This program will explore the pros and cons of providing compensation to student athletes. Join us for a riveting conversation with members of the higher education community and former student athletes.

Panelists include Professor Umar Muhammad, Saint Augustine’s University Department of Sports Management, Dr. Pamela Grundy, who has published several books on the history of sports and Dr. Charles Pinckney, Professor of Africana Studies, UNC Charlotte. The moderator is Alexys J. Taylor, former college athlete and Gantt Center Collections & Exhibitions Manager.

About The Panelists

Professor Umar Muhammad teaches in the Department of Sports Management at Saint Augustine’s University in Raleigh, North Carolina. He in an active member of numerous community organizations including the Durham County Juvenile Crime Prevention Council, Durham Sports Commission Advisory Board and the North Carolina Central University Recreation Program Advisory Committee. Muhammad is also a non-profit sports club consultant. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychological Aspects of Sport and a Master of Science degree in Sports Management from North Carolina State University.

Charles Pinckney, also known as the "Academic Gangsta," is a Professor of Africana Studies at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He grew up in rural South Carolina, where sports were an integral part of his life and his aspiration in his early life was to be an NBA player. However, Pinckney eventually decided to change his career path after a conversation with a college professor who encouraged him to focus his time and energy in academics, rather than basketball. Pinckney attained his Bachelor’s degree at Lander University, his Master’s degree in Counseling at Webster University and ultimately his PhD in Psychology at Walden University. He has always remained committed to his inherent love of sports, wearing several hats, such as the President of the Center Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) Faculty Athletic Representative Association, Faculty Athletic Representative of the National Colleague Athletic Association (NCAA), and Chair of the Athletic Academic Committee (CIAA Conference).

In addition to his work with athletics, Pinckney is dedicated to education outreach and volunteering with local schools and community organizations. He is also devoted to the study of Hip­Hop culture worldwide and using this culture to educate younger generations in the classroom and out in the community. Pinckney resides in Charlotte, North Carolina with his wife Elizabeth Alston ­Pinckney. They are the parents of two beautiful daughters, Taylor and Jordan.

Charlotte resident Dr. Pamela Grundy holds a Ph.D. in history from U.N.C. Chapel Hill, and has published several books on the history of sports, including Learning to Win: Sports, Education and Social Change in Twentieth Century North Carolina; Shattering the Glass: The Remarkable History of American Women's Basketball (with Susan Shackelford); American Sports (with Ben Radar), and the forthcoming Teaching U.S. History Through Sports (co-edited with Brad Austin). Her most recent book is Color & Character: West Charlotte High and the American Struggle over Educational Equality.

About The Moderator

Alexys J. Taylor is a graduate from Queens University of Charlotte where she earned her Bachelor’s degree in Art History and completed a double minor in Arts Leadership & Administration and French. While obtaining her degree, Taylor was a four-year NCAA Division II women’s basketball athlete and served as a captain for three years.

Taylor started her career at the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture located in Charlotte, NC, as an intern in 2013. Upon graduating from Queens in 2014, Taylor became the Gantt Center’s Guest Services and Volunteer Coordinator. In 2016, Taylor was promoted to the Collections & Exhibitions Manager where she is currently responsible for the care, documentation and acquisitions of the Gantt Center’s permanent collection, coordination for all incoming, traveling and in-house exhibitions. Taylor’s has curated several shows for the Gantt Center including Intergalactic Soul, Nellie Ashford: Through My Eyes, Lillian Blades: Mirrors of Life and Frankhavermercy: Frequency. Taylor is also the Program Manager for Inside|Out Charlotte, a Knight Foundation funded installation.

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