The Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) announced the inaugural winners of the UNITE Award, a conference wide honor determined by the ACC’s Committee for Racial and Social Justice (CORE - Champions of Racial Equity). This award will be given out annual to athletes of each member school in conferenced who:
Best exemplify ACC CORE’s mission to promote and encourage racial equity and social justice through education, partnerships, engagement and advocacy;
Have helped create meaningful, lasting change by improving systems, organizational structures, policies, practices and attitudes;
Have been a pioneer and/or helped pave the way for minorities either at the institution or in the community
In the first year of the award, all recipients are the first male and female athletes of color to integrate the athletic teams at each current ACC institution. For the Syracuse Orange, that means the award winners are Joseph Edward Trigg, who rowed crew from 1913-15 and played football in 1914-15, and Iman Al Bahar, who was on the 1976 women’s basketball team.
Quatami is an active alumna leading the University’s efforts to bring together alumni in the Middle East. She graduated from the school of computer science and is a founding member of the MENAT Regional Council. Edward Trigg was the first African-American on any collegiate crew team, and would become an Army Captain in World War I. He passed in 1955.
These two alumni are deserving of the inaugural award, and moving forward, the schools will be awarding the UNITE Award each year. For Syracuse fans, there are plenty of worthy recipients, but one would think that the members of the Syracuse 8 are first among those the University will look to honor with the award.