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'Remember the Titans' Coach to Speak at UW Wednesday

March 24, 2009
Herman Boone

Herman Boone, the coach depicted in the popular movie, "Remember the Titans," will discuss diversity issues Wednesday, March 25, at 7 p.m. in the Wyoming Union ballroom at the University of Wyoming.

Boone's free public presentation is part of the second annual Celebration of Diversity. A free luncheon begins the day's activities from 11 a.m.-1 p.m., also in the Wyoming Union ballroom.

The Colorado Hebrew Chorale entertain at 11:15 a.m.; the Wind River Dancers from the Wind River Indian Reservation will perform at 11:45 a.m.; and the Wyoming African Student Association Drum Circle will perform at 12:30 p.m.

Boone will share his experiences bringing together the Titans high school football team and discuss diversity struggles.

Oscar-winning actor Denzel Washington portrayed Boone in the 2000 film, "Remember the Titans."

Racial tensions ran high at TC Williams High School in Alexandria, Va., in 1971 when three schools merged into an integrated one. The Titans won the state championship that year. While more than 30 more Virginia state championship games have been played since then, that first season coached by Boone will stand out because of racial issues.

After being selected to coach instead of local favorite and successful coach Bill Yoast of the formerly all-white Hammond High School, Boone faced the challenge of a lifetime.

He endured racial intolerance and the disapproval of Yoast's supporters. However, after putting their prejudices aside, the two coaches worked together to unify the team to form a bond with a common vision -- to win football games.

Today, Boone is retired but continues to motivate and inspire audiences with his presentations on respect, teamwork and community involvement.

Celebration of Diversity is sponsored by the Associated Students of UW, Office of the President, United Multicultural Council, UW Departments of Art and Family and Consumer Science, Chicano, African American and American Indian Studies, Fine Arts, Wyoming African Students Association, PACMWA, Asian American Pacific Islander Association, Colleges of Agriculture, Health Sciences and Education, UW Libraries, Multicultural, Alumni and Student Affairs, Dean of Students office, College of Arts and Sciences Dean's office, UW Foundation and Student Educational Opportunity.

For more information, contact Rachel Suarez LeBeau, ASUW director of diversity and student outreach, at (307) 766-5204 or e-mail

Posted on Tuesday, March 24, 2009

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