Fargas, Nickelberry, Martin Join ABIS

Organization Formed to Promote Racial Equity

by LSU Athletics Communications
Fargas, Nickelberry, Martin Join ABIS

BATON ROUGE, La. – The Advancement of Blacks in Sports (ABIS), a newly formed non-profit organization with a mission to connect and inspire people to boldly advocate for racial, social, and economic justice for Blacks in sports, has been established. ABIS works to foster a culture of equity and inclusion in all aspects of sports.  

Among the notable African Americans, Coaches and Social Justice Activists that have joined ABIS in the rally for racial equity are LSU women’s basketball head coach Nikki Fargas, LSU men’s basketball assistant coach Kevin Nickelberry and LSU Faculty Athletics Representative Dr. Lori Martin.

“I have a heart for student-athletes. I joined ABIS to support student-athletes, lead fundraising efforts, and promote voter registration,” Fargas said.  

“As a longtime coach, I have seen first-hand racial inequities in sports and I welcomed the opportunity to join my ABIS teammates in advancing opportunities for black people in sports,” explained Nickelberry.  

According to Dr. Martin, “The time for ending racial inequity is long overdue. I count it a privilege to use my expertise and experience to co-chair the racial equity research committee and provide data and analyses that support the organization’s mission and goals.”

Since the tragic death of George Floyd, ABIS founder and basketball grassroots coaching legend, Gary Charles, has meticulously identified and partnered with a unique collaborative team of leading African American professionals in sports, music, law and business to assist in the normalization of equal rights and fair treatment of Black people.

Charles notes, “The passing of John Thompson means another American Icon has passed away. One of the best ways to honor him is for us to continue the legacy he started.  We have not been fully embraced in the board room, had more head coaching positions, and been consistently blocked out of revenues earned through contracts specific to athletics. ABIS seeks to align with student-athletes and other professionals who are willing to use their voices for the betterment of all Blacks in sports.  It’s time for advancement!”

Keys to victory for ABIS include economic sustainability, education, grassroots and community outreach, racial equity research, and student athlete engagement. These keys to victory serve as the guiding framework for the elimination of inequitable hiring and retention practices in sports, access to economic opportunities at sporting events for black business owners, increasing awareness of the value of curriculum that teaches African American history, the promotion of civics and voter engagement, assistance with transition of student-athletes from graduation to careers, and the protection of student-athletes during and outside of competition. 

ABIS officially launched on September 2, 2020.  For more about ABIS see www.weareabis.org.   

ABIS Executive Committee and Board Members Include: Gary Charles, ABIS Founder; Felicia Hall Allen, Felicia Hall Allen & Associates; Jackie Carson, Furman University;  Etop Udo’Ema, director of Compton Magic (Adidas Grassroots Basketball); Nikki Fargas, Louisiana State University; Leonard Hamilton, Florida State University; Rob Lanier, Georgia State; Dave Leitao, DePaul University; Kimberly Morgan, USA Track & Field; Terrell Myers, We R 1(Under Armour Grassroots Basketball); Heather Palmore, Esq. (Quintairos, Prieto, Wood & Boyer, Law Firm); Marquis “Bo” Porter, Bo Porter’s Future All-Stars Development Academy; Dawn Staley, University of South Carolina; Keith Stevens, Team Takeover (Nike Grassroots Basketball); C. Vivian Stringer, Rutgers University; Dr. Deborah Stroman, University of North Carolina; Guy Troupe, Troupe21 & Associates; Ben Crump (Civil Rights Attorney), Michael Hausfeld (Human Rights Attorney), Dr. Richard Lapchick (University of Central Florida); Tracey McGrady (Former NBA Player) and Chuck D (Rapper).