Announcement of the engaged student athletes fellowship
David Nevins is co-publisher of The Fulcrum and co-founder and board chairman of the Bridge Alliance Education Fund.
The Team and the Bridge Alliance are ideally suited to partner in this important endeavor, expanding the Bridge Alliance’s civic ecosystem to a new, promising audience of leaders and influencers.
The Bridge Alliance is a leader in the world of non-partisan democracy reform and civic renewal, bringing hundreds of organizations together to support a movement to co-create a thriving, just and healthy democratic republic. Through their Citizen Connect initiative, people from all walks of life, political parties, race/ethnicity, identities, and religions can become civically engaged. All participants have the common conviction that America is stronger if We the People work together. It isn’t about agreeing on everything; it’s about finding what we can agree on and making it happen.
The Team provides award winning offerings to help athletes become great teammates, leaders, and citizens. Since their inception in 2020, The Team’s innovative approach to civic engagement has positively impacted over 50,000 student athletes around the country. The Team’s past student athlete civic leaders have won many prestigious awards and recognition for their work including invitations to work on programs with major sports figures like NBA star Stephen Curry and Athletes Unlimited’s Cassidy Lichtman. Their stories of modeling innovative forms of civic engagement have been profiled in major media publications like ESPN, The Fulcrum, Teen Vogue, Forbes, and others.
Starting this fall, this inaugural fellowship will empower student athletes from across the country to strengthen non-partisan civic participation on their teams, on their campuses, and in their broader communities.
The Engaged Athlete Fellowship program will focus on three areas:
● Provide a leadership and developmental curriculum developed by esteemed professors, coaches, professional athletes, and civic leaders.
● Provide mentorship, support, and a financial stipend for the athletes personalized civic engagement or service project on campus or in their community.
● Participate in a multi-day all expenses paid summit in Washington, DC to meet other Fellows, participate in workshops, network, and present their work from the year.
The Engaged Athlete Fellowship is led by Joe Kennedy, a 2007 graduate of Northwestern, a former basketball player and coach who served as a special assistant for the Office of Public Engagement at the White House. Most recently, in September of 2022, Kennedy became the first Executive Director of The Team. During the 2020 election cycle, Kennedy connected with Coach Eric Reveno, where they became a major force leading a new college athletics movement to expand student athlete voter registration and create civic resources for coaches and teams. Coach Joe Kennedy is working towards a future where all student athletes and athletic departments establish civic engagement as a priority, and he believes the Engaged Athlete Fellowship can make that dream a reality.
“More than 500,000 student athletes are largely overlooked by most traditional civics programs, and yet, these athletes are often some of the most powerful voices and influential leaders on their campuses. We are building energy around the importance of athletes, coaches, and administrators becoming more engaged citizens. We offer tools and resources to help them shape the future they want to create.”
Joe’s staff includes Hannah Nusbaum (Director of Programming), Elizabeth Ford (Fellowship Coordinator and former Penn Volleyball Player), plus advisors Chase Griffin (Quarterback, UCLA Football), Lisa Kay Solomon (Professor, Stanford d. school), and Eric Reveno (Coach, Oregon State Basketball).
The Fellowship is about impact and action, and athletes are encouraged to dream big. The Team co-founder and Stanford Futurist and Designer in Residence, Lisa Kay Solomon, succinctly and clearly sums up what the Engaged Athlete Fellowship is all about.
“What would make it easy for student athletes to take the first step? Every resource, program, and relationship is aimed to reduce the noise and friction of this moment, and focus instead on foundational moves to support democracy and ignite civic agency.”
Listen to advisor Chase Griffin (Quarterback, UCLA Football) as he tells his story showing how the leadership learned on the field was harnessed to help his community and country.
In the coming weeks we will introduce you to the Engaged Athlete Fellows with the hope of inspiring you to use your time, energy, and skills in whatever way you choose to help your community, your state, and your country.