presented by Cleveland Cavaliers

Embrace Differences

Inspiration Station presented by Cleveland Cavaliers hosted keynote speakers, live performances, film screenings and more; each intended to celebrate our uniqueness while simultaneously reinforcing the idea that we are all more alike than different. 


Inspiration Station location: Auditorium 


Friday February 18, 2022

11:15AM - 12:30 PM

Saving Our Daughters - Cleveland Connection presented by The MetroHealth System and Cleveland Cavaliers (private session) *This portion of the Summit is by invitation only. 

The MetroHealth System, Cleveland Cavaliers and Greater Cleveland Sports Commission are excited to welcome artist/singer/film director Keke Palmer to share her story of triumph over mental health and self-esteem challenges. Ms. Palmer will inspire youth from the Saving Our Daughters program to make good choices, honor their bodies, and stay positive! The presentation will be moderated by WZAK’s Kenya Brown. Youth mental health specialists Dr. Lisa Ramirez of The MetroHealth System and Jessica Vazquez of Right Direction Behavior Health Services will be on stage to support the conversation with professional direction and guidance. This event is the culmination of the Saving Our Daughters Cleveland Connection program.

  • Panelists:

o  Keke Palmer, Artist/Singer/Producer

o  Dr. Lisa Ramirez, Youth & Adolescent Phychologist, The MetroHealth System

o  Jessica Vazquez, Mental Health Specialist & School Psychologist, Right Direction Behavioral Health Services

o  Moderator: Kenya Brown, 93.1 WZAK

1:00 PM - 2:00 PM

Advancing Representation of Racial Equity in Sports 
Join the National Society of Black Sports Professionals (BSP) at the 2022 NBA All-Star Weekend in Cleveland for an intimate conversation with NBA leadership on their efforts nationally to impact change on and off the court through DEI, social justice and philanthropy.
  • Panelists:

o  James Cadogan, Executive Director, National Basketball Social Justice Coalition

o  Greg Taylor, President, NBA Foundation

o  Kori Davis-Porter, Senior VP, Content and Business Operations, NBA

o  Morgan Cato, Associate VP, Business Operations & League Operations, NBA

o  Moderator: Nicole Britenriker, National Vice President, Black Sports Professionals

2:30 PM - 4:30 PM

Conversations for Change

Hosted and organized through the CL3 Sports Alliance between the Cavaliers, Browns and Guardians, in partnership with the Cleveland Police Foundation Pipeline Program and National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE). Conversations for Change brings together law enforcement and citizens for meaningful dialogue on non-partisan community issues, increasing opportunities in education for all, and exploring and strengthening the relationship between law enforcement and local youth. The program will begin with a panel of local leaders, law enforcement officers and youth.

  • Panelists:

o  J.B. Bickerstaff, Head Coach, Cleveland Cavaliers

o  Chief Deirdre Jones, RTA Transit Police Chief

o  Deon McCaulley, Cleveland Police Deputy Chief (ret.)

o  Nezerae Hunt, Youth Representative

o  Cortni Ford, Youth Representative

o  Moderator: Danielle Sydnor, President, NAACP Cleveland Branch


Attendees will then split into breakout groups with discussion prompts to dig into some of the issues our community faces. Following the breakout sessions, groups will report their findings back to the full group for discussion with a second group of panelists. 

  • Panelists: 

o Mayor Justin Bibb, City of Cleveland

o  Wayne Drummond, Chief of Police, City of Cleveland

o  Moderator: Kevin Clayton, VP of Diversity, Inclusion and Community Engagement, Cleveland Cavaliers

4:45 PM - 6:00 PM

Cleveland's History of Sport & Social Justice 

Join NBA executive leadership, social justice experts and NBA legends to discuss the role Cleveland has played in bridging the gap between social justice and sports.   

  • Panelists:

o  James Cadogan, Executive Director, National Basketball Social Justice Coalition

o  Sam Perkins, NCAA Champion, Olympic Gold Medalist and NBA Legend

o  Damion Thomas, PhD, Senior Sports Curator, Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture

o  Blaine Griffin, Cleveland City Council President

o  Representative Shontel Brown, Ohio’s 17th Congressional District 

o  Moderator: Branson Wright, Be Right Ventures, Filmmaker, and Multi-Media Freelance Journalist

Saturday February 19, 2022

10:15 AM - 12:30 PM

Rising Phoenix Film Screening & Talk-Back with Tatyana McFadden 

Elite athletes and insiders reflect on the Paralympic Games and examine how they impact a global understanding of disability, diversity and excellence. After the film, join Tatyana McFadden, a US Paralympic wheelchair racer, to discuss the film, sport for all, and her extraordinary life! 

  • Panelists:

o  Tatyana McFadden, US Paralympic Wheelchair Racer

o  Moderator: Andre Knott, Bally Sports Great Lakes 

12:45 PM - 1:45 PM

The Link Between Mental Health and Sport Performance

Join us to discuss the rising consciousness about the link between mental health and sport performance, and how the Cleveland Cavaliers use mental health support as a tool for success. This conversation will feature Cavaliers coaching staff, mental health experts, and more!

  • Panelists:

 Dr. Kensa Gunter, Gunter Psychological Services

o  J.B. Bickerstaff, Head Coach, Cleveland Cavaliers

o  Barbara Turner, Player Development Coach, Houston Rockets and former WNBA Player

o  Moderator: Serena Winters, Bally Sports Great Lakes 

2:00 PM - 3:00 PM

Bringing Athlete and Sport Activism to Every Kitchen Table

How do we make athlete and sport activism everyone’s responsibility? Rather than a passing conversation, how does it become a topic discussed around every kitchen table? How do we intentionally and authentically engage and promote athlete and sport activism locally, nationally and internationally? Join us to learn what is currently driving athlete and sport activism in youth, collegiate, Olympic and professional sport, and how to build on this energy and momentum.
  • Panelists:

o  Timothy F. Bryson, Program Director, Student-Athlete Career Development, University of Maryland-College Park

o  Julian Jones, Assistant Athletics Director of Student-Athlete Development / Chief Diversity Officer, Kansas State University

o  Pharlone C. Toussaint, Director of External Affairs, Center for Healing & Justice Through Sport

o  Moderate: Eli Wolff, Director, Power of Sport Lab

4:00 PM - 6:00 PM

Power of Sport Performing Arts Competition presented  by Union Home Mortgage 
In 2000 Nelson Mandela said, “Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does. It speaks to youth in a language they understand. Sport can create hope where once there was only despair.” Join us for a live performance competition featuring local poets and musicians who’ve created original works on how the power of sport has changed their world. Winners will be announced live and cash prizes will be awarded. Join us at the Summit for the competition, or to watch live, visit at 4pm on Saturday, February 19!

Sunday February 20, 2022

12:15 PM - 2:15 PM

Women of Troy Film Screening & Talk-Back with Pamela McGee
An HBO Sports documentary, Women of Troy explores the transcendent path of the Cheryl Miller-led USC Trojans and their impact on women’s basketball. Join us after the film to hear from former WNBA player, Olympic gold medalist, member of the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame, and mother to two professional basketball players, Pamela McGee! Pamela will share her perspective on winning back-to-back NCAA Championships alongside teammates Miller, Cynthia Cooper, and twin sister Paula McGee, and how their team paved the way for future athletes. 
  • Panelists:

o  Pamela McGee, Former WNBA player, NCAA champion, Olympic gold medalist, member of the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame and mother of two professional basketball players

o  Branson Wright, Be Right Ventures, Filmmaker, and Multi-Media Freelance Journalist

o  Moderator: Andre Knott, Bally Sports Great Lakes 

2:30 PM - 3:30 PM

Own It: Tips to Own Your Financial Future and Become a Homeowner
From playing catch in the backyard, shooting hoops in the driveway or gathering around the TV for the big game, some of our most cherished sports moments happen in the home. But home is more than just a place for building great memories. It's an important way to build and transfer intergenerational wealth.  As America’s largest mortgage lender, nobody understands the value of a stable and secure home better than Rocket Mortgage. That’s why we’re committed to bridging the racial homeownership gap and expanding opportunities for homeownership in our home communities of Detroit, Cleveland, and across the country.

This panel will address homeownership as a tool to build wealth. In this panel, we’ll discuss the racial homeownership gap and the underlying factors that contribute to it. The panel will also discuss strategies for providing underserved and underbanked populations with the resources, tools, and training they need to become homeowners. Finally, the panel will discuss how home ownership acts as a powerful tool for growing and building wealth, as well as transferring wealth between generations. 


During this panel you will also have the chance to win a Cavs Family Fun Pack which includes 4 tickets to an upcoming game, parking pass, food voucher and more! 

  • Panelists:

o  Laura Grannemann, Vice President of Strategic Investments, Rocket Community Fund and Executive Director, Gilbert Family Foundation

o  Wole Coaxum, Founder and CEO, MoCaFi

o  Tania Menesse, CEO and President, Cleveland Neighborhood Progress

o  Jamar Doyle, Executive Director, Greater Collinwood Development Corporation

o  Moderator: Kevin Clayton, VP of Equity, Inclusion and Community Engagement, Cleveland Cavaliers 

3:45 PM - 4:45 PM 

Fireside Chat with Jason Collins

Former NBA center Jason Collins was the first openly gay male athlete to play in one of the four major professional sports leagues in the U.S. Join us as we explore Collins’ experience as an “out” pro athlete, how he feels sports could be more inclusive, and what being “alone in the game” really means.
  • Panelists:

o  Jason Collins, NBA Cares Ambassador 

o  Moderator: Justin Gould, Board President, LGBT Community Center of Greater Cleveland

5:00 PM - 6:00 PM 

Title IX: 50 Years of Progress 

Join us to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Title IX, a law that prohibits sex discrimination in any educational program or activity that receives federal funding. Well-known for its impact on women’s sports, the introduction of Title IX ushered in a new generation of female athletes and began the movement toward gender equality in sport. Experts from the Women’s Sports Foundation, WNBA and NCAA will join us to discuss the past, present and future of women’s sports after 50 years of Title IX. 

  • Panelists:

o  Sarah Axelson, Vice President of Advocacy, Women’s Sports Foundation

o  Amy Wilson, Managing Director, Office of Inclusion, NCAA

o  Napheesa Collier, Minnesota Lynx, WNBA

o  Moderator: Buffy Filippell, Founder, Teamwork Online 

*All activities are subject to change.