Breaking Barriers:
Sports for Change

A traveling exhibit that focuses on how athletes have used their platform to affect social change. More than an exhibit, it is an experience and a movement that will inspire attendees to find their voice and in big and small ways inspire healing and affect change.


More Than An


an experience and a movement

This powerful exhibit designed in conjunction with ESPN and the National Center for Civil and Human Rights explores aspects of civil and human rights in sports through stories of athletes past and present. Featured are remarkable leaders such as Muhammad Ali, Jackie Robinson, Billie Jean King, Venus Williams, and Jesse Owens, as well as current athletes who are overcoming barriers of race, disabilities, gender, and sexual orientation.

  • I remember this so vividly (1968 Olympics) -- it was made out to be a Black Panther protest but was so much more. People didn't want to hear it; this story needs to be told.

  • My dad played tennis with Arthur Ashe. He was a wonderful man and had a great impact on our family.

  • So moving. I wish we could tell more of the stories.

Super Bowl

Houston ,TX
January 29 – Feb 7

49ers Museum

Santa Clara, CA
Mid Feb – April

Past Locations

ESPN Headquarters — Bristol, CT
July 2016 ESPYS — Los Angeles, CA
College Football Playoff National Championship Bowl — Tampa, FL



What themes are explored in the exhibit?

Racism, Social Justice, LGBT Freedoms, Gender Equity, Disability

What athletes are featured in the exhibit?

Billie Jean King, Jesse Owens, Tommie Smith, Arthur Ashe, Roberto Clemente, Jessica Mendoza, Jackie Robinson, Jim Valvano, Pat Summitt, Muhammad Ali, Terry Fox, Ibtihaj Muhammad, Venus Williams, and more

What are the specifications for the exhibit?

  • 14 free-standing panels/platforms
  • 4 Audio Visual elements: three videos and one audio only
  • 900 – 1,200 Square feet (panel/platforms can be configured based on the space)
  • Exhibit a/v elements requires 4 outlets of electrical power
  • $10,000 Plus Shipping, insurance, and courier costs
  • 3 week minimum – 1 week dismantle/shipping period

Who was involved in the exhibit creation?

Breaking Barriers: Sport for Change was created by the National Center for Civil and Human Rights, Atlanta, GA and sponsored by ESPN. Tony Award-winners George C. Wolfe and David Rockwell of the Rockwell Group, both of whom designed the Center for Civil and Human Rights, have led the compelling storytelling and design. Pellom McDaniels III, Ph.D. Curator of African American Collections from Emory University was the Associate Curator, Researcher and Writer on the project.

Is there a cost with having the exhibit?

The hosting venue will be responsible for the shipping, install and break-down costs of the exhibit, estimated at $20,000.

Who would I contact with questions?

Please contact Shani Drake with the National Center for Civil and Human Rights at or call 404-835-4281.

Request for