BEREA, Ohio – Baldwin Wallace University is proud to introduce this year's list of virtual presentations for the Yellow Jacket Speaker Series. Beginning October 9, the university will host three speakers noted for their activism, advocacy and resilience in presentations towards student-athletes.
"I am happy to be bringing these speaking engagements to our Baldwin Wallace student-athletes," said Head Swimming & Diving Coach and Coordinator of Student Athlete Services Laura Demaline. "Within our student-athlete services group (BW-SAS) we have made efforts each year to provide opportunities for our athletes to improve themselves and their teams. Truly this fall we have hit it out of the park."
The move is an effort to not only continue to engage the student body, but also to promote racial and social activism and have important conversations about issues that are a part of daily life.
"As a campus, this past spring we made a commitment to be participants in positive and necessary changes, to listen and to stand with members of our BW community who have been affected by racial and social injustice," said Demaline. "Within our athletic department, we have felt a responsibility to take important action steps. One way we can do this is to provide opportunities for our student-athletes to learn, but more importantly to engage in these important conversations. With financial support by the NCAA, and our BW administration, we can offer these virtual presentations. As a coaching staff we are excited to continue fulfilling our campus and department commitment to our students."
The series begins on October 9 at 7:00 p.m. with a presentation by Coach Zach Kancher on student-athlete voter engagement. Kancher currently serves as the Associate Head Coach and Recruiting Coordinator of the Division I women's basketball team at Towson University. Kancher is the founder of the SAVE (Student-Athlete Voter Engagement) Alliance, committed to inspiring voter education in college athletic departments across the countries.
Baldwin Wallace will host Kuntrell Jackson on October 22 for a speech about activism and advocacy. Jackson is prison reform advocate, whose incarceration as a 14-year old on a mandatory life sentence without parole, inspired a historic United States Supreme Court ruling that such sentences for children are unconstitutional.
The series will conclude on November 12 with Dr. Tom Watson, a resilience champion. Watson grew up homeless, with drug addicted parents and managed to overcome the odds. Watson was able to be recruited to play football as one of the top recruits in the nation and carried on with his studies to become a doctor.