Former Sparks head coach Julie Rousseau to chair USC Athletics Black Lives Matter Action Team

first_imgJulie Rousseau, former head coach of the Los Angeles Sparks and a current adjunct professor in USC’s Gender and Sexuality Studies department, will serve as the chair of the USC Athletics Black Lives Matter Action Team, Athletic Director Mike Bohn announced in a press release Tuesday.  Joining Rousseau will be a steering committee to help carry out specific actions identified by the USCABLM Action Team. Bohn also announced that the Action Team will include an advisory committee made up of seven student-athletes, eight coaches and 10 Athletic Department staff members.  Rousseau was an assistant head coach with the Sparks for the WNBA’s inaugural season in 1997, becoming head coach for the final 17 games of the 1997 season and the first 20 of the 1998 season. She then went on to coach at the collegiate level from 2001 to 2013, returning to the WNBA as an assistant and culture coach of the Seattle Storm in 2015 after spending the 2015 season as an assistant at the University of Nevada.  The Action Team will collaborate with the recently formed United Black Student-Athletes Association as well as the Trojan Athletic Senate, alumni, former players and campus and community leaders. “The time begs for us to continue the work and legacy of our ancestors,” Rousseau said in the release. “For such a time as this, I hope to be a bridge builder for creating an environment that exemplifies regard and respect for the lives of Black student athletes at USC. All Lives Can’t Matter, Until Black Lives Matter.”center_img “This will be a supportive team effort aimed at eliminating social injustice and racism within Trojan Athletics, the University and its surrounding communities,” Rousseau said in the release. “Like the late, great civil rights activist and Congressman John R. Lewis once said, ‘We may not have chosen the time, but the time has chosen us.’” Rousseau also assisted with Arizona State’s marketing, community relations and student-athlete welfare strategies from 2016-19 while she completed her doctoral degree.  “Raised in Los Angeles with experiences as a student-athlete, college and professional coach, and educator, Julie is uniquely qualified to lead our USC Athletics Black Lives Matter Action Team,” Bohn wrote. “Julie’s passion and vision, strong leadership skills and outstanding reputation, as well as her innovative academic background, make her a wonderful fit to guide this critically important initiative.”last_img

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