SJSU’s “Victory Salute” sculpture honors the legacy of the moment that Tommie Smith and John Carlos drew international attention to athlete activism and the core goals of the OPHR.
Putting "Words to Action"
In January 2017, SJSU launched the Institute for the Study of Sport, Society and Social Change (ISSSSC) with a momentous town hall event featuring current and retired athletes and journalists discussing race relations in sport. SJSU’s long history of athletes, coaches and alumni who have blazed new trails and moved from words to action, make our university the natural home for such an institute. The university is the birthplace of the Olympic Project for Human Rights (OPHR), a movement led by Harry Edwards that culminated in the iconic protest of Olympic medalists Tommie Smith and John Carlos.
The legacy of equity and social justice is a part of SJSU’s DNA. The university was founded on education for all, and provides a voice for those who may otherwise remain silent. The ISSSSC honors our legacy and continues the dialogue about athlete activism and the influence of sport in effecting positive social change. As our nation confronts and explores deeply complex social issues, it is critical that we continue to challenge the boundaries of sport and activism. Sport offers the occasion to pose big questions, not just of athletes, but also of ourselves and provide enlightened perspectives. Hence, ISSSSC amplifies and embodies the motto “Words to Action”.
Get to know the athlete-activists, scholars and executives who make up our Executive, Academic, and Faculty Affiliate advisory boards.