, 2005 -- Martha Burk and Richard Lapchick, two leading experts on political protest in sports, will address the University of Rhode Island Honors Colloquium on Tuesday, Nov. 15.

Their talk will be given at 7 p.m. in the Chafee Social Science Center, Barry Marks Auditorium, Room 271. It is free and open to the public.

The presentation is part of this fall’s colloquium, “Contemporary Sport: Healthy Pursuit or Obsession,” which is examining some of the most important issues relating to sport and society.

Burk is the chair of the National Council of Women’s Organizations, a network of more than 200 groups representing 10 million women. As the co-founder and president of the Center for Advancement of Public Policy, she led a protest effort in 2003 against the Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Ga., for its discriminatory membership practices. As of 2003, no woman had ever been invited to join the club, which hosts the Masters Golf Tournament.

The author of the recently published book, Cult of Power: Sex Discrimination in Corporate America and What Can Be Done About It, Burk has been featured in People magazine, USA Today, and The Washington Post. She has appeared on numerous television programs including NBC’s “Today Show,” ABC’s “World News Tonight,” and HBO’s “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel.”

Richard Lapchick, the director of the DeVos Sport Business Management Program at the University of Central Florida, and the founder and director emeritus of the Center of Sport in Society at Northeastern University, has been cited as the most influential person in the movement to use sport as a means of protest against apartheid in South Africa. For more than 20 years he was the American leader of an international sports campaign to boycott the country, and as a result was one of 200 special guests invited to Nelson Mandela’s inauguration. In 1993, he launched an initiative called TEAMWORK-South Africa designed to use sports as a catalyst to improve development and race relations.

The initiative was created as an addition to the Center’s successful Project TEAMWORK, which was designed to ensure education for athletes on topics such as race relations, conflict resolution, and gender violence prevention. Lapchick is the author of 10 books and more than 450 articles. He has received numerous awards, including the Ralph Bunche International Peace Award and the Jean Mayer Global Citizenship Award. The Boston Celtics also named him a “Hero Among Us” in 1999.

Major sponsors of the colloquium are The Providence Journal, Theta Chi Fraternity, URI Honors Program, URI President’s Office, Institute for International Sport, URI Office of the Provost, URI College of Arts and Sciences, URI College of Business Administration, and the URI Division of University Advancement.

Co-sponsors are the URI Department of Athletics, Multicultural Center, College of Nursing, College of Human Science and Services, College of Pharmacy, Office of Student Affairs, and the Women’s Studies Program.

For more information, visit www.uri.edu/hc or contact the URI Honors Center at 401-874-2381 or debg@uri.edu.

The Honors Program at URI offers learning enrichment opportunities that broaden and enhance the undergraduate educational experience. The program features small classes, a nationally renowned honors colloquium, national scholarship advising, and in-depth study and research with select faculty mentors. URI students must maintain a minimum 3.2 grade-point average to continue participation.

Open access to the Honors Program continues for qualified students throughout their undergraduate years. About 900 URI students participate in the Honors Program. About 60 students are participating in the Honors Colloquium companion course this fall.