MAAC creates initiative celebrating Black culture

All 11 teams in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference have joined in with MAAC’s “Time Out for Black Lives” initiative. // Photo courtesy of

Matthew Chaves, Sports Editor

The Metro Atlantic Athletic Committee created “Time Out for Black Lives, an initiative for MAAC basketball players and coaches to celebrate Black culture. 

The initiative comes after the MAAC United for Justice campaign, announced on Aug. 20, where the MAAC set forth a multitude of changes that would better highlight Black lives and diversity. Iona’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee joined in on ensuring diversity among their student body with the addition of junior Francis Acolitse as their Diversity Inclusion Chair. 

“On behalf of the MAAC presidents, I share my deep gratitude for the work being done on our campuses and beyond as our student-athletes, coaches and administrators seek to promote education for social justice and combat racial injustice,” Niagara University President and MAAC President James Maher said in the United for Justice announcement. “We know this is a long and winding road, and we are fortunate to have such an amazing group of people who are committed to becoming the change we seek for our society.” 

With MAAC’s new initiative, “Time Out for Black Lives, the league aims to shine a spotlight on Black culture.  

On the initiative’s website,, they have the following description explaining what they hope to accomplish with their initiative: 

Time Out for Black Lives’ is the MAAC’s effort to bring attention to the greatness of Black culture. It is a website where college basketball student-athletes and coaches contribute their time and resources to read story books for children with a positive message about Black culture, justice for all and education. It is our dream that with a ball and a moving story, we can celebrate the greatness of Black culture in a positive way.” 

So far, the website has a total of 23 books narrated by different players and coaches across the league, including “Together for Kwanzaa” by Juwanda G. Ford and narrated by Iona women’s basketball head coach Billi Chambers and “A Nation’s Hope – The Story of Boxing Legend Joe Louis” by Matt de la Peña narrated by Iona men’s basketball head coach Rick Pitino.