Skip to main content

Although we are excited to have our fellows back on campus and working in Byerly Hall, Harvard Radcliffe Institute programs remain primarily virtual as we continue to monitor the coronavirus pandemic. See Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information and Updates.

Events & exhibitions
event • Conferences & Symposia

Game Changers: Sports, Gender, and Society

  • Friday, April 7, 2017
  • Knafel Center
    10 Garden Street
    Cambridge, MA 02138
Christine Brennan and Laila Ali sit on stage in conversation. Ali turns towards the audience and smiles.
Laila Ali, four-time undefeated super-middleweight boxing world champion, fitness and wellness expert, and author, at "Game Changers: Sports, Gender, and Society." Photo by Kevin Grady/Radcliffe Institute

The degree to which sports—broadly defined—permeates societies and cultures has never been greater, making it a revealing lens through which to understand many contemporary issues. The Radcliffe Institute conference “Game Changers: Sports, Gender, and Society” will explore the relationship between sports and gender in the United States and around the world.

The conference begins on the evening of Thursday, April 6, with an arts performance and conversation about Toni Stone, whose unprecedented athletic career had an impact on the struggle for equality and social justice in Jim Crow America.

The program features a staged reading of scenes from the play Toni Stone by playwright Lydia R. Diamond RI ’13, based on the book Curveball: The Remarkable Story of Toni Stone, the First Woman to Play Professional Baseball in the Negro League by historian Martha Ackmann RI ’09.

The program on Friday, April 7, consists of panel discussions with athletes, business leaders, coaches, physicians, policy makers, and scholars on the topics of access and inclusion, health and medical research, and media and popular culture. The day will feature a conversation with Laila Ali, the four-time undefeated super-middleweight boxing world champion, fitness and wellness expert, and author.

#gamechangers

Event Videos

The actors Cheo Bourne, Jason Bowen, Ugo Chukwu, Taavon Gamble, Nambi E. Kelley, Omar Robinson, Kyle Vincent Terry, and Joe Wilson Jr. perform on stage in

Toni Stone | Panel Discussion


FEATURING

Martha Ackmann, journalist and author, The Mercury 13: The True Story of Thirteen Women and the Dream of Space Flight and Curveball


Lydia R. Diamond, playwright, Huntington Theatre Company/Broadway's Stick Fly and Smart People


Nambi E. Kelley, actor (role of Toni Stone)


Megan Sandberg-Zakian, director-in-residence, Merrimack Repertory Theatre


Moderated by Sean O’Donnell, associate director of Academic Ventures, Radcliffe Institute.

Susan Ware, Donna A. Lopiano, Anita L. DeFrantz, and Stephanie Wheeler sit at a panel table in conversation.

Who Gets to Play?


WELCOMING REMARKS

Lizabeth Cohen, dean, Radcliffe Institute; Howard Mumford Jones Professor of American Studies, Department of History, Harvard University


WHO GETS TO PLAY?

Donna A. Lopiano (15:22​), president, Sports Management Resources; former chief executive officer, Women’s Sports Foundation


Anita L. DeFrantz (29:58​), member, International Olympic Committee; former president, LA84 Foundation; 1976 Olympic bronze medalist (rowing)


Stephanie Wheeler (43:36​), head coach, women’s wheelchair basketball, University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign; 2004 and 2008 Paralympic gold medalist (women’s wheelchair basketball)


Moderated by Susan Ware (10:55​), general editor, American National Biography

Parissa Safai sits at a panel table and smiles.

Gender, Sports, and Health/Wellness


Brian Hainline, senior vice president, Sports Science Institute; chief medical officer, National Collegiate Athletic Association; clinical professor of neurology, NYU School of Medicine and Indiana University School of Medicine


Travis T. Tygart, chief executive officer, US Anti-Doping Agency


Parissa Safai, associate professor, Faculty of Health, York University


Moderated by Cheri A. Blauwet, assistant professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation, Harvard Medical School, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital/Brigham and Women’s Hospital; 2004 Paralympic gold medalist (800m, track and field)

Christine Brennan and Laila Ali sit on stage in conversation. Ali turns towards the audience and smiles.

Conversation with Laila Ali


KEYNOTE CONVERSATION

Laila Ali, four-time undefeated super-middleweight boxing world champion, fitness and wellness expert, and author


Christine Brennan, national sports columnist, USA Today; commentator, ABC News, CNN, PBS NewsHour, and NPR's Morning Edition; author


Introduction by Yukio Lippit, Johnson-Kulukundis Family Faculty Director of the Arts, Radcliffe Institute; professor of history of art and architecture, Harvard University

Rachael Miyung Joo stands at a podium speaking.

Gender, Media, and Popular Culture


Michael Messner, professor of sociology and gender studies, University of Southern California


Rachael Miyung Joo, assistant professor of American studies, Middlebury College


Kavitha A. Davidson, writer, espnW; contributor, ESPN the Magazine and ESPN.com


Moderated by Mary Jo Kane, professor in the School of Kinesiology, Director of the Tucker Center for Research on Girls & Women in Sport, University of Minnesota

More Events & Exhibitions

01 / 08
Back to top