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Return to Play Fund Expert Advisory Council

Designed to support community sport organizations and the young people they serve, the Return to Play Fund - founded by ESPN and Beyond Sport - brings together leading experts in health equity, diversity, equity and inclusion, and youth sports to help ensure that Black and Brown youth are not further disadvantaged coming out of the national rebuilding process in the United States. The Council worked together to align on the needs of the communities, set the criteria and will help select the beneficiary organizations.   


  • Kim Miller - Former VP, Leadership & Education Programs, RISE
  • Mandy Murphy - Founder, MNM Strategy
  • Delise O’Meally - VP International Relations, United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee
  • Renata Simril - CEO & President, Play Equity Fund


  • Megan Bartlett - Founder, The Center for Healing and Justice Through Sport (CHJS)
  • David Cohen - CEO, Doc Wayne Youth Services
  • Dr. Monica Ponder - Assistant Professor, Department of Community Health Sciences; Founding Director, Center for the Study of Racism, Social Justice & Health, Howard University School of Medicine
  • Professor Lauren Sauer - Associate Professor & Director of the Special Pathogens Research Network, University of Nebraska Medical Center


  • Tom Farrey - Executive Director, Aspen Institute - Project Play
  • Melissa Harper - CEO, GoodSports
  • Joanne Pasternack - President & Chief Impact Officer, Oliver & Rose LLC
  • Frank Sanchez - NVP, Business and Community Affairs, Boys & Girls Clubs of America
  • Kristine Stratton - President & CEO, National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA)
  • Aleia Taylor - Former Chief Marketing Officer, Women's Sports Foundation
  • Nichol Whiteman - CEO, Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation

Click here for the Return to Play Fund homepage

Click here to access free resources from Expert Advisory Council members



Topics Covering Youth Sports, DEI and Public Health