Big Ten Launches ‘United As One’ Social Justice Campaign

By October 23, 2020 (2:00 pm)Football

The Big Ten is launching the ‘United As One’ social justice campaign, which is one of the conference’s several Equality Coalition initiatives. 

‘United As One’ is dedicated to constructively and collectively recognizing and eliminating racism and hate in our society by creating resources for inclusion, empowerment, and accountability, according to the conference’s release.

“All things are possible in the Big Ten when we unite as one,” Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren said in the statement. “I am humbled and deeply appreciative of how our 14 member institutions have communicated, collaborated and committed to develop a conference-wide campaign focused on creating equality and equity in our society.”

The ‘United As One’ icon was created by Chris Althoff, who is the Big Ten’s associate director of branding, and the design is a word cloud arranged in the shape of the [Big Ten] number one.

Courtesy of the Big Ten Conference.

This icon, which represents the purpose and passion of the Equality Coalition, will debut on all 14 Big Ten campuses the weekend of Oct. 24 and feature prominently alongside and in support of each university’s unique social justice awareness campaign. 

What follows are the specific special justice awareness campaigns of each Big Ten member school:

  • Wisconsin v. Illinois: Wisconsin student-athletes debut the special edition patch of the university crest logo – featuring a black “W” as a sign of support – on all Badger uniforms, while Illinois student-athletes will show their support for Black Lives Matter with helmet decals and markings of ‘Equality,’ ‘Together,’ ‘I Fight Against Racism,’ and ‘United.”
  • Minnesota v. Michigan: Minnesota student-athletes will encourage others to ‘End Racism’ through jersey back nameplates and promotion of H.E.R.E/Helping End Racism with Education. Michigan student-athletes will cover their helmets with the message ‘Equality’ and multi-colored fists. 
  • Michigan State v. Rutgers: Michigan State football players will feature ‘Black Lives Matter’ decals. Rutgers football players will be wearing “Chop 4 Change” on the back of their helmets. 
  • Ohio State v. Nebraska: Ohio State football players will wear decals on the back of their helmets that state ‘Equality’ and debut a specially designed pre-game t-shirt as an additional show of support.  Nebraska’s decals will generate awareness for social justice issues by paying tribute to George Flippin, the first African American football player for the Cornhuskers.
  • Indiana v. Penn State: Indiana will read its “Our Commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion” statement during pre-game activities. A campaign logo, designed by the Hoosiers staff in consultation with student-athletes, arranged the words peace, love, human rights, justice, equality, compassion, together, understanding, united, empathy, and power into a raised fist icon, which will be featured on jersey patches and helmet decals. Nittany Lions student-athletes will wear pre-game t-shirts, uniform patches and helmet stickers featuring hands clasped in union and an outline of the state of Pennsylvania.
  • Purdue v. Iowa: Purdue will be raising awareness of social justice throughout the season with a variety of activities. Iowa student-athletes plan to promote equality and equity with custom decals and social media engagement.
  • Northwestern v. Maryland: Northwestern student-athletes will wear pregame t-shirts featuring a fist icon and the message: “True change will only come once everyone in this country feels the same outrage as black people.” Maryland has personalized the message by replacing the ‘O’ in ‘ONE TERP’ with a raised fist. Also, the ideals of empathy, unity, respect, equality, justice and the phrases “End Racism” and “In Solidarity” will be shared via nameplate messages and field markings.

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