After the team released a statement some weeks ago to condemn”racism, violence, prejudice, and bigotry in all its forms,” the Los Angeles Lakers team have announced some new moves that will be put in place to support their mission to encourage positive social change.
The team took to Twitter on Thursday to announce the hiring of Dr. Karida Brown, a Ph.D. candidate at Brown University in the Sociology Department, as the new team’s director in charge of racial equity and action, they also announced that the team, as well as the staff, will take Friday off to recognize Juneteenth. Dr. Karida Brown is an assistant professor of American studies and sociology at the University of California, Los Angeles, and she is also an oral historian.
Dr. Brown will be in charge of educating the team on racial equity
Brown will be in charge of educating the Lakers staff and team mainly about the issues that the black and brown people face in the United States of America and to make the team’s outreach efforts so much easier to fight systematic racism, “We are very happy to have Dr. Brown join the team,” said Tim Harris, Lakers chief operating officer and president of business operations, in a statement. “She will play a key role in implementing educational programming on race and racism for our employees and helping us focus on racial equity in our day-to-day functions, as well as empowering the organization to identify ways to be more active participants in affecting real change.”
Tim Harris, the Los Angeles Lakers COO and president of business operations and an Alumnus of the University of California, Los Angeles’ sociology program, was connected with Dr. Karida Brown after he had reached out to his former school’s sociology department to find out if they had anyone on staff who could assist the Los Angeles Lakers in navigating the racial tensions of the times.
They had a dialogue before she was hired.”That set of conversations led to my question, ‘Is the Lakers a non-racist organization or an anti-racist organization?'” Brown shared on a video conference call with reporters Friday. “And I was super happy when Tim responded, ‘You know what, we hadn’t necessarily thought about it in those terms. But I can say that we are aspirationally anti-racist.’
“And I get excited by that because, in that statement, there was so much that recognizes that there is this aspiration, but that’s a process to get there.”
Her focus will be with the Lakers team rather than the front office members
Dr. Karida Brown had earlier said that she would mainly be working with the Lakers team, which is made up of 150 employees rather than the front office members, coaches, and players individually. However, she revealed that she would be putting moves in place to be a “resource to everyone in the Lakers family.”
Questions were thrown at her about some NBA players that included Lakers center Dwight Howard and guard Avery Bradley, who seemed to be in an attempt to draw the spotlight or attention away from the Black lives matter movement when they raised concerns about kick-starting the season in Orlando Florida. However, she stated that she had not had the opportunity to tackle that topic with the roster just yet.
“I don’t know enough yet to have a strong opinion either way,” she said. “But again, coming back to that point, I’m not surprised that there’s such a variety of responses, particularly from black players who are leaders in their communities and at the forefront of these issues as well.”
According to a team spokesperson on Thursday, Dr. Karida Brown participated in a group call with the organization and has plans of spearheading the regular town-hall-type discussions I the team somewhere soon.
The Los Angeles Lakers, on Friday, are encouraging the team staff to use their period off on Juneteenth to educate themselves further on the current state of race relations and history in the United States said a team spokesperson. Friday will make it 155 years since slavery was ended effectively in the U.S… On June 19, 1865.
As part of the time off, the Lakers have plans of organizing several charitable outreach efforts like donating iPads to 4wrd Progress, Watts Skills Academy, Crete Academy, and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Metro L.A. with more than 1900 youths.