HBCU Sports Menu
HBCU Sports
View Latest Posts
View Subscriptions
Posting Instructions
Active Bloggers
Reggie Culpepper
Clark Atlanta University class of 1998
Kamal Imani
class of
Neal Owens
University of the District of Columbia class of 1983
Will Moss
Hampton University class of 1995
class of
LaMarr Blackmon
Cal St Univ, Long Beach class of 1992
Beverly Johnson
class of
Tanisha LaVerne Grant
Cheyney University of Pennsylvania class of 1995
NCCU SAAC Wins NCAA DI Mental Health Video Contest
Posted By: Elynor Moss on May 04, 2018

The NCAA Division I National Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) crowned a video submitted by the North Carolina Central University SAAC as the winner of a "Break the Stigma" contest open to all DI institutions promoting mental health awareness.

"I am extremely excited about this accomplishment," said Dr. Ingrid Wicker McCree, NCCU Director of Athletics. "I commend them on their creativity and innovation with this project, and congratulate them on winning this competition."

"I think it is super awesome for NCCU Athletics," said NCCU SAAC Vice President Miriam Duen. "It's really putting us out there on the map, not only as athletes but showing that we are doing well in other things rather than just athletics. It encompasses being a student-athlete."

The initial announcement naming the NCCU SAAC video the contest winner came on the @Div1SAAC official Twitter account the morning of Tuesday, May 1, which begins Mental Health Awareness Month.

"It is an extreme honor to be selected as the winner of the Division I National SAAC Video Contest," said George Midgett, NCCU SAAC Advisor. "Our SAAC understands the importance of breaking the stigmas surrounding mental health and wanted to extend that knowledge to our campus community. Miriam Duen, our 2018-19 President-Elect, spearheaded this drive and helped to spread the message to our student-athletes. Our ultimate goal is to encourage mental health awareness for all student-athletes by providing collaborative programming with students and campus partners, such as Dr. Rae Lundy with the Office of Clinical Services. We hope the vision of the video is received and helps to let student-athletes know that they are never alone."

Duen is a junior outfielder on the NCCU softball team. She first heard of the contest through the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC). Duen, who is the MEAC SAAC President, brought the idea to her fellow committee members at NCCU. The Eagles were on board with the prospect of helping with breaking the stigma of mental health issues and her ideas for the video itself.

"As someone who sometimes struggles with anxiety, I think that there is a need to break the mental health stigma within athletics, not only with student-athletes but for coaches as well," expressed Duen.

After some brainstorming sessions, Duen created a script called The Battle Within, which is based upon how she feels being a student-athlete while incorporating how others expressed they felt as well. Her goal was for the video to paint a picture and tell a story at the same time that portrayed the two sides of the battle where someone feels one way but acts a different way.

That inspiration came from a W. E. B. Du Bois quote stating, "One ever feels his twoness - an American, a Negro; two souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings; two warring ideals in one dark body, whose dogged strength alone keeps it from being torn asunder."

The video that was required to be less than two minutes long features numerous NCCU student-athletes from various sports telling a partial story about the normal portrayals of what it is to be a student-athlete, while the other half of the story depicts the often less mentioned feelings and emotions of a student-athlete.

The visual power in the winning production gives viewers an added level of understanding in the mental health battle of student-athletes as the NCCU representatives had powerful messages of their choice written on their bodies throughout the piece. Some showcased common action words like 'pain is weakness,' 'mental toughness,' and 'fight,' while others depicted action words like 'you matter,' 'love yourself,' and 'look beyond what you see.' The concept was inspired by the Dear World campaign.

Duen, who is seen with 'Student-Athlete' written on her forearms during the video, concludes the piece by saying, "It's okay to not be okay. Let's continue the conversation."

The NCCU SAAC committee with the help of Midgett, Dr. Rae Lundy, the NCCU Health & Wellness Center and the NCCU Athletic Trainers are working together to keep the conversation going.

"Our SAAC has done a tremendous job in ensuring the voices of our student-athletes are heard. This is an example of how they are engaged in addressing critical issues that affect every campus," McCree said. "In alignment with our student-athletes' efforts to address mental health issues, our entire athletics staff will participate in Mental Health First Aid Certification beginning this summer. Student-athlete well-being is a priority for NCCU, and we are committed to providing the best resources for them to ensure academic, athletic and personal success."

NCCU will receive an award of $2,000 for the winning video to be used to support campus SAAC operations and activities.

The NCCU SAAC would like to thank NCCU football video coordinator Jordan Bland for his guidance with the video and NCCU TV Studio Manager Felecia Casey-Hicks for use of the TV Studio for two days to make the video possible.

NCCU Students/Individuals involved in the making of the production:
Takira Robinson (Cheerleading)
Tierra Bradley (Cheerleading)
LaRavia Outlaw (Cheerleading)
Erica Lewis (Cheerleading)
Deshanae Meaders (Cheerleading)
Christine Alcox (Volleyball)
D'anesha Miller (Volleyball)
Kennedy White (Volleyball)
Andrew King (Baseball)
Miriam Duen (Softball)
Marius McAllister (Men's Basketball)
Rodneysha Martin (Women's Basketball)
Erika Ianovale (Volleyball)
Hollan Strepay (Track and Field)
Whitney White (Volleyball)
Braxton Wright (Volleyball)
Jordan Perkins (Men's Basketball)
Jazire Notice (Track and Field)

TV Studio Crew
Christopher Gloetzel
Tyrie Williams
Taquaisha Patrick
Teion Dervin
Alexis Owens
Mushaya Carter
Markeith Gentry
Billy Thomas

Watch VIDEO: http://nccueaglepride.com/news/2018/5/2/athletics-department-nccu-saac-wins-ncaa-di-mental-health-video-contest.aspx?utm_medium=sidearm-email&utm_source=nccueaglepride.com&utm_campaign=NCCU+Athletics+Newsletter&utm_content=daf4884a-9b8f-4d96-9bf3-fe9e9a237229
Elynor Moss
Operations Manager, BlackRomance.com
Member Since January 2011
More From This Author
Find Your Next Career in Life Sciences with Danaher!
Working for a Non-Profit and a Cause. Check Out Opportunities with UltraViolet!
Best Buy Continues to Offer Careers to HBCU Students and Graduates via HBCUCONNECT.COM!
If you've always wanted to work on a College Staff College of the Sequoias invites you to apply!
Tuskegee researchers patent new technology to improve wastewater filtration methods
Tell a Friend about careers at Berkeley Lab: Front End Developer
Latest HBCU Sports
Central State University's Denisha Cartwright selected to USTFCCCA Div. II All-America Team
Central State freshman Denisha Cartwright has been named to the USTFCCCA All-America Team. Cartwright, who was named to the USTFCCCA South Region Athlete of the Year in February, was scheduled to b ...more
Reggie Culpepper • 30 Views • June 1st, 2020
SAU Track Standout Christian Smith To Take Part In ESPN's The Undefeated HBCU Day Virtual Celebration for Graduates
RALEIGH, NC – Track and Field student-athlete and recent graduate Christian Smith (Atlanta, GA) of Saint Augustine's University will appear on a star-studded virtual celebration hosted by ESPN's The U ...more
Will Moss • 30 Views • May 24th, 2020
ASU Kicker Gabriel Ballinas named black college All-American
From staff reports sports@albanyherald.com Photo: ASU kicker Gabriel Ballinas The Power News Radio Network (PNRN) is proud to announce the members of the 2018 PNRN Black College All-American ...more
Elynor Moss • 1,802 Views • January 23rd, 2019
HBCU vs FBS games to watch 2018
by Stephen-Michael Thompson Jr August 27, 2018 North Carolina A&T’s win over Jacksonville State on Saturday night was the headline of HBCU football, but it nearly came in second place. ...more
Elynor Moss • 2,213 Views • August 28th, 2018
ASU Gameday Info: Know Before You Go
This is just a friendly reminder that our first home football game is Saturday, September 1 against Tuskegee University. Kick off is at 5 p.m. If you have plans to attend the game here are some im ...more
Elynor Moss • 2,458 Views • August 27th, 2018
Popular HBCU Sports
Virginia State University "Woo Woo" Cheerleaders
On June 20, The Virginia State University cheerleaders, the Woo Woos, go international as Parish Haynes and head cheerleading coach Paulette Walker-Johnson (right) travelled to Jamaica for a week-long ...more
A Dole • 10,863 Views • June 27th, 2008
Vote for Brandon "Snap" Peters to represent at the 2015 State Farm Insurance College Slam Dunk Contest!
Vote HBCU Basketball Student Athlete Brandon "Snap" Peters of Talladega College to represent at the 2015 State Farm Insurance College Slam Dunk Contest at this years Final Four in Indianapolis televis ...more
Elynor Moss • 8,081 Views • February 20th, 2015
Howard University & Morehouse College renew rivalry in annual black college football game at RFK Stadium!
A Classic is marching into D.C.! The Nation's Football Classic™, a football game featuring teams from historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), will be held annually in September at RF ...more
Elynor Moss • 7,395 Views • February 28th, 2011
2014 AT&T Nation's Football Classic Tickets on Sale Now!
BATTLE IN THE CAPITAL! Two of our nation's most prestigious HBCUs come together again at the AT&T NATION'S FOOTBALL CLASSIC*! 9.13.14 - RFK STADIUM - WASHINGTON. DC --------------------------- ...more
Elynor Moss • 7,268 Views • May 8th, 2014
ASU Announces Schedule for 2014 Turkey Day Classic
ASU is hosting an exciting week of activities in celebration of Hornet Homecoming and the 91st annual Turkey Day Classic football game, which for the first time will be played on the Saturday before T ...more
Elynor Moss • 6,744 Views • May 2nd, 2014