Spreading Respect

February 8, 2019

In the latest display of America East’s and its member institutions’ continued commitment to prioritizing and celebrating diversity and inclusion, each of the conference’s #AEHoops programs will host #SpreadRespect nights throughout February.

#SpreadRespect games were created with the purpose of promoting awareness and education to ensure equality, respect and safety for all athletes without regard for any reason, including sexual orientation, gender identity, race, ethnicity, religion and more. Each men’s and women’s basketball program will host a #SpreadRespect event Feb. 6-21.

“We are proud of our status as a standard bearer among collegiate conferences when it comes to creating conversation and promoting awareness around diversity and inclusion,” said America East Commissioner, Amy Huchthausen. “These events, driven by SAAC, have highlighted the commitment our conference and its member institutions show towards respecting everyone, regardless of who they are or what they believe in. Additionally, our great partnerships with You Can Play, LGBT SportSafe and RISE have helped provide educational opportunities to student-athletes, coaches and administrators." 
 
As part of its #SpreadRespect initiative, both teams will wear specially designed shooting shirts prior to all #SpreadRespect games.
 

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In the fall, America East distributed over 3,000 patches to its campuses.
 

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Last fall, America East unveiled a new 30-second institutional spot, featuring student-athletes asking friends, fans and teammates to #SpreadRespect.
 
America East has conducted #SpreadRespect nights since 2014 after becoming the first Division I Conference to partner with the organization in 2012. Since then, the conference has helped further You Can Play’s mission by sponsoring a speaker series and locker-room campaigns on its members' campuses in addition to You Can Play nights and creating videos to educate the general public. In 2016, America East’s You Can Play nights were featured in USA Today.

The conference also partnered with LGBT SportSafe in 2016, becoming the first conference in the organization’s Founders’ Club, and sponsored educational programming on each of its campuses.
 
In the fall, the conference formed a partnership with RISE, the Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality, which uses the unifying power of sports to improve race relations and drive social progress. RISE will host an educational event prior to UMBC's men's basketball #SpreadRespect game vs. Vermont on Feb. 21. 

More #SpreadRespect events will take place during the spring season.
 
America East’s #SpreadRespect campaign is one of several leadership initiatives under the conference’s #3Pillars, including #BetterTo9ether, the America East Health & Safety Summit, the #AEAlumniNetwork, #3PAcademy and the #AEFoodFrenzy.

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