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KUT News Staff
This Texas Relays Weekend, a Discussion of African-American Achievement
A panel in East Austin tonight will discuss how students can overcome racial stigmas through participating in athletics.
“Moving Past Racial Stigmas to Help Students Succeed” features Austin Mayor Pro Tem Sheryl Cole and CBS Sports Network’s Brian “BJ” Jones as moderators. Speakers include AISD Superintendent Meria Carstarphen, City of Austin Police Monitor Margo Frasier, and UT professor Michael Lauderdale.
Lauderdale hopes tonight’s discussion will address an important topic: “And that is how we can use athletics as a means to keep kids involved in school and give the models of success. And hopefully increase the likelihood that youngsters finish high school and that youngsters go trade schools or colleges to achieve high levels of education.”
The panel is held in conjunction with the 85th annual Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays; the track and field competition kicks into high gear this weekend. Some controversy has surrounded the event the past few years. In 2009, Highland Mall and other local stores and nightclubs closed for the weekend of the race – a move that some saw as racist towards the mostly African-American crowd that the relays draw.
Tonight’s event will also honor high school student-athletes from around Austin.
The panel will begin at 5:30 p.m. at the George Washington Carver Museum and Cultural Center at 1165 Angelina Street. It is free to the public.