top of page


The 101st Annual WSPECW Conference

"All that Glitters is Not Gold: Commemorating the 50th Anniversary of Title IX”


WE'RE BACK! This year's conference will be in-person November 17-20 at the Asilomar Conference Grounds in Pacific Grove, CA. 

The Committee (Program Chair, Michelle McAlaran, and Committee Members Sarah Eikleberry, Diane Williams, Shelley Lucas, and Aubrey Newland) have been hard at work, mapping out the schedule and inviting a few special guests. Inspired by the 50th anniversary of Title IX, we are very excited to invite not one, but two keynote speakers this year to help us talk about Title IX over the past 50 years and what its implications are now in the current day.


Our first keynote speaker, Dr. Akilah R. Carter-Francique (Ph.D., University of Georgia) 

joined Benedict College this fall as the Dean for the School of Education, Health and Human Services. With 20 years of experience in higher education, an extensive research background and a strong vision for leadership in the field of education, Carter-Francique served sporting spaces that center experiences of equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI). 


Carter-Francique examines issues of race, gender, social class and their intersections with sport, education, and society. She has presented at regional, national, and international conferences and written several articles and book chapters across academic disciplines to include being the co-editor of Athletic Experience at Historically Black Colleges and Universities: Past, Present, and Persistence and Critical Race Theory: Black Athletic Experiences in the United States.


Prior to her appointment to Benedict College, she served as the Executive Director for the Institute for the Study of Sport, Society, and Social Change (ISSSSC) at San Jose State University that birthed her co-organization with the Wall of Song Project. Carter-Francique also serves as a research council member and consultant with Laureus “Sport for Good”; an academic advisory council member for Athlete Voices; an advisory committee member with Adapted Sport LABS; an editorial board member for the Journal of Issues in Intercollegiate Athletics & the Sport Social Work Journal; and, in 2018-2019 she served as the President of the North American Society for the Sociology of Sport (NASSS). Carter-Francique and Alleyne Francique are the founders of Francique Sport and Education Consulting, LLC. a family business that serves to empower people through sport and education. 


Our second keynote speaker Dr. Sarah K. Fields, is a Professor of Communication at the University of Colorado Denver. She received a B.A. from Yale University, a J.D. from Washington University in St. Louis, an M.A. from Washington State University, and a Ph.D. in American Studies from the University of Iowa. An award-winning teacher, she has previously taught at Washington University in St. Louis, the University of Georgia, and Ohio State University. Her research and teaching focus largely on the intersection of sport and American culture, specifically examining issues of law, gender, and injury. She is the author of Game Faces: Sport Celebrity and the Laws of Reputation (2016), Female Gladiators: Gender, Law, and Contact Sport in America (2005), and co-editor of Sport and the Law: Historical and Cultural intersections (2014). She has also published more than seventy-five book chapters and articles in scholarly journals such as the Journal of Sport History, the Journal of Sport Management, the American Journal of Sports Medicine, and JAMA: Pediatrics. She is the president-elect of the North American Society for Sport History. A life-long mediocre recreational level athlete, she competed in a variety of team sports including rugby and soccer for forty years. Age and knees now limit her, but Dr. Fields still curls and golfs; she also enjoys outdoor activities with her dog and wife as well as watching television with her cats.

In addition to these amazing speakers, Sarah Eikleberry, Historical Records Chair and her committee, are planning a few activities to help us commemorate 100 years of Western Society. Although last year was the actual 100th year of WSPECW, the planning committee felt as though this year being our first year back after a time of separation would be a nice time to celebrate this momentous occasion together! I look forward to seeing what they have planned!

As in years past, we will be meeting at Asilomar Conference Grounds in Pacific Grove, CA. Please note we are setting an early registration deadline for September 15th, to help give us a good idea of how many members are going to attend this year. Registration for lodging and meals will still occur with Asilomar directly but have a later registration deadline of October 15th.

bottom of page