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Our Program --> Learning From Our Different & Common Experiences in Sports: What Can LGBT Athletics Take from Race, Gender and Disability in Sports

Be sure to join our mailing list for latest news releases and updates! See the FULL PROGRAM. See our bulletin board to engage others in a conversation about the topics in our program.

Also see:
+ High School Athletics Panel (Sat, Mar 27)
+ Collegiate Athletics Panel (Sat, Mar 27)
Keynote Panel on Race and Racism in LGBT Athletics (Sat, Mar 27)
+ The Truth About Love - PFLAG Parents Talk About Their GLBT Children (Sat, Mar 27)
+ The Women’s Sports Foundation’s Project to Eliminate Homophobia panel and the showing of “It Takes a Team” (Sun, Mar 28)
+ Athlete Scholarship Fund Raising Dinner (separate fee) (Sat, Mar 27)

DayBeginning Time Duration Event
Sat, Mar 27, 2004 1:45 PM
3:45 PM
2 hours Learning From Our Different & Common Experiences in Sports: What Can LGBT Athletics Take from Race, Gender and Disability in Sports


About National Center for Lesbian Rights (www.nclrights.org)  

NCLR is a national, lesbian, feminist, non-profit law firm.. Our mission is to create a world in which every lesbian can live fully, free from discrimination. For the past 27 years, through impact litigation, public policy advocacy, public education and free legal services, we have advanced the legal and human rights of lesbians, gay men and bisexual and transgender individuals across the United States. NCLR is confronting institutionalized homophobia in professional, collegiate and high school athletics through a nationwide campaign with its newest Homophobia in Sport Project.

About Center for the Study of Sport in Society (www.sportinsociety.org

The Mission of Northeastern University's Center for the Study of Sport in Society is to increase awareness of sport and its relation to society, and to develop programs that identify problems, offer solutions, and promote the benefits of sport. The Center employs the unique power and influence of sport to create positive social change. Sport in Society promotes the values of diversity, conflict resolution, violence prevention, equal sports opportunities - on and off the field, community service, education and research, and disability advocacy and inclusion. Sport in Society impacts middle and high school students, college student-athletes, professional athletes, and adult administrators.

Learning From Our Different & Common Experiences in Sports: What Can LGBT Athletics Take from Race, Gender and Disability in Sports

This panel will share experiences from the civil rights movement, the women in sports movement, the fight for equal treatment for the disabled, and other historic fights for equality.  It will address how the lessons learned from these battles apply to the challenges being faced today by the LGBT athletics community.


  • Eli Wolff (moderator)
  • Peter Roby
  • Helen Carroll
  • Pat Griffin

If you would like to come, please consider seeking funding from your school or district's development funds, as well as the local Gay Straight Alliance, the local NCAA chapter. Please contact us if you seek this assistance.

Eli Wolff:

Eli Wolff is the Project Director of the Disability in Sport Initiative within the Center for the Study of Sport in Society at Northeastern University. Through the Initiative, Eli engages in research, education, and advocacy activities related to athletes with disabilities in sport. He advises and consults with national and international sport and disability related organizations.

Eli organized a brief for the Supreme Court, on behalf of the national disabled sports organizations, in support of Casey Martin for his case against the PGA. In 2001, Eli received the first, annual Casey Martin Award, given by Nike, recognizing an individual making a difference, internationally, for people with disabilities in sports.

In 2002, Eli represented the United States Olympic Committee at the 2002 International Olympic Academy of the International Olympic Committee held in Olympia, Greece. Eli will return to the Academy this summer as a Group Discussion Coordinator.

Eli is an Athlete Ambassador for Right to Play, an international humanitarian organization committed to using sport as a vehicle to improving the lives of the most disadvantaged children and their communities throughout the world.

Eli is a member of the United States Paralympic Soccer Team, and has competed in the 1999 and 2002 Pan American Games for the Disabled, the 1996 Atlanta Paralympic Games, and the 2001 World Cup for the Disabled.

Peter Roby:

Peter P. Roby is the Director of Northeastern University’s Center for the Study of Sport in Society.

Roby, formerly vice president of U.S. marketing for Reebok International, brings 20 plus years of experience in athletics and marketing to the Center for the Study of Sport in Society.

At Reebok, Peter was responsible for the development and execution of marketing plans in the United States. He also oversaw strategic planning, grass roots marketing and sponsorships. Roby joined Reebok in 1991, and held the positions of Group Director of US Brand Marketing, as well as, Director of Key Account Marketing and Director of US Sports Marketing.

Before joining Reebok, Peter served six seasons as head basketball coach for Harvard University and three years as Harvard's assistant basketball coach. Before joining Harvard, Peter was the assistant coach at Stanford University, Dartmouth College and the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, New York.

Roby is a 1979 graduate of Dartmouth College where he was co-captain of the basketball team and earned a B.A. in Government.

Helen Carroll:

National Center for Lesbian Rights
Homophobia in Sports Project Coordinator

Helen Carroll joined NCLR in August 2001 to develop NCLR’s Homophobia in Sports Project. After spending the majority of her athletic career coaching basketball, tennis plus track and field, Helen became well known in the sports world as an acclaimed National Championship Basketball Coach from the University of North Carolina Asheville. Helen has been a National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Athletic Director for 12 years at Mills College in California and now devotes all her efforts to fight homophobia in sport. She is a is featured in both Dee Mossbacher’s award-winning film, OUT FOR A CHANGE: ADDRESSING HOMOPHOBIA IN WOMEN’S SPORTS, and in author Pat Griffin’s book, STRONG WOMEN, DEEP CLOSETS. Helen is a dynamic speaker having been interviewed in numerous films and television specials on LGBT Issues in sport. Presently, she represents NCLR’s Project with major national sports organizations in both legal and educational aspects. NCLR is on the steering committee of the Women’s Sports Foundation’s Educational Project to Eliminate Homophobia in Sport.

“I believe the focus of the LGBT Sports Movement of 2004 must be our learning from past civil liberty movements. Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered sports persons will be successful in achieving fair treatment and opportunity ONLY if women, people of color and those differing from traditional sports leaders are on an equal footing in the visibility and leadership of this movement.


Pat Griffin:

Pat Griffin is a professor in the Social Justice Education Program at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She leads classes and workshops on sexism, racism, ableism, heterosexism/homophobia, and other forms of social injustice in education. Her research and writing interests focus on heterosexism/homophobia in education, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender teachers and students, and heterosexism/homophobia in athletics, with a particular interest in women's sports. Dr. Griffin has written a book entitled, Strong Women, Deep Closets: Lesbian and Homophobia in Sports, published by Human Kinetics, 1998. She is also co-editor of Teaching For Diversity and Social Justice: A Sourcebook for Teachers and Trainers, Routledge, 1997.

For the past 20 years Dr. Griffin has led seminars on diversity issues and lesbian and gay issues in athletics at numerous colleges and universities as well as at coaches and athletic administrators’ association meetings around the United States and Canada. She worked with the Project to Eliminate Homophobia in Sport to create the educational kit It Takes a Team: Making Sport Safe for Lesbian and Gay Athletes and Coaches. She served as an expert consultant on this topic for the Women’s Sports Foundation, Out For a Change: Addressing Homophobia in Women’s Sports (an educational video), the Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network, the Massachusetts Department of Education, and for numerous articles in the press, on television and in periodical publications. Dr. Griffin has appeared on ESPN, HBO Real Sports, and ABC Sports Outside the Lines.

Dr. Griffin played basketball and field hockey and swam at the University of Maryland and coached high school basketball and field hockey in Silver Spring, Maryland. She also coached swimming and diving at the University of Massachusetts. She was a member of the U.S. Field Hockey squad in 1971. She won a bronze medal in the triathlon at Gay Games IV in 1994 and a gold medal in the hammer throw at Gay Games V in 1998. She has had short stories and first person accounts selected for publication in Sportdykes: Stories from on and Off the Field, Tomboys: Tales of Dyke Derring-Do, A Whole Other Ball Game: Women’s Literature on Women’s Sport, Whatever It Takes: Women on Women's Sports.

See last year's videos and photos. Read the testimonials from 2003.


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