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Big 12 Conference Continues Partnership with Rhoden Fellowship Initiative
February 27, 2018

The Big 12 Conference and the Rhoden Fellowship Initiative will continue its partnership in conjunction with the 2018 Phillips 66 Big 12 Men’s Basketball Championship.

Three Rhoden Fellows – Donovan Dooley, Miniya Shabazz and Kyla Wright – will work with Big 12 staff members in event operations and media and digital coverage for the Conference’s annual postseason Championship, to be held March 7-10 at Sprint Center in Kansas City.

The partnership began with 2017 Big 12 Basketball Media Day where Rhoden Fellows also traveled to Kansas City to assist with planning and staffing of the event, which was also held at Sprint Center.

The Rhoden Fellowship Program, headed by ESPN The Undefeated editor-at-large and former New York Times columnist William C. Rhoden, is a two-year training program for the next generation of sports journalists from historically black colleges and universities. Through the Initiative, Fellows utilize sports as a backdrop and lens to produce relevant, timely and informative stories about culture, race, and class, while also serving as campus correspondents for The Undefeated.

“I could not be more pleased with the extension of this partnership as we continue to impact the lives of young people in a meaningful way, while providing a hands-on, career-enriching experience,” said Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby. “We look forward to welcoming the Rhoden Fellows to one of our premier Conference championships and hope to continue to team up with Bill and the program around future Big 12 events.”

“People often say that change takes a long time, but the Big 12 Conference and Bob Bowlsby have shown that change only takes 5 minutes when people in power see a problem and decide that they are going to solve it,” said Bill Rhoden. “That’s what happened between the Big 12 and the Rhoden Fellows. There’s a multi-billion dollar industry in which the black presence is largely invisible. The Big 12 is working to change that dynamic and for that I applaud them.”

The Rhoden Fellows who will assist with the 2018 Phillips 66 Big 12 Men’s Basketball Championship:

Donovan Dooley is a multimedia journalism major at North Carolina A&T University in Greensboro, North Carolina. He’s done extensive print and social media coverage for The Undefeated, and has started a publication featuring stories from college students across the nation, He will be assisting with digital content during the championship.

Kyla L. Wright is a junior journalism major, sociology minor from Detroit. She attends Hampton University and has her own blog and talk show, Kyla’s Korner. She will be producing digital content in and outside the arena.

Miniya Shabazz is a senior mass communication major from Laurel, Maryland. She attends Grambling State University and is the news editor for The Gramblinite. She also writes and produced social media content for the Grambling State University’s Media Bureau. She will be working on the event coordination and media services.

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