Barber: Anthem Partnership to Give Athletes ‘Stronger Voice’
The president and chief operating officer of the Indiana Fever says a partnership with Indianapolis-based Anthem Inc. (NYSE: ANTM) was born out of a desire to give athletes a stronger voice in the fight against social injustice. The partners last month unveiled the Athlete to Advocate initiative, a five-week program to help athletes have a greater impact in their communities. “This professional certificate hopefully will just fine tune their skills and maybe provide additional competencies so that their impact is even strong, deeper and more pervasive in society,” said Allison Barber.
Barber discussed the program in an interview on Inside INdiana Business with Gerry Dick.
“This past summer when our players were playing in the bubble, we witnessed them coming together to really promote social justice and to raise awareness to important issues in society,” said Barber. “I was so inspired by the activities of our athletes that I thought, ‘Is there more we can do to equip them and empower them to have an even bigger platform and a stronger voice?'”
The program, created by the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at IUPUI and funded by Anthem, focuses on sports, leadership and social justice. Anthem says participants will receive research-based knowledge on how to improve their leadership roles on and off the court.
“Our players just enrolled and started,” said Barber. “They are learning more about philanthropy, leadership in philanthropy (and) social justice in philanthropy.”
Barber says the program is just one part of the partnership with Anthem. She says more activities will take place across the state to not only address social injustice, but also promote health and wellness in under-resourced communities.
In addition to the Fever, the New York Liberty, Los Angeles Sparks and Atlanta Dream are included in the partnership.
Barber says the partnership also aims to inspire communities. The Fever and Anthem have launched the inaugural Anthem Assists award, and Hoosiers from all 92 counties are being encouraged to nominate people who work to advance social justice and unify their communities.
You can learn more about the Anthem Assists award and how to make a nomination by clicking here.