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‘My voice matters’ – University of Miami:

It’s been called the hashtag that changed the Oscars.

After the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences awarded all 20 acting nominations for the 2015 Oscars to white actors, activist April Reign tweeted “#OscarsSoWhite they asked to touch my hair,” igniting a social justice campaign that shined a spotlight on the lack of diversity in the longtime film awards.

And a year later, when the hashtag was revived after the Oscars nominations list was again composed exclusively of white actors, the academy took historic action, committing itself to increasing diversity in its ranks.

“The goal was to double the number of women and those that identify as people of color from underrepresented ethnic and racial communities by the year 2020 within its membership base,” Christine Simmons, the first African American and woman to serve as chief operating officer for the academy, said Thursday on the University of Miami’s Coral Gables Campus.
Her comments were part of the panel Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: A Discussion with Women Leaders in Entertainment and Sports, one of several discussions held April 7 and 8 as part of the School of Law’s Global Entertainment and Sports Law and Industry Conference.
“We overachieved in some of those goals,” noted Simmons, referring to the academy’s efforts to ramp up its diversity initiatives.

Indeed, women made up 46 percent of the academy’s 2021 membership class, while 39 percent of the members were from underrepresented ethnic and racial communities.

What’s more, the 2021 Oscars was hailed as the most diverse ever, with Chloé Zhao becoming the first woman of color to win best director, for “Nomadland”; Daniel Kaluuya and Yuh-Jung Youn capturing supporting actor honors; and Mia Neal and Jamika Wilson becoming the first Black women to win in makeup and hairstyling, for “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.”

And while the 94th Academy Awards, held March 27, 2022, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, will forever be synonymous with Will Smith’s slap of Chris Rock, the awards made further strides in diversity, with an openly queer woman of color, a deaf actor, and a streaming service all taking home awards.

But beyond the nominations and wins, the academy has continued to look at ways to “walk the walk” when it comes to issues of diversity, Simmons said. And that includes taking such steps as examining the vendors and suppliers with whom the academy conducts business. As such, it formed a partnership with a Black-owned company that catered what she called “the most illustrious after-party” held during Oscars week.

“This is all stuff that’s behind the scenes, the non-sexy stuff that doesn’t include the A-listers and the red carpets,” Simmons explained.

Presented by the Hoffman Forum, an initiative made possible by School of Law alumni Deborah and Larry Hoffman, the panel also addressed issues ranging from equitable pay to advocacy for individuals with disabilities.

Erika Estrada Boden, vice president of business and legal affairs at NBCUniversal Telemundo Enterprises, recalled how in the early stages of her career she felt intimidated in meetings with senior executives, feeling as if she had to be only an active listener and nothing more. “But as I’ve progressed in my career, I’ve realized that the reason I’m in those rooms to begin with is because my voice matters and because I have a right to be there,” said Boden, who participated in the panel virtually.

As a fledgling attorney at a large Philadelphia law firm, Niza Motola was often mistaken for a court reporter whenever she showed up for courtroom hearings and depositions. “From there to where I am now, what I’ve learned is it’s important to know your own worth and value.

When I was younger, I didn’t quite understand that. But now I get it,” said Motola, who is now vice president and assistant general counsel for employment and litigation at Univision.

Fear of retaliation prevented Victoria Croy, director of culture and inclusion for the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars, from speaking up when she experienced harassment while starting her career in the sports industry right out of college. “I didn’t realize that I was empowered and that I could stick up for myself,” she said. “I didn’t realize that I could talk about those things and tell someone ‘No,’ or tell them that something is inappropriate, or that I could share with an HR department things that might be happening.”

Panelists shared advice on how they overcame obstacles to succeed in male-dominated professions. “Have soft elbows,” Boden advised. “Know how to weasel your way in but to do it in a way that’s not overbearing or aggressive, but certainly assertive. That’s my negotiation style when negotiating contracts day in and day out. And it’s also my style dealing with corporate politics and having to manage the day to day of the corporate world.”

Simmons urged attendees not to stress over problems but to take an attitude of being confident to solve them. “You’re always going to be presented with a problem, and nine times out of 10, your problem isn’t going to show up the same exact way.

You never know what might happen on a live show,” she said in an obvious reference to the Will Smith slap on Oscar night.

Ultimately, as much attention needs to be devoted to issues of inclusion as is being directed at diversity, said panel moderator Ivy Kagan Bierman, a partner in the Los Angeles-based law firm Loeb and Loeb, who directs the entertainment law track of the School of Law’s Entertainment, Arts, and Sports Law graduate program. “We see this in organizations, in companies, in law firms,” Bierman said. “We recruit wonderful, diverse candidates, but they don’t stay because it’s not an inclusive environment.”

For women, especially those of color, closing the gender wage gap is crucial. Even though they perform the same work, they have been tremendously underpaid in comparison to their white male counterparts, Bierman said.

Ruth Riley, TV studio and radio analyst for the NBA’s Miami Heat, is aware of that fact better than anyone. The retired WNBA player, who won a gold medal at the 2004 Athens Games as a member of the U.S. Women’s Olympic basketball team, often felt uninformed about equal-pay-for-equal-work concerns when she entered the job market after her professional playing career.

But the pay gap is shrinking, she said. “Women in sports have come a long way. We’ve heard about the U.S. women’s soccer team’s fight for equality, and there’s been tremendous growth in the WNBA,” Riley explained.

But it’s not just the revenue. “It’s the lack of coverage,” she bemoaned. She noted a TV commercial that aired regularly during the men’s and women’s NCAA basketball tournaments that revealed that more than 40 percent of athletes are female, yet they receive less than 10 percent of total media coverage.

“That 10 percent was 4 percent when I was playing,” Riley said, noting her pride in young athletes who are using their platforms now to raise awareness about the issue.

Other panels at the two-day forum addressed esports in South Florida, the upcoming Formula 1 grand prix race in Miami Gardens, how influencers are keeping up with social media, music catalog sales and acquisitions, and efforts to reshape Miami’s public art space.

Copyright: 2022 University of Miami. All Rights Reserved.

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CLASH Endurance Miami 2023: Start time, preview and how to follow live

On Friday, some of the best middle distance athletes in the sport will head to Florida to chase those all important PTO points and a slice of the $50,000 prize purse at CLASH Endurance Miami.

The race will also contribute towards the Challenge Family World Bonus and results will count towards qualification for the Challenge Family The Championship.

Below are details on the start times of the races, information on how to watch, and a preview of the elite men and women that are looking to kick their season off in style in the Sunshine State.

We should stress though that the start lists are very much subject to change, with a number of big names – such as Vincent Luis, Joe Skipper and Jackie Hering – initially announced but now not taking part. And there looks to be bad news on the coverage front this year, with no live pictures but instead a post-race production…

Start time and how to follow
The elite race at CLASH Endurance Miami takes place on Friday March 10th, 2023.

The start times are as follows:

Elite Women – 0830 local time / 1330 UK / 1430 CET
Elite Men – 1200 local time / 1700 UK / 1800 CET
Past editions of the event have been streamed live – and for free – on the CLASH Endurance Facebook and YouTube channels.

But this week the following message was posted about current plans: “If you know CLASH Endurance, you know we’re always trying new things. There will be no live coverage, however a post-race show will be released after the event.”

So if you haven’t got it already, then adding the CLASH Endurance app to your phone / mobile device is recommended for racing splits and results. It’s pretty much identical to the layout and structure of the IRONMAN app – which given that has proven itself over many years, is a good thing.

Event history and course
In 2021 the event was held under the ‘Challenge Miami’ banner, prior the rebranding of the Challenge Family North American events to ‘CLASH’. In 2022, CLASH provided some of the most thrilling races on American soil, in both Miami and Daytona.

In Miami, the race venue is the Homestead Miami Speedway, a self-enclosed motor racing circuit event. As with the Daytona International Speedway, a very convenient lake sits nicely within the centre of the circuit, primed and ready for swimmers.

Unlike the racing at Daytona however, CLASH Miami utilises the roads within the racing oval, and so is far more technical than the pure straight-line speed efforts that are the focus there.

The event will be raced over the following distances:

Swim: 1.7km / 1.05-mile (2 laps)
Bike: 62.7km / 39-miles (17 laps of 2.2 miles + one part lap to start)
Run: 16.9km / 10.5 miles (7 laps of 1.5 miles)
Pro Women
Last year, Ashleigh Gentle dominated, with the Australian winning by almost eight minutes in a performance that really set the tone for what was in store throughout the rest of the season for the PTO World #1.

This year, however, looks set to be a much more competitive race, with the absence of the defending champion from the start list really opening up the competition to a whole host of contenders.

Last season’s runner up, Brazil’s Pamela Oliveira, is an athlete who knows what it takes to get on the podium in Miami, but will face stiff competition if she has any hopes of going one better than last season.

The 35-year-old, who won IRONMAN Brasil as well as Challenge Brazil in 2022, will rely heavily on her endurance in Miami, and will have to hope her strong swim-bike combination will be enough to keep her away from some of the lightning quick runners in the field.

Sara Perez Sala (ESP) and Haley Chura (USA) are also likely to be to the fore from the outset.

Perez Sala, who won the Challenge Championship in 2022, before also finishing second at CLASH Daytona behind Angelica Olmo, will be hoping to build an insurmountable lead over the swim and the bike this Friday, with athletes such as Chura and Sif Bendix Madsen (DEN) the likely candidates to contribute to an early break.


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Bacardi Cup Invitational Regatta 2023

After a one-hour postponement ashore waiting for breeze, followed by a general recall, race 1 got under way at 1320 hrs in a light 7-9 knots southerly. The breeze increased at the first windward mark to 10 knots, before easing to remain between 7-9 knots for the rest of the 8nm race.

Impressive form from Denmark’s Jørgen Schönherr/Markus Koy, who found the formula to convert their position outside the top ten at the first mark to nail a decisive opening win.

We are feeling great”, smiled Koy. “I mean winning a race is always like, it couldn’t be better.”

“We feel confident, because we won the last two Bacardi Cup Races”, added Schönherr, in reference to winning the final race of the 2022 Bacardi Cup and today’s opening race.

Leading off the start and upwind were two big name teams in the Star, defending Bacardi Cup champions Mateusz Kusznierewicz/Bruno Prada and Austria’s Hans Spitzauer/Christian Nehammer. Between them they have more Olympic history than fits on two hands, counting thirteen appearances in total. Add to that multiple World and Continental Championships appearances and podium finishes across different classes and we have serious talent. The last time the two teams faced each other was at the 2021 Star Worlds, where it was advantage to Spitzauer/Nehammer who secured bronze, with Kusznierewicz/Prada in fifth.

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McDaniel Discusses Coaching Staff Moves

Mike McDaniel explained the decision to make a change with his offensive line coach but retain special teams coordinator Danny Crossman after a tough year in the kicking game.

INDIANAPOLIS — The hiring of Vic Fangio as defensive coordinator has been the big move of the offseason so far for the Miami Dolphins, but it’s been far from the only news involving the coaching staff.

One item involved the switching of offensive line coaches (from Matt Applebaum to Butch Barry) and another involved the escision to retain Danny Crossman as special teams coordinator after a difficult 2022 season in the kicking game — with the idea element that Crossman is a coach who was retained from Brian Flores’ staff.

The decision to retain Crossman raised eyebrows in part because McDaniel made the move to replace Josh Boyer as defensive coordinator and Boyer also was a holdover from Flores’ staff.

But McDaniel said Wednesday the idea of removing Crossman never really crossed his mind.

“That just comes as a result of daily evaluations of all coaching involved in the building,” McDaniel said. “I think that the Miami Dolphins fan base, the players and Danny and myself would all agree that the desired results, we have more to achieve, but if I would have determined that that was solely his … if I thought that we couldn’t get to where we need to get to go with Danny Crossman, I would have made a move. I definitely didn’t feel that way. And that just comes as a result of daily investment into the coaching staff and what he brings to the table.”

As we have suggested before, Smith was heavily involved with coaching the offensive line last season after Applebaum was hired out of Boston College. McDaniel said that needed to change and the implication clearly was that Applebaum was ready to be a full-time NFL offensive line coach.

“Realistically, from the way the staff was orchestrated the previous year, I really needed to get more offensive coordinator work out of Frank Smith and he was devoted a little too much to the offensive line,” McDaniel said. “And I needed more selfishly to alleviate some stuff off my plate. And so that was the motivating factor to make that move was to facilitate Frank Smith being able to appropriate his time more as a coordinator and less in the offensive line room.”


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