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J. Thomas McNamara

     The Big Ten Conference is kicking off the football season with the launch of the ‘United As One’ social justice campaign. ‘United As One’ is among several conference-wide Equality Coalition initiatives dedicated to constructively and collectively recognizing and eliminating racism and hate in our society by creating resources for inclusion, empowerment and accountability.
     “All things are possible in the Big Ten when we unite as one,” said Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren. “I am humbled and deeply appreciative of how our 14 member institutions have communicated, collaborated and committed to develop a conference-wide campaign focused on creating equality and equity in our society.”
     The ‘United As One’ icon was created by Big Ten Conference Associate Director of Branding Chris Althoff. Althoff is the oldest son of John and MaryBeth Althoff, formerly of Decatur, who moved to Bloomington where John is a marketing executive with State Farm Insurance. Their youngest son, Patrick, graduated from St. Teresa in 2016 after leading the Bulldogs to their runnerup Class 2A basketball state finish.
All Big Ten student-athletes, coaches and administrators will be wearing a t-shirt with that logo this year.
     “We are extremely proud of him!,” wrote his Dad John in response to a question this writer sent him about the design.
     The design is a word cloud arranged in the shape of the [Big Ten] number one. This visual representation of the purpose and passion of the Equality Coalition will debut on all 14 Big Ten Conference campuses this weekend and feature prominently alongside and in support of each university’s unique social justice awareness campaigns.
     I will have more on this in a future print edition of the Decatur Tribune where one can find the latest and best sports coverage.

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