We sat down with Dr. Justin Evanovich, Husky Sport’s Managing Director, to talk about the motivation behind our recent digital network efforts. In addition to his responsibilities with Husky Sport, Dr. J serves as an assistant clinical professor within Neag's department of educational leadership.
“We are trying to find a way to be a part of the continual learning process. We are not looking to create another echo chamber of likeminded folks but to create a platform where we continue to learn, that work never ends. You have to continue to stay relevant, stay active in your pursuit of awareness. Awareness of self, awareness of identities different than your own and the social realities that affect us all differently. We hope our digital networks, Facebook in particular, can provide opportunities for that continuous learning. If you took the class, or were on staff, or have a connection to Husky Sport, but you don’t have a structured or consistent source for social justice, diversity, multiculturalism, or equity related learning, maybe you come back and check out Husky Sport from time to time and you find some new information or perspectives. We hope that these sources of continuous learning around justice and equity can be applied to their lives, to their friendships, to their jobs and day to day practices.”
“In class, we talk about the percentage of credit we deserve for our accomplishments. People usually start high, because of the belief in the American meritocracy. People think ‘i earned this.’ There is this narrative of personal accountability, of sacrifice and hard work. I ask folks to take into account their whole path, the combination of their family, school, community and the resources that come along with these. All of the elements that support you to the point of independence, the factors that protect you before you know what you’re doing, the factors that provide the foundation for your informed decisions, the resources that lead you down the least resistant path to success. Every single thing we do is learned, all the choices we make, the food we eat, the sports we play, the language we speak, the influence of these supports never stop. If we decide to take credit for our social standing then we are simultaneously assigning blame to those who haven't achieved this same level of success, even those who have not had the same system of supports and safety nets.”
“Why is this platform important? If you believe in meritocracy then maybe it’s not important to you, but if you are aware that we are part of larger systems and structures, learning is the first step of being responsible members of our society. I look at it from a place of personal accountability, not guilt, that I did not do it all on my own. The process of learning is different for everyone. We come into an experience and see the world through what we have been a part of. Our communities, our schools, our places of worship, our friend circles all inform our perspective, and for many of us, these are segregated. We live in a society where we have low exposure to people who possess different identities, cultures, preferences of food, style of speech, musical preference, so much of what makes your friends your friends. Husky Sport provides avenues to break down these societal silos, we hope providing opportunities for continuous learning creates another resource to challenge the realities of segregation.”