Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The End of An Era – It Takes A Team

It is with sadness that I am passing on the news that the Women’s Sports Foundation has eliminated my position as director of the It Takes A Team initiative at the conclusion of my contract in the end of January. I have directed ITAT for five years and worked closely with it for three years before that. During that time, we have developed the best set of up-to-date online resources for addressing LGBT issues in high school and college athletics. It Takes A Team also developed collaborative relationships with 18 national education, advocacy and athletic organizations and produced a successful monthly eletter with over 3000 subscribers. We’ve worked with hundreds of coaches, student-athletes and athletic administrators across the U.S. to assist them in making sport teams safe and respectful for all athletes regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. In the process we’ve distributed hundreds of our DVDs, posters, safe zone stickers and other educational materials to schools and individuals. I’m proud of what we have accomplished with minimal resources. The resources we have developed will still be available on the Women's Sports Foundation web site.

I want to thank everyone who has supported ITAT and worked with me to get ITAT resources into the hands of people who can make a difference in schools. I especially want to recognize the close and successful collaborations ITAT has enjoyed with the National Center for Lesbian Rights Sports Project and its director, Helen Carroll. Helen and I refer to ourselves as the Frick and Frack of homophobia in sport and often have joked that people in athletics could see me for education or see Helen for litigation. We love being a 1-2 punch against discrimination and ignorance in sport.

As I look to what’s next for me I can promise that I plan to stay in the game. That is, I have lots of energy and commitment to continuing my work on LGBT issues in sport. It Takes A Team will end, but my work on LGBT issues in sport will continue. I just need to identity what that work will look like in the future. For sure I plan to continue blogging so that will go on uninterrupted. I’ll have to keep you posted on the rest.

Finally, I want to wish everyone best wishes for this winter holiday season. Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hannukkah, Kwanzaa, Winter Solstice, Three King’s Day or just like to reflect on the end of the year, may you find peace, love, health and happiness. See you in the new year.

10 comments:

Helen Wortham said...

Dear Pat,
I'm sorry to hear the news that It Takes A Team will dissolve with your stepping down. I truly enjoyed our conversation and interview last month. My editor is holding on to it for the New Year...
As I mentioned in our phone chat, it can be our time to join you and carry the torch or throw that hammer.
Happy holidays to you and you're family. I look forward to your continued blogs and insight.
Helen
shewired.com

david said...

Pat
The college/university sports world will not be the same without your leadership and guidance...You have made a significant differance in the lives of so many college/university athletes...Your commitment to the betterment of the LGBT sports community is 2nd to none, and the next chapter is right around the corner...
Dave Pallone

E Leb said...

Sad news, indeed. Thank you for all your leadership with ITAT. So glad that you're staying in the game! Wishing you the best in the new year.

Alison said...

That was the last news I was expecting to hear, and I am very disappointed in the Women's Sports Foundation. I hope that somehow you are able to find a bigger and better way to spread your message and keep fighting for the cause. Please let us know if there is anything we can do to help...including spreading the word when you take the next step.

Good luck, and happy holidays.

Anonymous said...

It was great working with you this past year and I look forward to continuing our efforts in another venue.
SR

calugg said...

Oh DAMN! This is a huge loss. And a hell of the thing to happen at this time of year.

I wish you the very best as you seek new and more exciting venues.

EC said...

You have made a difference. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

So let me see if I have this right. The womens sports foundation, which was founded by Billie Jean King, is dumping the program that helps fight homophobia in sports?? Does this make any sense? Way to go WSF. That makes all the sense in the world.. sheesh.

Pat Griffin said...

Thanks everyone for your comments. I will continue to blog so please stick with me. I'll keep you posted on what's next for me.

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