Stacey Little, a Cleveland, Ohio native, is pursuing a coaching degree in Sport & Exercise Studies. She describes her purpose as helping communities become the greatest communities that they can be. Stacey is a Diversity Peer Educator in the Global Diversity and Inclusion Center at Columbus State. In this role she helps coordinate the M.A.N. Initiative program and has provided leadership for programs, including water drives for Flint, MI, the 2017 Brother's Keeper Panel, and more. She has expressed her passion by founding "Ball Smart. Ball Hard." She provides after-school sports and mentoring to high school students who are at-risk or have had brushes with the law. Stacey embodies leadership in both her words and deeds. She embodies social justice through serving her community, which has led her to involvement in the People's Justice Project and Voices of the Unheard (VOU) project. Stacey is a mentor to many and models how one can be both passionate and inclusive - getting others to join her fight for justice. She demonstrates incredible heart, maturity, and the ability to be influential every day. In conclusion, Stacey embodies the leadership to be effective in long-term civic engagement beyond her degree.
I was always aware of the issues that faced communities of color, and started to gain a deeper knowledge into these issues over time. My mother would give me different things to read, and when she gave me the book "Lies My Teacher Told Me', at 14 years old that had forever changed how I looked at the what the society was doing to people of color. That is when I came up with the idea of Ball Smart. Ball Hard. I wasn't shocked into action until 2012, when Trayvon Martin was killed. When I moved to Columbus in 2013, I worked 2 jobs, and was trying to get Ball Smart. Ball Hard off the ground. It was not until 2015, when I quit my primary job, and fully focused on school and getting involved in the fight. During this time, we had John Crawford, Tamir Rice, Henry Green, Tyre King, Philando Castile, Alton Sterling, Sam Dubose, Sandra Bland, Eric Garner, Mike Brown, Sean Bell, Rekia Boyd and countless others. I started to meet others who were shocked into action with this incidents, that is how I got involved with the People's Justice Project and other projects the involving mass incarceration of people of color.