Black creative directors leading the way in college sports during time of racial reckoning

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Black creative directors leading the way in college sports during time of racial reckoning

During Black History Month, with the series 28 Black Stories in 28 days, USA TODAY Sports examines the issues, challenges and opportunities Black a

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During Black History Month, with the series 28 Black Stories in 28 days, USA TODAY Sports examines the issues, challenges and opportunities Black athletes and sports officials face after the nation’s reckoning on race in 2020.

You may not know the name Chanelle Smith-Walker but she is one of the most unique people in all of college sports.

She’s the director of creative media for North Carolina State’s football team, and in the post-George Floyd world, and during a pandemic, she’s had to balance creating enticing content during an unconventional season and advocating for Black athletes during, and after, a summer of racial reckoning in the nation. 

Smith-Walker is a member of a powerful group of people in college sports called creative directors. They use graphic design, photography, video, social media and other means to shape the image of an athletic program. If the athletes are the heart of a program, creative directors are the painters who illustrate how that heart pumps blood.



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