Photo credit: Ken Jones Photography

Advancement of Blacks in Sports Founders

Gary Charles, a grass roots basketball coaching legend fostered partnerships with high profile individuals to launch Advancement of Blacks in Sports, Inc. (ABIS), a newly established non-profit organization with a mission to connect and inspire people to boldly advocate for racial, social, and economic justice for Blacks in sports. ABIS works to foster a culture of equity and inclusion in all aspects of sports that lead to racial, economic and social justice. Seated at the right hand of Mr. Charles is the ABIS Vice Chair of Programs, Marketing and Outreach, Felicia Hall Allen (CEO of Felicia Hall Allen & Associates) along with Dave Leitao, (DePaul Men’s Basketball), ABIS Vice Chair of Strategic Management.

Since the tragic death of George Floyd, Mr. Charles has meticulously identified and partnered with a unique collaborative team of leading African American professionals in sports, music, law and business to assist in the normalization of equal rights and fair treatment of Black people. Such notables are Ben Crump, Esq. (Civil Rights Attorney), Chuck D. (Public Enemy), Tracy McGrady (Former NBA), Marquis “Bo” Porter, former MLB Player/Bo Porter’s Future All-Star Development Academy), Leonard Hamilton (Florida State University, Men’s Head Basketball Coach), Dawn Staley (Former WNBA, Hall of Famer Women’s Head Coach University of South Carolina, and National Champion), C. Vivian Stringer (Hall of Famer and Women’s Basketball Coach at Rutgers University), Michael Hausfeld, Esq. (Top Human Rights Lawyer in the U.S.), Richard Lapchick (Human Rights Advocate) and Quintairos, Prieto, Wood & Boyer, P.A.), the largest minority and women-owned law firm in the U.S., (Heather Palmore, Esq. and Noemi Baez, Esq., General Counsel.

Through numerous monthly programing, workshops, summits/conferences, social media engagement and real-time public responses to inequitable current events, ABIS is determined to become the NAACP for Blacks In Sports. Keys to victory include eliminating inequitable hiring practices, improving economic opportunities for minority-owned business, generating knowledge of Black History, promoting voter registration and participation, and protecting student-athletes. The Advancement of Blacks In Sports, Inc., currently integrates, but is not limited to the following sports: Football, Basketball, Baseball, Track and Field, Gymnastics, and Volleyball.

ABIS is particularly focused on the development and holistic growth of the intercollegiate athlete and the recent (NCAA), Federal and State legislation that affects academic and athletic experiences of student athletes. Overall, ABIS seeks to align with student-athletes and other professionals who are willing to use their voices for the betterment of all Blacks in sports.

In addition to the senior executive leadership team, other leadership personnel include Nikki Fargas, Vice Chair of Fund Development and Membership, Dr. Lori Martin, Secretary, and Glen Wright of Worth Advisors as Treasurer.

Among those recruited as ABIS founding members are (in alphabetical order) Felicia Hall Allen & Associates; Jackie Carson, Furman University Women’s Basketball Coach; Attorney Ben Crump; Etop Udo’Ema, Compton Magic (Adidas Grassroots Basketball); Nikki Fargas, Louisiana State University Women’s Basketball Coach; Chuck D., Rapper, Producer & Social Activist; Leonard Hamilton, Florida State University Men’s Basketball Coach; Caryl Smith Gilbert, University of Southern Cal Director of Track & Field; Attorney Michael Hausfeld; Mike Holloway, University of Florida Director of Track & Field; Rob Lanier, Georgia State, Men’s Basketball Coach; Dave Leitao, DePaul University Men’s Basketball Coach; Dr. Lori Martin, Louisiana State University Professor and Faculty Athletic Representative; Tricia Messeroux, The TMezz Creative Group; Kimberly Morgan, former USA Track & Field Administrator; Terrell Myers, We R 1(Under Armour Grassroots Basketball); Heather Palmore, Esq. (Quintairos, Prieto, Wood & Boyer, Law Firm); Ulice Payne Jr., former MLB Executive; Marquis “Bo” Porter, Bo Porter’s Future All-Stars Development Academy; Dawn Staley, University of South Carolina Women’s Basketball Coach; Keith Stevens, Team Takeover (Nike Grassroots Basketball); C. Vivian Stringer, Rutgers University Women’s Basketball Coach; Dr. Deborah Stroman, University of North Carolina Professor; and Guy Troupe, Troupe21 & Associates.