Behind the Veil of Invisibility
Being a black woman in sports often means being overlooked, Alicia English sunk deeper into her veil of invisibility by pursuing a career in ticket sales.
Built for the task, making challenging decisions is not foreign to her. Although she grew up in Illinois, her connection with her family in Alabama made her crave a different experience. When choosing a college, Alicia opted to attend Alabama A&M, a historically black college (HBCU).
Playing for the school’s volleyball team, English says that her coaches felt more like family as they supported her on-and-off the court. Here she learned selflessness and that her success would reflect of the legacy of her college. English was also advised that this journey would be difficult as a black woman, however she never backed down from it.
Alicia left the volleyball court and picked up her books again to get her master’s degree. This time, she attended Western Illinois University, a predominantly white institution (PWI). She says that going through a master’s program taught her to be credible when speaking.
“Your thoughts need to be on a factual base and not just on opinion or feeling,” English says.
With her HBCU and PWI background, English was ready to take on the college sports industry. Whether it was Power 5 schools like Louisiana State University or University of Tennessee, or smaller schools like Western Illinois University or Oregon State University, Alicia embraced every challenge.
Currently, English serves as the Assistant Athletic Director for Revenue Enhancement at Kennesaw State University. Plowing through the invisibility of her department and the challenge of being a black woman in leadership, English uses these obstacles as an opportunity to master her craft.
Seeing herself as an example for young black women, she urges them to collaborate with people within their field of interest and never complain when work is assigned.
“We don’t need any more people wining, we need people winning,” English says.
Alicia hopes to always be an example as she grows in her career and continues to impact ticketing departments.
View Alicia English’s Invisible Women In Sport episode https://bit.ly/3yPrrC5