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Vanderbilt’s Sports & Society Initiative Partners with First and Pen

To address the need for new voices and perspectives in sports coverage, digital sports media company First and Pen and Vanderbilt’s Sports & Society Initiative announced a new content partnership that focuses on sports stories told by voices of color from the college academic community.

“I launched First and Pen to inform, inspire and connect through voices of color in sports, so I’m extremely happy and excited to partner with Vanderbilt’s Sports & Society Initiative to amplify these voices,” said First and Pen CEO & Founder, Yussuf Khan. “Sports have always been a reflection of society, so it’s important that those that are often overlooked or dismissed have a home to inform, inspire and connect through the passion, lessons, histories and stories sports creates.”

Due to the synergy of the mission and goals of the two organizations, the partnership materialized easily and quickly.

“We are proud to support this effort to elevate voices of color and to further support the idea that sports is a vital area of scholarship,” said Andrew Maraniss, special projects coordinator at Vanderbilt Athletics and manager of the Sports & Society Initiative. “The world of sports provides a fascinating lens to view the most pressing matters in our society.”

The two parties will explore the intersections of race, gender, history, community, global affairs and sports through original editorial content and will expand to include video and audio content in the future.

All content will appear on First and Pen ( and will be shared across social media and on SBRnet, Vanderbilt Sports & Society Initiative (Twitter: @SportsSocietyVU) and First and Pen (Twitter, Facebook and Instagram: @Firstandpen).

Led by media veteran Yussuf Khan, First and Pen ( connects, informs, and inspires audiences through voices of color in sports. From the challenges facing soccer clubs in Black and Brown communities across Michigan and the rich history of Black collegiate wrestlers to the connection between race, baseball and Georgia, these types of powerful stories are told on First and Pen. Follow @Firstandpen (Facebook, Twitter, IG) or email us (

The Vanderbilt Sports & Society Initiative was founded by late Vanderbilt Athletic Director David Williams in 2018 to explore the intersection of race, gender, politics, and sports. The Initiative continues to operate under the auspices of the Vanderbilt Athletic Department, where it is managed by special projects coordinator Andrew Maraniss, a New York Times bestselling author of sports and social justice nonfiction for teens and adults.

Follow Vanderbilt Sports & Society on Twitter at @sportssocietyvu and subscribe to the weekly e-newsletter by emailing

Posted: 7/13/2022 11:49:06 AM by Global Administrator | with 0 comments