The Rams team up with EVERFI to host a webinar for LA students on untold stories from black history


To cap off the Rams’ Black History Month celebration, the team partnered with EVERFI to host the “African American History: Untold Stories” webinar for more than 300 students in the Los Angeles, 6th to 9th grade. Rams front office staff members participated in the virtual chat moderated by Johnathan Franklin, Rams director of social justice and football development.

“We come together on this Zoom webinar to continue the conversation about how we can all inspire change, create history with our own choices, and find out who came before us and how these people paved the way for us all,” Franklin said. as he greeted the students.

The honest, vulnerable and daring conversation explored and celebrated the outstanding achievements of black leaders and pioneers, such as Rams Legends Kenny Washington, Woody Strode and James “Shack” Harris.

“The Rams are committed to shining a light on leaders who advocate for justice, tackle disparities and inspire change,” Franklin said. “As we think about inspiring change, it’s been part of our franchise’s DNA from the start. I’m thinking of Kenny Washington and Woody Strode, who broke the color barrier in 1946 when the Rams signed them, as well than to Shack Harris, who became the first black quarterback to start and win a playoff game after the 1974 season.”

During the 40-minute chat, panelists Bianca Graves, Head of Sponsorship Marketing at Rams, and Daiveun Curry-Chapman, Senior Director of Ticket Sales at Rams, spoke with students from the Applied Technology Center High School, California High School, Ensure High School, Highland Park Continuation High School, Independence High School, KIPP Corazón Academy, Palmdale High School, Taft Charter High School, Verdugo Hills High School and Walt Whitman High School. The discussion focused on how they learned about black history, the roles they want to play in creating positive change, and how the lives of Washington, Strode and Harris continue to inspire people today.

“When we think of breaking down barriers, we think of Kenny Washington, Woody Strode, Shack Harris and women like Shirley Chisholm. You think of all they had to overcome and the adversity they faced “, explained Graves. “I know we live in unprecedented times, so to really understand our history and understand what those who came before us went through to get to where they were, or are now, should be inspiring and encouraging. You can face adversity, you can go through tough times, but if you think about it and have the resources, support and encouragement to do these things, then change is always possible .”

Many stories of black America have gone untold throughout history. The webinar highlighted some of these stories and encouraged students to be curious and have meaningful dialogue.

“Talking and connecting with friends and colleagues is important,” Curry-Chapman said. “My family is from Louisiana. I was able to talk to my grandfather before he passed away about her upbringing and how she was growing up in the 1950s and 60s in Louisiana, the transition from Louisiana to Los Angeles, escaping at the ‘Jim Crow South’ and coming out west. I got to experience so much. The most important thing is to tap into some of the older generations. Tap into our elders and really get that base of what what ‘they had to cross. It helps you understand where we can go.’

The panelists motivated the students to be listeners but above all, to be “actors” in their communities. Curry-Chapman explained the importance of honoring those of the past who inspired change and encouraged students to emulate their role models.

To close the discussion, the students had the opportunity to ask questions and seek advice. Many students drew on personal experiences and explored topics such as the fight against racism, the importance of learning a diverse history, the values ​​professionals should possess, and how to find positive role models.

The Rams’ Black History Month efforts were grounded in an unwavering spirit of inspiring change by honoring the team’s history, celebrating the present and paving the way for the future. Throughout February, the Rams shared the stories and accomplishments of front desk staff members who continue to be pioneers with purpose in our communities. The stories are on the Rams’ website and LinkedIn page.

“It’s reassuring to know that we can all make a difference,” Franklin said. “We can all make history by simply making individual choices, being bold and taking risks.”

To learn more about the Rams’ Black History Month efforts, please visit https://www.therams.com/community/black-history-month.

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