This month, UT’s Center for Sport, Peace, and Society (CSPS) will welcome a class of 16 women from 14 countries as a part of the 2019 U.S. Department of State and espnW Global Sports Mentoring Program (GSMP) international women’s empowerment exchange.
The women will spend five weeks in the United States working closely with the CSPS, the U.S. Department of State, espnW, and mentors from the country’s top sports sector organizations, including the Big East Conference, ESPN, the NCAA, the National Hockey League, and Spurs Sports and Entertainment.
Participants spend their first week in Washington, D.C. working through the CSPS’s “Better World” curriculum and their team of educators, researchers, and journalists who lead sessions on sport for social change, empowerment, partnership development, and Title IX. The CSPS also partners with local organizations to provide hands-on training in executive leadership, adaptive sports, community development, and other topics participants can integrate into their projects back home.
During opening week, the participants also begin developing business plans for creating and sustaining initiatives focused on sport for social change in their local communities.
During their second week, the women depart for Los Angeles, California, where they will attend the 10th annual espnW: Women + Sports Summit. The women use the two-day event, which brings together the leading voices for change for women in sports, to focus their plans while connecting with industry influencers.
The women then travel to spend three weeks being mentored by female senior executives from prominent sports organizations where they develop business skills and refine their strategic plan for change. At the end of the program, participants share their action plans in TED talk-style presentations to GSMP representatives in Washington, DC.
Among the 16 women participating in this year’s program are athletes, sports administrators and executives, journalists, educators, and social entrepreneurs, all of whom already provide opportunities for thousands of girls to become leaders on the field and in the boardroom.
For its success promoting gender equality worldwide, the GSMP received ESPN’s Stuart Scott ENSPIRE Award in 2018, an honor that “celebrates people that have taken risk and used an innovative approach to helping the disadvantaged through the power of sports.”
The class of the 2019 GSMP international women’s empowerment exchange consists of women from Albania, Bolivia, Brazil, Egypt, El Salvador, Hungary, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Lithuania, New Zealand, Nigeria, Samoa, and Serbia.
Mentor organizations for the 2019 GSMP include the Big East Conference, Creative Artists Agency, ESPN, Google, LISC, Minnesota Lynx and Timberwolves, NCAA, New Balance, the NHL, Saatchi & Saatchi, Spurs Sports and Entertainment, the United States Tennis Association, and the University of Connecticut.
The program will begin October 10 and will conclude in Washington, D.C. on November 18. To follow along on social media, use the hashtags #GSMP2019 and #EmpowerWomen on Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, and Instagram.