September 21, 2022 – Today, Athlete Ally announced that the Columbia-Barnard Athlete Ally Campus Chapter will be honored at the Eighth Annual Athlete Ally Action Awards. Athlete Ally is a nonprofit organization focused on fostering inclusive athletic environments and mobilizing the athletic community to champion LGBTQI+ equality. The awards ceremony will take place on Tuesday, October 25th at 7:00pm EST at the Edison Ballroom in New York City. Additional honorees include NWSL Gotham FC player and Athlete Ally Ambassador Imani Dorsey, athlete, advocate and model CeCé Telfer, and NBA Dallas Mavericks player and Athlete Ally Ambassador Reggie Bullock.
In 2020, Columbia University Women’s Rowing team athletes Honor Clements and Ruba Nadar attended Athlete Ally’s Student Leadership Summit and were inspired to start an Athlete Ally Campus Chapter. In the years since and especially in the past year, the Columbia-Barnard Athlete Ally Campus Chapter has made incredible strides for LGBTQI+ inclusivity.
Under the leadership of Co-Presidents Jane Collins and Cameron Nelson, the chapter worked with their athletic department to bring Columbia’s Athletic Equality Index score to a perfect 100, coordinated two highly successful virtual 5Ks to unite the athletic community during the pandemic, held an annual Pride night with the Women’s Basketball team, coordinated webinars on sport history and athletic inclusivity, advocated for gender-inclusive facilities within athletic spaces, implemented the use of pronouns on athletic rosters, and realized their goal of having athlete representatives from every team on campus within the chapter.
“I’m immensely proud to see the amazing work the Columbia-Barnard Athlete Ally Campus Chapter has accomplished in the past year, and to see them honored with a well-deserved Athlete Ally Action Award,” said Emet Marwell, Athlete Ally’s Policy and Programs Manager, who oversees Athlete Ally’s Campus Chapters. “The chapter members have gone above and beyond to educate their campus community about LGBTQI+ inclusion, implement inclusive policies and practices, and leave a powerful legacy for future athletes to come.”
“On behalf of the Columbia-Barnard Athlete Ally Campus Chapter, we are extremely honored to accept this Action Award,” said Columbia-Barnard Athlete Ally Campus Chapter Co-President Jane Collins. “This chapter would not be here without the work of our founders, Honor Clements, Ruba Nadar, and our first adviser, Kate Miller.
Athletics has been a space of refuge for many of us, while simultaneously being a space that can reinforce stereotypes about gender and sexuality. Having an Athlete Ally chapter on campus and seeing it grow into a community has allowed us to be more comfortable with our identities on the teams we love. It was the leadership of our Athlete Ally Chapter founders that allowed me to embrace my identity as a queer woman, and I hope that by increasing visibility, we can help others feel more comfortable as well. We look forward to continuing advocacy for all LGBTQ+ athletes. We would like to thank Athlete Ally and our advisers at Columbia for giving us the support and tools to keep fighting.”
To learn more or purchase tickets to the Awards, click here.
About Athlete Ally and the Action Awards
Athlete Ally believes sport will change the world when it welcomes and empowers all people. As a leading national nonprofit working at the intersection of sport and LGBTQI+ equality, Athlete Ally works to end the structural and systemic oppression that isolates, excludes and endangers LGBTQI+ people in sport. We educate individuals and institutions to understand obstacles to inclusion for LGBTQI+ people and how they can build an inclusive culture within their athletic communities. We work to ensure sport governing bodies, teams and leagues adopt policies that reflect the diversity of their constituents. We incubate athlete activism to advance LGBTQI+ equality in and through sport.
The Eighth Annual Athlete Ally Action awards are made possible due to generous support from this year’s Award Sponsor, Gillette, in addition to other corporate supporters including Adidas, Nike, Gatorade, Constellation Brands, the NBA/WNBA, TransPerfect, and Major League Soccer. The generous philanthropy of our dedicated Host Committees and Board of Directors also make this event possible.