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“There's a Drama to It": Innovative Way of Teaching about Resistance, Power, and Social Justice Through Sports 

“There's a Drama to It": Innovative Way of Teaching about Resistance, Power, and Social Justice Through Sports   

February 5, 2020  |  3:00 - 4:30 PM Central Standard Time

Presenter: Rudy Mondragón  

Cost: FREE  | Register

Closed captioning provided.

This session should particularly benefit scholars and student affairs professionals interested in learning about the role and possibilities that a critical paradigm of sports curriculum can play for teaching about social justice, power, resistance, identity, and athletic activism. The presenter will provide a grounding and contextualization about the idea of an athlete activist identity by drawing on the history of the 1968 Olympics, Tommie Smith and John Carlos, Muhammad Ali, and Wilma Rudolph as well as present day examples. Insights from the presenter's research on boxing and the ways in which boxers use the ring entrance as a platform to express themselves will be shared. The purpose of this is to emphasis the point that the pre-fight moment in boxing serves as an important political site of struggle where stories about power, resistance, identity, and complicity with the status quo can be excavated. Finally, this session will conclude with a discussion about the possible roles that student athletes can play in on-campus activism and the need to build bridges between them and politicized student organizations.

Rudy Mondragón is a doctoral candidate at the University of California, Los Angeles working on a dissertation that looks at the sport of boxing and the ways in which Black and Brown boxers politically and culturally express themselves via the ring entrance spectacle. He is the co-founder of Blood Money Boxing, a blog that provides critical commentary beyond the results and statistics of the sport and has written on the sport of boxing for Remezcla and We Are Mitú and has been quoted in CNN and Bleacher Report articles and interviewed by ESPN Deportes Seattle. Academically, Mondragón has written reviews of the boxing documentary "Champs" for the Journal of Sports History (2018) and Louis Moore's "I Fight for a Living: Boxing and the Battle for Black Manhood 1880-1915" for the International Review for the Sociology of Sport (2018) and a book chapter titled, "The Son of God and The Ghost: Colorblind Christian Struggles and Sonic Spaces of Liberation in Boxing" for a forthcoming sports anthology with the Ohio State Press. Along with Gaye Theresa Johnson and David Leonard, Mondragón is a co-editor of the proposed anthology "Rings of Dissent: The Performance of Rebellion in Boxing."

Before his doctoral studies, Mondragón served as the Intercultural Relations Specialist at Gonzaga University and Coordinator of Diversity and Leadership Training at the University of Washington. While at Gonzaga, he implemented the Diversity Monologues, an ongoing program that showcased the creativity and imagination of students to address diversity and social justice issues through poetry and personal monologues. Mondragón is the recipient of the prestigious University of California Cota Robles Fellowship, NCAA Ethnic Minority Enhancement Postgraduate Award, and Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports-Scholar Award. Most recently, he was a Fellow of the Smithsonian Latino Museum Studies Program in Washington, DC where he conducted oral history interviews for the Latinos and Baseball Project.  Mondragón completed his B.A. in Chicana/o Studies at the University of California, Irvine. He holds a M.Ed. in Higher Education-Student Affairs from Iowa State University and a M.A. in Chicana/o Studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

presenter Rudy Mondragón