UCONN Women’s Basketball Kicks Off BTS Tour of Champions In Support of LGBTQ Inclusion

UConn women's bball

Brianna Banks, Stefanie Dolson, Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis and Bria Hartley

University of Connecticut women’s basketball went 35-4 during the 2012-2013 season, capturing its eighth NCAA Division I national championship title. As some of the most recognizable names and faces in the country, the Huskies understand the importance of using fame and notoriety to impact social change. UConn women’s basketball partners with Br{ache the Silence Campaign as the first team to kick off Tour of Champions, a national initiative to increase the visibility of positive role models by highlighting NCAA Division I women’s national champions who advocate for LGBTQ inclusion in women’s college sports.

UConn women’s basketball student-athletes, Bria Hartley, Stefanie Dolson, Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis and Brianna Banks used their own creative vision to share the importance of being not only the best in the game, but champions of respect and inclusion on and off the court.

“This is a special moment for women in sport when national champions step up as advocates in support of the LGBTQ community; this doesn’t happen often, especially in Division I women’s sports. We hope student-athletes and coaches will be encouraged, supported and accepted in their respective communities, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity or expression,” Says Br{ache the Silence Co-founder, Nevin Caple.

The ongoing Tour launches during October, LGBT History Month. Leadership training, inclusion programming and community outreach is offered in addition to participating institutions. This holistic approach allows the athletes to become advocates within their respective communities – serving as leaders, mentors and helping peers and youth understand the importance of inclusion.

Tour of Champions will highlight a new Division I women’s national champion each month with plans to expand to Division II and III women’s national champions in 2014. University of North Carolina women’s lacrosse is the next team to be highlighted as a part of the Tour in November. Br{ache the Silence Campaign hopes to build a pipeline of leadership, creating greater visibility of positive role models in women’s sports to benefit all people, not just the LGBTQ community.

Watch the UConn women’s basketball video and learn more at BTS Tour of Champions.

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