Equality Lounge®, powered by the Cleveland Browns, Greater Cleveland Sports Commission, Velocity, and The Female Quotient

The Equality Lounge® is a pop-up space where leaders convene for panel conversations, brand activations, and strategic collaboration. Curated by The Female Quotient. Learn more about the Equality Lounge® and the Female Quotient Here. All of the speaker sessions will be available both virtually and on-site at the Summit. You can revisit all the discussions below by pressing the button next to each topic.

Thursday April 29, 2021

12:00 PM - 12:45 PM

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Cleveland Browns Stay in the Game! Network
Student attendance is foundational to student success. The pandemic has negatively affected preK-12 student attendance. Chronic absenteeism has increased in both urban and rural school districts, and many students face new barriers. A unique set of partners—the Browns, Ohio Department of Education, Proving Ground at Harvard University and others—has teamed up to work with schools to increase student attendance, close equity gaps and support whole child success. Join these partners in a conversation about how the Stay in the Game! Network is boosting student attendance and changing
  • Speaker: Dave Hersh, Director, Proving Ground
  • Speaker: Dee Haslam, CEO, Haslam Sports Group
  • Speaker: Paolo DeMaria, State Superintendent, Ohio Department of Education
  • Speaker: Lori Criss, Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services
  • Moderator: Christopher Quinn, Editor and Vice President, Content, Cleveland.com and The Plain Dealer

1:00 PM - 1:45 PM

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Cleveland Browns Stay in the Game! Network in Action
  • Speaker: Dr. Henry Pettiegrew II, CEO & Superintendent, East Cleveland City School District
  • Speaker: Eric Gordon, CEO & Superintendent, Cleveland Metropolitan School District
  • Speaker: Pete Dunn, Federal Programs Coordinator, Western Local Schools
  • Speaker: Eddie Brent, Shaw High School student
  • Speaker: Wes Satterfield, Western Local Schools
  • Moderator: Christopher Quinn, Editor and Vice President, Content, Cleveland.com and The Plain Dealer

2:00 PM - 2:45 PM

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Leveling the Virtual Playing Field: Equity in Sports Coverage (Virtual)
What does the state of sports coverage look like today? You don’t have to dig too deep to find a commonality among some of the most widely covered sports stories of the past year—each of these stories revolve around men and men’s teams. Join us for a conversation as we break down how to level the playing field by creating equity in sports coverage and what this means in the virtual world.
  • Speaker: Delvis Valentine, Greater Cleveland Association of Black Journalists
  • Speaker: Nancy Elder, Chief Communications Offer, DAZN
  • Speaker: Camryn Justice, Digital Content Producer, WEWS
  • Speaker:Lauren Lubin April, Inclusion Expert, Consultant
  • Moderator: Ronda Carnegie, Chief Innovation Officer, The Female Quotient

3:00 PM - 3:45 PM

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Cleveland Browns: Fighting the Digital Divide
Now more than ever, access to broadband internet is required to address the most basic societal needs and to access critical services. To date, 33.7% of households in Cleveland have no internet connection of any kind. 52.9% of household making less than $20,000 annually lack home internet access. And the pandemic made the impact of this internet gap – known as the “digital divide” – even more apparent. In Cleveland, the public and private sector have joined together in a concerted effort to close the digital divide. This panel will explore three important elements of the digital divide – access to (a) devices, (b) affordable broadband services, and (c) training and cultural literacy – as well as what the public and private sectors are doing to address those elements.
  • Speaker: JW Johnson, President & Partner, Haslam Sports Group
  • Speaker: Marsha Mockabee, President & CEO, Urban League of Cleveland
  • Speaker: Lt. Governor Jon Husted
  • Speaker: Baiju Shah, CEO, Greater Cleveland Partnership
  • Moderator: Craig Arnold, Chairman & CEO, Eaton Corp

4:00 PM - 4:45 PM

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The Invisible Competition: Mental Health Within Athletics (Virtual)
Poor mental health is a hidden epidemic in sports. How can we move past the social stigma that physical injuries take precedence over mental health? In this conversation we will discuss the invisible competition that many athletes suffer from and why well-being is critical to performance.
  • Speaker: Jen Fisher, US Chief Well-being Officer, Deloitte
  • Speaker: Casey Pick, Senior Advocacy Fellow, The Trevor Project
  • Speaker: Dr. Nyaka NiiLampti, Vice President of Wellness and Clinical Services, NFL
  • Speaker: Kelly Davis, Associate Vice President of Peer and Youth Advocacy, Mental Health America
  • Moderator: Jen Berman, Chief Marketing Officer, Business Insider

5:00 PM - 5:45 PM

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Advancing Representation of Racial Equity In Sports
Sports is an arena of dichotomies. While players of color are well-represented on the field, that representation does not extend to management: Coaches, managers, and team owners are almost all white and male, and little progress has been made in improving diversity over the years. Join us for a conversation on advancing racial and gender equity in the front office.
Black Sports Professionals National Relaunch
  • Bruce Wimbish, National Black Sports Professionals
  • Raphael Collins, Cleveland Indians
  • Nicole Britenriker, National Black Sports Professionals
  • Kevin Griffin, President, Brand & Market Insights, The Adcom Group
Black Sports Professionals National - Advancing Racial Equity in Sports
  • Shaina Wiel, Minorities in Sports Business Network
  • Quashan Lockett, Founder & CEO, Color of Sports
  • Jaia Thomas, Diverse Representation
  • Moderator: Nicole Britenriker, National Black Sports Professionals
Black Sports Professionals Cleveland – Advancing Racial Equity in Sports
  • Corey James, Black Sports Professionals/Cleveland Cavaliers
  • Bridgette Givand, Community Relations Coordinator, Cleveland Browns
  • Larry Yarrell, Chief Development Officer/Diversity & Inclusion Program Development, The Marcus Graham Project
DEI Intimate Conversation – Advancing Racial Equity in Sports
  • Jonathan Beane, Senior Vice President, Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer, NFL
  • Moderator: Kevin Clayton, Vice President of Diversity, Inclusion and Community Engagement, Cleveland Cavaliers

Friday April 30, 2021

12:00 PM - 12:45 PM

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The Obstacle Course: What Female Leaders Face Across Pro Sports Leagues
Please join us for a Pro Sports Assembly conversation with female leaders representing Cleveland’s 3 Team Alliance to discuss the challenges they face, how they have overcome these obstacles, and their experience leading operations and business units for the Browns, Indians and Cavaliers.
Introduction
  • Keisha Wyatt, Director of Marketing, Social Impact, Dallas Mavericks
  • Antony Bonavita, Executive Vice President, Venue Operations Cleveland Cavaliers
Session
  • Speaker: Shelly Cayette, Senior Vice President, Global Partnerships, Cleveland Cavaliers
  • Speaker: Anna Bolton, Education & Language Coordinator, Cleveland Indians
  • Speaker: Michele Powell, Vice President of Event Development, Haslam Sports/Cleveland Browns
  • Moderator: Kevin Clayton, Vice President of Diversity, Inclusion and Community Engagement, Cleveland Cavaliers

1:00 PM - 1:45 PM

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Future Fans: How Gen Z Will Shape Sports (Virtual)
Gen Z grew up with smartphones in their hands and a swathe of social media handles to their names. The traditional sports media rules don't apply to this emerging demographic. In this conversation, we will discuss how to foster the next generation of sports fans in a way that complements their digital-first, purpose-driven lives.
  • Speaker: Anmol Malhotra, Head of Sports Partnerships, Snap Inc.
  • Speaker: Alana Meraz, Founder and CEO, Latinx In Sports
  • Speaker: Carlyle Rickenmann, The Female Quotient Next Gen Board of Advisors
  • Speaker: Lyndsay Signor, Senior Vice President, Consumer Engagement, NBC Sports & Olympics
  • Moderator: Anna Blue, Chief Next Gen Officer, The Female Quotient (Moderator)

2:00 PM - 2:45 PM

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'67 Cleveland Summit - Past, Present & Future (Virtual)
Almost fifty-four years ago, a small group of some of the most prominent black male athletes in America gathered in an office building in Cleveland, Ohio. Now known as the Cleveland Summit, these athletes came together and recognized the power of their voices and the forces they can be for good. In this conversation we will explore why this gathering in 1967 was so crucial and how this has affected the 21st century version of athlete activism in sport and in society.
  • Speaker: Damion Thomas, Sports Curator of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture
  • Speaker: Gwen Berry, Olympian and Social Justice Advocate
  • Speaker: Erin Herbert, Director of Programming, Muhammad Ali Center
  • Moderator: Eli Wolff, Director, Power of Sport Lab
  • Moderator: Dr. Mary Hums, Professor of Sport Administration at the University of Louisville

3:00 PM - 3:45 PM

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Playing for Change: The Role of Sport in Social Justice Movements (Virtual)
John Carlos and Tommie Smith raised their fists in the 1968 Olympics; nearly half a century later, Colin Kaepernick took a knee during the 2016 preseason. These are but two among myriad examples of how sports can propel social justice movements. In this conversation, we discuss the reawakening of athletes’ social conscience and how the sports industry can use its position of power to support equity.
  • Speaker: Blayre Holmes Davis, Director, Community Relations, Pittsburgh Steelers
  • Speaker: Madieu Williams, Former NFL player and Winner of the Walter Peyton Man of the Year Award
  • Speaker: Bahati VanPelt, Chief of Athlete Services, United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee
  • Speaker: Dr. Sybil Smith, Ed.D., Executive Director, The Sloane Stephens Foundation
  • Speaker: Tori Franklin, Track & Field Olympian and Social justice and Mental Health Advocate
  • Moderator: Jill Wesley, Partnerships, The Female Quotient

4:00 PM - 4:45 PM

CL3 Alliance: Conversations for Change
In August of 2020, Cleveland’s three major sports teams launched an alliance, CL3, to spread awareness on social justice issues. Over the last few months, CL3 has hosted ‘Conversations for Change’ to create meaningful dialogue between the Cleveland Police Department and local youth, and discuss how we can join together to call for action and positive outcomes locally and beyond. Join us for a conversation as we discuss current events that bring together law enforcement officers and local youth.
Session Guests:
  • CL3 Alliance Representatives from Cleveland Browns, Cleveland Cavaliers, and Cleveland Indians
  • National Organization of Black Law Enforcement (N.O.B.L.E.)
  • Youth from the Cleveland Police Foundation's Pipeline Resource Program
  • Local Community Leaders

5:00 PM - 5:45 PM

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Sports Policy + LGBTQ Athlete Equality
Sports has the power to transform individuals and bring communities together. Until recently, however, being an openly LGBTQ athlete came with great personal and professional risk — but finally, the game is changing. In this panel, we meet LGBTQ athletes who are paving the way and. We also explore how inclusive sports policies promote wider progress for the LGBTQ community.
  • Speaker: Gio Santiago, Northeast Ohio Regional Organizer, Equality Ohio
  • Speaker: Timothy Bussey, Associate Director, Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Kenyon College, Executive Director, Ace and Aro Alliance, Central Ohio, Vice President, Board of Directors, The Newark Ohio Pride Coalition, and Facilitator, Division III LGBTQ OneTeam Program, NCAA
  • Speaker: Patty Hace, Human Performance Department Chair, Hawken School and Board President, Stonewall Sports Cleveland
  • Moderator: Ryan Clopton-Zymler, Co-Founder & Consultant, Sage & Maven, LLC, Assistant Director, Office of Inclusion, Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine and Former Board of Directors, Stonewall Sports Clevelan

Saturday May 1, 2021

10:00 AM - 10:45 AM

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Pay It Forward: Recreation and Education for Underserved Youth
Every child should have the opportunity to play sports and we know that providing these can set healthy behavior patterns that last a lifetime. However, in neighborhoods with high poverty rates, these opportunities may simply not exist. In this conversation we will discuss some of the barriers which have contributed to the lack of recreation and education for underserved youth and how the sports community can get involved to pay it forward for the next generation.
  • Speaker: Roman Oben, Vice President, Football Development, NFL
  • Speaker: Shaquira Johnson, Chief Revenue Officer, Boys & Girls Clubs of Northeast Ohio
  • Speaker: Juan Goodwin, President, Lifeline Sports
  • Speaker: Josh Cribbs, Former NFL Player, Cleveland Browns and Founder, TeamCribbs Foundation
  • Moderator: David Meltzer, Co-Founder, Sports 1 Marketing

11:00 AM - 11:45 AM

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Adaptive Sports in Cleveland
Providing sports and recreation programs for children and adults with physical disabilities is crucial to physical and mental health. Join us for a conversation as we discuss all things adaptive sports in Cleveland, how these organizations are working to ensure that individuals with physical disabilities have a chance to play, and how utilizing sport helps to elevate ability and empower futures.
  • Speaker: Will Waller, CEO, National Wheelchair Basketball Association (NWBA)
  • Speaker: Lisa followay, President and CEO, Adaptive Sports Ohio
  • Speaker: Ron Tristano, PGA Professional and Manager, Challenge Golf
  • Speaker: Josh Messersmith, Special Olympics Ohio
  • Moderator: Shelley Zalis, CEO, The Female Quotient

12:00 PM - 12:45 PM

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Athletes, Allies, and Sports For All
In any sport, it is important for teams and leaders to create an environment where every player can bring their true selves to the game. How can we change team culture and public policy to one where sexual orientation/identification is a non-issue? In this conversation we explore how organizations in the sports community can stand up as allies for LGBTQ athletes and champion equality through sport.
  • Speaker: Ryan O'Callaghan, Former NFL Player and President, The Ryan O’Callaghan Foundation
  • Speaker: Mason Caminiti, Transgender Advocate and Speaker
  • Moderator: Monica Gustin, Director, Business Operations, Greater Cleveland Sports Commission

1:00 PM - 1:45 PM

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Historic Connections: Stepping Away from Native American Culture in Sports
Native American culture has long been favored by American sports teams, at both the professional and school levels. Facing pressure, many teams are changing their mascots, logos, and nicknames — but it is a hotly debated topic. In this panel, we explore the history behind the culture and how the sports world is confronting the misuse and moving toward a more accepting and respectful environment for all.
  • Speaker: Sundance, Executive Director, Cleveland American Indian Movement
  • Speaker: Cynthia Connolly, Executive Board, Lake Erie Native American Council
  • Moderator: Margaret Mitchell, President & CEO, YWCA Greater Cleveland

2:00 PM - 2:45 PM

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How to #BeTheSolution in Cleveland
Cleveland has stepped up in recent years to answer the call for change. Join us as we explore the Cleveland Browns #BeTheSolution campaign, YWCA's 21-Day Racial Equity and Social Justice Challenge, and CL3 - the three team alliance created in 2020 to help unite the community. Most importantly, find out how you can be part of the movement for equity and inclusion for all.
  • Speaker: Ron Brewer, Director of Player Engagement, Cleveland Browns
  • Speaker: Margaret Mitchell, CEO, YWCA of Greater Cleveland
  • Speaker: Raphael Collins, Senior Service Representative, Corporate Partnerships & Premium Hospitality, Cleveland Indians
  • Moderator: Kevin Clayton, Vice President of Diversity, Inclusion and Community Engagement, Cleveland Cavaliers

3:00 PM - 3:45 PM

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Creating An Inclusive Sports Culture
The sports industry has changed enormously in recent years and an inclusive sporting environment is no longer an aspiration, but an imperative. In this conversation we will explore what creating an inclusive sports culture looks like in 2021 and how this will benefit all teams, organizations, and athletes.
  • Speaker: Danielle Sydnor, President, NAACP Cleveland
  • Speaker: Korinth Patterson, Assistant Commissioner/Championships, Mid-American Conference
  • Speaker: Jill Estorino, President and Managing Director, Disney Parks International, The Walt Disney Company
  • Speaker: Ryan Virtue, Regional Partnership Manager, Positive Coaching Alliance
  • Moderator: Shelley Zalis, CEO, The Female Quotient

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