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‘Their work will continue’: NBA players prioritizing social justice initiatives over symbolic protests next season

Amid uncertainty on when and how the next NBA season will start, the league’s players remain certain of one thing.

After spending the season restart addressing systemic racism with words and actions, they have no intentions of confining their activism to the bubble.

David Leonard.

“One will hope that no matter the outcome, the organizing and demands for change continue,” said David Leonard, a professor in the School of Languages, Cultures, and Race at Washington State University who teaches classes on the politics of sports and is the author of After Artest: The NBA and the Assault on Blackness.

“There’s a danger that if Biden wins, there’s this belief that everything is going to change or everything will become perfect. But the issues surrounding criminal justice and police reforms, these are longstanding and institutionalized that transcend any single moment,” Leonard said. “Though the election clearly matters, what happens after the election is also important.”

Among the plans to continue the movement after Nov. 3, owners of all 30 NBA teams how vowed to contribute a total of $30 million each year for the next 10 years to the NBA Foundation. The NBA and NBPA plan to have ongoing talks on how teams can improve diversity among the coaching, front office and ownership ranks, as well as ensure greater inclusion of Black-owned and operated businesses at team events.

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USA Today

Everett’s Cheyenna Clearbrook takes part in reality series ‘Deaf U’ on Netflix

Cheyenna Clearbrook.

Everett’s Cheyenna Clearbrook was already a social-media maven before Netflix came calling. But now her online influencer status may be poised to grow beyond her 23,000 Instagram followers and 114,000 YouTube channel subscribers, with the premiere of “Deaf U.”

“I grew up mainstream so I’m used to being with the hearing population and culture,” she says. “I didn’t have a lot of access to deaf culture until I entered Gallaudet. And then I was able to see the invisible bubble of security in everyone understanding each other. I got used to it and I identified as a deaf person, but in leaving Gallaudet, I realized it’s a different world.”

Currently enrolled at Washington State University and anticipating a December graduation with a major in humanities, Clearbook is a 2017 graduate of Edmonds-Woodway High School. She says with on-camera experience on her close-captioned YouTube Channel, she was better prepared for filming “Deaf U.”

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Seattle Times
Pop Sugar

Enhancing research, creative activity in the arts and humanities

Eleven of Washington State University’s most innovative scholars and artists have been selected for faculty fellowships and mini-grants from the Center for Arts and Humanities (CAH) and the Office of Research.

Todd Butler.

“We are excited to support faculty as they advance not only their academic fields but also the communities we serve,” said Todd Butler, director of the center, associate dean in the College of Arts and Sciences, and professor of English.

Funded by a five-year commitment from the Office of Research and its strategic research investment program, the center’s grant programs strengthen and enhance research and creative endeavors across WSU. Any faculty member pursuing arts and humanities-related work, regardless of rank or home department, is eligible to apply.

“This year, almost all of the arts and humanities departments—as well as associated faculty working in the social sciences—were represented in the proposals submitted, testifying to the ongoing vitality and reach of these disciplines at Washington State University,” said Butler.

Reflecting upon her CAH experience, School of Music instructor and 2019 faculty fellow Melissa Parkhurst said, “The CAH Faculty Fellowship put me in regular communication with a group of dedicated interdisciplinary scholars. I gained a vital support network, valuable feedback, and ideas for future projects.”

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WSU Insider

Controversial NBA Analyst Reveals Why Charles Barkley Is a Legend [VIDEO]

Charles Barkley has the coolest job in the world. Every Thursday, the Naismith Hall of Famer appears on telvision via Turner Sports’ Inside the NBA alongside Ernie Johnson, Kenny “The Jet” Smith, and Shaquille O’Neal.

David Leonard.

“Charles has created a persona where he has positioned himself as outside the mainstream, where he is seen as a rebel who says what he wants, who challenges the status quo, yet when you look beyond the surface, he really is in line with mainstream values,” Dr. David J. Leonard, a professor in the Department of Languages, Cultures, and Race Studies at Washington State University, Pullman told me.

“He often laments ‘today’s players,’ he waxes nostalgically about his era and he condemns the destructiveness ‘political correctness.’ In part because he has long been positioned as anti-Michael Jordan and in part because of his ‘I am not a role model’ commercials, but he has successfully constructed himself as oppositional and a man who marches to his own drum with respect to race, social issue and cultural debates.”

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Would resuming or halting the NBA season help the league’s efforts to fight racial inequality?

In recent seasons, NBA players have refused to just shut up and dribble. With the NBA slated to start next month in the middle of a pandemic and racial strife, however, is it time for players to stop dribbling so the bouncing ball does not drown out their voice?

David Leonard.

“I don’t think playing the season necessarily has a positive or a negative affect,” said David Leonard, professor in the School of Languages, Cultures, and Race, at Washington State University. He teaches classes on politics of sports and wrote the book, “After Artest: The NBA and the Assault on Blackness.” “People can make an argument that each space can be used and leveraged toward shining a spotlight on racism and police violence,” Leonard said.

“Even if there are no games going on, their voices and their platforms are still big,” Leonard said. “The power in their voices transcend the game.”

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USA Today