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Annual conversation on business, race and sports to feature sports writer, K Club leaders

Thursday, February 07, 2019

LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas School of Business, the Langston Hughes Center and Kansas Athletics will present “The Power of Sport: A Conversation on Business, Race and Sports” at 6 p.m. Feb. 21 in the Burge Union.

The fifth annual event will feature a keynote address from sports writer and columnist Kavitha Davidson as well as a panel discussion with former KU student-athletes Beth Llewellyn and Eric Patterson.

Shawn Alexander, professor of African & African-American studies and director of the Langston Hughes Center, said the world of sport allows for discussion about various issues, including corporate power, race, gender, homophobia, urban planning, health and labor.

“Sport continues to be an inroad for us to talk about issues that play out on the American and world stage, including ideas of power, inclusion, discrimination and protest,” Alexander said.

“For the past four years, KU has been at the forefront of this discussion with its annual symposium, and we look forward to continuing in a leadership role with this year’s spectacular event.”

Davidson is a New York-based journalist who served as a weekly columnist and feature writer for espnW and ESPN the Magazine. She previously wrote a daily sports column for Bloomberg with a heavy focus on the intersection of sports and business, culture, race and gender.

Past events featured keynote addresses from award-winning sports writer and ESPN news editor Claire Smith; sports sociologist Harry Edwards; The Nation’s sports editor and author Dave Zirin; and author and former New York Times sports columnist William Rhoden.

The keynote address will follow a discussion with Llewellyn and Patterson. Llewellyn lettered in field hockey and track & field at KU, and she currently serves as vice president of the board of directors for K Club, a network of former KU student-athletes. Patterson was a member of KU’s track & field and football teams and serves as the board’s president.

This year’s co-sponsors include the Office of the Provost, KU Alumni Association, the Sport Management program and the KU departments of African & African-American Studies and Health, Sport & Exercise Sciences.

The event is free and open to the public, but registration is required to attend.

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