(L to R) Morehouse psychology professor and author Dr. David Wall Rice, Diversity consultant and brand strategy Kenadie Cobbin-Richardson, Urban Chamber of Commerce president Ken Evans, NAACP LV Chapter Roxann McCoy, UNLV president Keith Whitfield and UNLV rising senior Keren Jean-Charles (Courtesy Photo)

More than 300,000 football fans traveled to Las Vegas for the 2022 NFL Draft. To kick off the three-day, star-studded event, the Las Vegas Raiders, and the NFL brought together local activists and thought leaders representing academia, business, and civil rights communities for the League’s highly acclaimed Social Justice Roundtable discussion.

Invited guests gathered at Allegiant Stadium, home of the Raiders, to exchange ideas centered on creating a solutions-oriented, social, and economic agenda specifically for the Las Vegas community. Roundtable panelists included Las Vegas NAACP president Roxanne McCoy, UNLV president Dr. Keith Whitfield, Urban Chamber president Ken Evans, Kenadie Cobbin Richardson, chief diversity officer, KENGEN LLC and diversity consultant, and Keren Jean-Charles, activist and student leader at UNLV. The discussion was moderated by Dr. David Wall Rice, a noted professor of Psychology at Morehouse College and social justice advisor to the NFL. More than 100 guests attended, including Raiders owner Mark Davis other team executives and staff including members of B.A.S.E.D. In Sports, an Employee Resource Group within the Raiders organization whose mission is to support diversity and create an inclusive culture for employees at every level. Following the two-hour event, guests participated in a networking reception.

“Our society has changed, and it now places a higher value than I’ve ever known on equity and opportunity,” said UNLV President Dr. Keith Whitfield. “That’s why we’re here today.  The Raiders have taken a stand and made a commitment to make things better in our community and drive diversity.”

The Las Vegas roundtable event was the second of the year. In February, the NFL co-hosted a similar event with the Los Angeles Rams as part of its week-long Super Bowl festivities. Organizers are in talks with other NFL clubs in key markets to host additional Social Justice Roundtable events in the coming months.

“The Raiders were built on a foundation of diversity, inclusion and social justice and we’re proud to be able to bring that commitment to Las Vegas,” said Raiders Chief People Officer Marcel Reece, a former Silver & Black player, now one of the highest-ranking Black executives in the NFL who was instrumental in bringing this Social Justice Roundtable to Las Vegas. “As I stated at the opening of the social justice roundtable, ‘We’re here talking about Las Vegas, with Las Vegas!’ and will continue to champion our efforts to improve the welfare of the citizens of Southern Nevada.

For more than a year, the NFL and select clubs have been pushing to deepen its engagement in local communities around the country. In addition to open and honest conversations on race, community policing, and social justice, the NFL continues to form stronger relationships with HBCUs, and Black-owned businesses to help close the nation’s racial wealth gap and address economic disparities.

At the conclusion of the roundtable, Michael Crome, one of a handful of Black NFL team chief financial officers, committed to quarterly social justice conversations with members of the Las Vegas community. “Change takes time and will not happen in one day. The Raiders, however, are committed to doing our part and using our resources and platform to be partners in progress with this community,” Crome said.