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Race in America lecture tackles inequities in women’s sports

Contact: Sarah Nicholas

Portrait of Michelle J. Manno
Michelle J. Manno (Photo submitted)

STARKVILLE, Miss.—ֱ’s interdisciplinary lecture series—Race in America—this spring spotlights the expectations and inequities women face in the field of sports.

Michelle J. Manno, a former collegiate athlete and current interim chief diversity officer at Northwestern University, will discuss their new book, “Denied: Women, Sports, and the Contradiction of Identity,” a 2023 NYU Press publication. Based on a year-long ethnographic sociological study of a NCAA Division I women’s basketball program, Manno illustrates the deep commitment the players in her study gave to the game of basketball despite the serious pressure they faced to conform to expectations about gender, sexuality and race.

The lecture will be offered free to the public on March 7, 3 p.m. in Griffis Hall’s Room 401—the Honors Forum Room.

“Dr. Manno’s talk will explore the behind-the-scenes realities faced by women athletes and how these athletes navigate expectations placed on them that often contradict their own ability to be successful at their sport. This talk will appeal to a wide audience given how central sports is in our society,” said event chair Maggie Hagerman, an ֱ associate professor of sociology and affiliated faculty member in ֱ’s African American Studies program. 

Manno, who holds a Ph.D. in sociology from Emory University, leads the implementation of diversity accountability processes across Northwestern’s 12 schools and colleges on three campuses.

The Race in America annual lecture series is sponsored by the College of Arts and Sciences, the Department of Sociology and the African American Studies program. Helping organize the event with Hagerman include sociology faculty members Kecia Johnson and Sanna King.

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Wednesday, February 21, 2024 - 10:45 am