One America Community Efforts
Little Bar

Program: Northeastern University's Center for the Study of Sport in Society , Boston, MA
Contact(s): Richard E. Lapchick, Director: (617) 373-4025
Purpose: To increase awareness of sport and its relation to society, while identifying problems, offering solutions, and promoting the benefits of sport

Background Program Operations Outcomes


The Center for the Study of Sport in Society (CSSS) has played a pioneering role in the issue of race and sport in America and is at the forefront of creating an equal playing field for all sports people, regardless of color. Using sport as a platform to improve race relations in society, CSSS was founded in 1984 by Richard E. Lapchick, whose leadership in battling apartheid in South Africa and educating people on issues of race and sport in America have brought him international acclaim.

Program Operations

CSSS operates several programs that focus specifically on race and sport. The organization's most acclaimed program, Project TEAMWORK (PT) works with young people to provide skills that increase understanding among races, while decreasing violence and conflict. For example, participants work with elementary and secondary students on conflict resolution, cultural diversity and gender violence prevention workshops. Another program, Athletes in Service to America, is a national community service program that places college student-athletes in mentoring roles. (Athletes in Service to America receive funding from the AmeriCorps program.) A third program, the TEAMWORK Leadership Institute, has performed diversity training and management for 35 college athletic departments, as well as the entire National Basketball Association. Lastly, SportsCAP is a coalition of professional organizations helping to open doors of opportunity within the sports industry to women and people of color. CSSS publishes a number of reports and publications that provide a rich history of the issue of race and sport. They focused on racial attitudes, stereotypes, and the inequality of educational opportunities provided to African American and white student athletes. CSSS also issues an Annual Racial Report Card that monitors the disparities between the diversity on playing fields and the lack of diversity in team front offices and college athletic departments.

Outcomes and Significant Accomplishments

Since 1990, the TEAMWORK Leadership Institute has worked with more than 150,000 New England area youth. The Institute was honored in 1993 with the Peter F. Drucker Award for the most innovative nonprofit program in the social sector. In 1995 and 1996, CSSS was also chosen as the President's model for National Service in the area of violence prevention, receiving a $1 million grant each year.

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