Baylor Athletics launches ONE Campaign to create positive change in racial inequality

Baylor athletes walk along University Parks Drive on Aug. 31, protesting social injustice. Brittney Matthews | Photo Editor

By Will Chamblee | Sports Writer

Baylor Athletics announced the launch of the ONE campaign on Thursday, a campaign committed to fighting racial injustices in the Baylor community.

The campaign will look to challenge all 19 of Baylor’s intercollegiate sports programs to find an initiative or action that will help promote racial equality in the Baylor community.

In a statement released by Baylor, athletic director Mack Rhoades said the campaign will give all student-athletes the opportunity to enact meaningful change.

“It takes all of us to create change, and our 500+ student-athletes play a prominent part,” Rhoades said. “The ONE Campaign is an appeal to our nation, the Baylor family, and one another, to take meaningful action to shape a brighter future for our communities.”

All initiatives will be run by Student-Athlete Huddle Council and the Cultural Humility Working Group.

The Student-Athlete Huddle Council will be made up of representatives from each of Baylor’s 19 teams. The Council will give the players a voice to enact diversity and equality initiatives through the Baylor Athletic Department.

The Cultural Humility Working Group will be run by assistant athletic director for character formation Cori Pinkett and director of digital media Joe Gonzales.

In a statement, Baylor said that the Cultural Humility Working Group will seek to ensure that “Baylor Athletics is a place where people from all backgrounds feel valued and are comfortable being their authentic self.”

Pinkett said on the Sic’Em Podcast that the Cultural Humility Working Group will be comprised of a diverse and unified set of people.

“We have such a diverse group of representatives from our athletic department serving on this working group,” Pinkett said. “It’s a good mix of different perspectives.”

Pinkett said the group will look to make Baylor a place where all people felt accepted.

“One of the things that we talked about is getting a sense of what the needs are within our department and ensuring that Baylor is a place where everyone feels valued, loved and accepted,” Pinkett said. “That’s very important to us and that’s who we are.”

Baylor student-athletes will also wear a ONE patch on their jerseys this season. Baylor said the patch serves as a “visual reminder of our commitment to unifying and promoting change within our communities.”

Each team will be able to choose between Acts 10:34 and Colossians 3:12-14 to include on their patch.

Gonzales said that the growth of racial equality in the Baylor and Waco community and is excited to further that growth through the ONE campaign.

“I’ve seen the growth that Waco has had in the last four to five years,” Gonzales said. “We are definitely growing and definitely heading in a different direction.”

Rhoades said that the ONE campaign was born from a desire to bring positive change to the Baylor community.

“Our desire was to create a department wide effort to unite the Baylor community around a shared commitment to justice, equality and love,” Rhodes said.

The ONE campaign will run alongside the athletic department’s other missions of “Preparing Champions for Life” and “One Standard of One Accord”.