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ACC Announces 2023 UNITE Award Recipients

THE FLATS – Charles Easley and Carla Gilson have been announced as Georgia Tech’s recipients of the 2023 ACC UNITE Award, the Atlantic Coast Conference announced Wednesday.

The ACC UNITE Award was created to honor individuals affiliated with the league who have made an impact in the areas of racial and social justice. An initiative of the ACC’s Committee for Racial and Social Justice (CORE – Champions of Racial Equity), the award was developed and approved by the ACC’s 15 members institutions.

Easley was a former Rhodes Scholar State Finalist, a two-time all-ACC honoree, and a three-time football letterman at Georgia Tech. Easley has been named a Top 10 Outstanding Young Atlantans and has been recognized for his service with awards like the Camp Fire Ember Award, Georgia Tech Outstanding Young Alumni and Georgia Tech Total Person-Former Student-Athlete of the Year.

Easley currently serves as a Professor of Practice in the Scheller College of Business at Georgia Tech and is affiliated with the Institute for Leadership and Social Impact. He advises ISLI’s strategy for co-cirricular programming addressing racism and inequity, as it relates to business, society, organizational and public policies, and procedures.

A proud Georgia Tech alum and former student-athlete, Easley holds a bachelor of science degree in industrial management and a minor in industrial/organizational psychology from the Institute, graduating cum laude. He divides his free time between service to his community and his alma mater. Easley has extensive experience in strategy execution of supply chain optimization and design, business transformation, operations improvement, process improvement and executive coaching. He has served on the boards of many civic and non-profit groups including The Westminster Schools, The Georgia Alumni Association, The Georgia Tech Athletic Association, Johnson C. Smith University College of Economics and Business, to name a few.

Gilson has been a member of the Georgia Tech athletics staff for nearly 25 years, currently serving as the director of sports medicine for the past four years after serving as the associate athletics director for sports medicine. In her expanded role, Gilson oversees the day-to-day functions of Georgia Tech’s sports medicine operations and staff, with a focus on the support and care of student-athletes’ physical, mental and overall health needs. She also serves as the primary athletic trainer for the Yellow Jacket’s nationally-ranked volleyball team.

During her time on The Flats, Gilson co-founded Tech’s “Life Now, Life Later” mentor program for female African American student-athletes. She has also served on the athletics department’s equity and compliance committee and as a member of the Yellow Jackets’ Fellowship of Christian Athletes mentor team. Additionally, she served as a panelist for the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference’s (MEAC) Women in Leadership workshop and as a featured presenter at the National Athletic Trainers Association’s Ethnic Diversity Advisory Committee meeting.

The UNITE Award will be presented annually to individuals who:

  • Best exemplify ACC CORE’s mission to promote and encourage racial equity and social justice through education, partnerships, engagement and advocacy;
  • Have helped create meaningful, lasting change by improving systems, organizational structures, policies, practices and attitudes;
  • Have been a pioneer and/or helped pave the way for minorities either at the institution or in the community.

 

Each school selects two recipients for the annual ACC UNITE Award that best exemplify the criteria above.

C.O.R.E was created in June 2020 to support the ACC’s commitment to social justice and racial equity. Members of C.O.R.E. include conference office staff members and campus representatives from each of the league’s 15 institutions. C.O.R.E.’s mission is to promote and encourage inclusion, racial equity and social justice through education, partnerships, engagement and advocacy.

To view the full list of recipients in the ACC, please click here.

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