Welcome to the INSTITUTE FOR SPORT & SOCIAL JUSTICE, Founded by Dr. Richard Lapchick in 1985. Our mission has been to “use the power and appeal of sport to effect positive social change in society.” 

Malcolm Gladwell describes the “tipping point” as that moment when an idea, trend or behavior crosses a threshold, tips, and spreads like wildfire.  Since the tragic deaths of Floyd, Taylor, and Arbery, the outpouring of support across the country and even globally, has left me wondering if we have in fact finally reached the tipping point. 

For many white Americans who watched George Floyd face down on the street, begging for  his life, and then silence, and more silence while a man’s knee pressed into his neck, the scene was outrageous, unreal, and rocked them to their core.  These things just don’t happen in their America.  But just on the other side, in the alternate version of America, black Americans were seeing this happen over and over again, so many names, so many faces, so many lives gone.  If we learned nothing else from this tragedy, we learned that there are at least two Americas, and many of those that live in White America rarely see the truths and realities of Black America.   The recorded footage pulled back the curtain for just a moment, for all Americans to see. 

So, as is our right as the people, we’ve taken to the streets.  Throughout history, protest movements have helped to create change, uniting people in a common cause, raising awareness, and demonstrating the power of unity.   Today a new generation is walking the streets, raising the call for justice and equality.   In the sports world, we’ve seen athletes standing together with teams, and leagues, and sponsors saying enough is enough.

The Institute for Sport and Social Justice was founded in 1985 by Dr. Richard Lapchick who has been raising his voice for five decades to use the sport platform to fight for racial equality and other social justice issues. For 35 years, we have been delivering cutting-edge training services to education systems, collegiate and professional sport organizations, community organizations, and the military and we specialize in responding to the needs of a wide range of partners.  The Institute delivers education designed on best practices developed over three decades of delivering training, technical assistance, and policy development focused on leadership development and social justice.  Our model focuses on facilitated learning and engages participants in meaningful dialogue with practical outcomes. 

Now more than ever we MUST learn to listen and talk to each other.  We MUST find ways to embrace our own vulnerabilities and lean into  conversations that may feel uncomfortable.  We MUST commit to taking action.  Action that includes voting for our future.  voting for leadership that will unite our fractured country, voting for legislative and policy changes that will positively impact our society.    On April 4, 1967, exactly one year before his assassination in Memphis, Martin Luther King Jr. spoke at Riverside Church in New York. He led with this statement…”A time comes when silence is betrayal…”  If injustice is tolerated, it will never be stopped. What will you do to help?

Delise O'Meally
CEO, Institute For Sport and Social Justice

Our Programs

ISSJ programs address issues of diversity and inclusion, gender violence prevention, critical decision making skills for student-athletes, and leadership styles for coaches and administrators.  Our programs have won the Peter F. Drucker Foundation Award as the nation’s most innovative non-profit program and recognized by Bill Clinton Administration as a “model for violence prevention.” Unlike traditional workshops, our programs are interactive in nature; engaging the audience in scenarios, case studies, role plays, videos, and many more interactive activities.


Our Services

Explore our live streaming and on-demand videos. Volunteer in our disaster relief community service project. Nominate a student-athlete to be recognized for their academic efforts. Meet our partners. We are collectively the nation’s largest and most highly recognized outreach and community service program using student-athletes to reach the youth.



Your financial support will allow us to continue to "Change Lives Through the Power of Sport." We are a 501c3 organization, so your donation is tax-exempt.
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