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Strong Women, Better World

UT Student and visitor

Kinesiology senior, Taylor Seaman, hugs a young Iraqi mom as they visit the booths at the 2012 YMCA Healthy Kids Day. / Source

The Global Sports Mentoring Program (GSMP) is the flagship component of the Empowering Women and Girls through Sports Initiative, a partnership between UT’s Center for Sport, Peace and Society, The US Department of State, and espnW. This multi-million dollar initiative has allowed us to host more than 300 women and girls from 60+ countries on sports-based exchanges, which has inspired our campus and bridged a number of new interdisciplinary partnerships.

By the second year of the program, the independent Public Diplomacy Council had named the initiative one of the ten best diplomatic achievements in the world.

“When you empower women to realize their aspirations, you create a better future, not for some, but for all. There is no way to win this battle in countries where women are left behind – you cannot leave half your team off the field and win the game.”
John Kerry, Secretary of State

More than 500 students from departments across UT’s campus have been involved in curricular and co-curricular service-learning activities related to this initiative. UT faculty have also collaborated on many scholarly articles and presentations, and in producing comprehensive reports to disseminate ongoing curriculum development and program evaluation findings to stakeholders around the globe.

UT service-learning students in one course launched a “Sport 4 Peace Week” campaign to raise awareness of the benefit of sport in our local community. As part of their campaign, students created the following video and circulated it through social media.

“I am much more likely to remember the history, the culture, the religion, the conversations, the smiling faces, the adventures, and the results of this class than any lectures that I’ve sat through for the last four years. In my opinion, this is the best way to learn.”
UT Sport Management Student, Senior 

See more videos here and here.

The Empowering Women and Girls Through Sports Initiative was nominated as a Partnership that Makes a Difference. Click here to read more.