​On January 24, San José State University launched its Institute for the Study of Sport, Society and Social Change with a star-studded event, "From Words to Action."

The event featured sports, media and social leaders discussing past, present and future "athlete activism," or how athletes and other professionals in sports can use their platform to influence positive change in society.

Presentations and panel discussions featured world-class athletes such as Takeo Spikes, former football linebacker; Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, NBA champion; Chris Webber, NBA All-Star; Anquan Boldin, NFL wide receiver; and Tommie Smith, former track & field athlete and football wide receiver and a member of the institute's advisory board.

The vision of SJSU alumnus Dr. Harry Edwards, the institute is dedicated to research and education focused on the intersection of sport and society; its mission is to illuminate the power of sport as an agent for social change.

In an interview with San José State, Edwards said, "SJSU has historically been at the forefront of social justice issues, and there is no better place for that work to be undertaken, and no better time for us to begin than right now."