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CNN Dialogues to explore athletes and social responsibility

Shannon Miller is the most decorated gymnast in American history. At the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, she led the 'Magnificent Seven' to the U.S. women's first ever team gold medal. Photo by Dave Black.

Gregory Anthony

Gregory Anthony. Courtesy photo

Jason Collins

Jason Collins. Photo by Kwaku Alston

Pellom McDaniels

Pellom McDaniels III. Emory Photo/Video


Natalie Coughlin. Photo by Mitchell Haaseth

The first openly gay player in the NBA and an Olympic gold medalist in gymnastics will be among the speakers for the next CNN Dialogues, a community forum created to highlight diverse perspectives on current issues.

"Athletes and Social Responsibility: Expectations in the 21st Century," is set for Thursday, Aug. 21, from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. The event will be one of two CNN Dialogues to be held in 2014, and the first to be hosted at the new Center for Civil and Human Rights, which opened June 23 in downtown Atlanta.

The discussion will focus on the roles and expectations of athletes, coaches and owners in philanthropy, and in bridging racial and cultural divides. It will be moderated by former NBA player and CNN political commentator Gregory Anthony, a television analyst for CBS Sports and Turner Sports.

Panelists include:

  • Jason Collins, NBA player for the Brooklyn Nets. Collins is the first publicly gay athlete to play in any of the four major American professional sports leagues;
  • Pellom McDaniels III, former NFL player and current faculty curator of African American collections and assistant professor of African American Studies at Emory University;
  • Shannon Miller, former gymnast and U.S. Olympic gold medalist, who helped lead the "Magnificent Seven" to the U.S. women’s first team gold at the 1996 games in Atlanta;
  • Natalie Coughlin, swimmer and three-time Olympian. Collins competed in the 2004, 2008 and 2012 Olympics, earning 12 medals.

CNN Dialogues is sponsored by CNN in partnership with the Center for Civil and Human Rights and Emory’s James Weldon Johnson Institute for the Study of Race and Difference.

Tickets are $25 and can be purchased online; seating is limited and based upon time of arrival. Doors open at 6 p.m. Tickets may be purchased by visiting

Proceeds from the event will benefit the Center for Civil and Human Rights.

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