Dr. Harry Edwards

Dr. Harry Edwards.

Meet the Activist-Scholar and Founder of the ISSSSC

From student-athlete to activist-scholar, Dr. Harry Edwards’ life and work demonstrate that sport is a window to society, revealing a broad range of social and political concerns that affect us all. His devotion to the cause of human rights spans decades—and serves as an inspiration for activists and athletes everywhere. In 1967, Dr. Edwards became the architect of the Olympic Project for Human Rights. This project was created to highlight and protest racism and segregation in sports, and led to the iconic image of two Olympic medalists Tommie Smith and John Carlos, raising their fists during their medal ceremony.

An Advocate and Mentor

Dr. Edwards has served as a consultant to the San Francisco 49ers, the Golden State Warriors and has been a major proponent for getting more people of color into management positions in professional sports. 

Focusing on Equity and Social Justice

He has brought his vast experience of fighting for equity and social justice to the the Institute for the Study of Sport, Society and Social Change (ISSSSC), of which he is a founding member.

Putting Words into Action

Together the ISSSSC and Dr. Edwards use sport as a tool to encourage meaningful positive social change, in hopes that we can create a more equitable future for all.

The Latest on Dr. Edwards

CoSIDA Academic All-America Hall of Fame

"Harry Edwards, ’64 Sociology, ’16 Honorary Doctorate, a San Jose State College two-sport student-athlete will be one of the newest members of the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) Academic All-America Hall of Fame."

PBS Feature: Social Activism in Sport

"On February 22, Harry Edwards, ’64 Sociology, ’16 Honorary Doctorate, sat down with Michelle Martin on the PBS program Amanpour & Co. to discuss the many links between sport and social justice."

Watch the PBS Interview

Dr. Harry Edwards Honored For Courage

"The Simeon Booker Award for Courage is given each year during Nonviolence Week to an individual or group that exhibits the characteristics of Simeon Booker: courage, tenacity, social justice and the willingness to put their lives on the line for a cause."

It Is Time - A Paper by Dr. Harry Edwards

From Protest to Policies, Programs, and Progress. A Paper Summarizing the Challenges and Options faced by Athlete Activists Today.

An Important Message on Athlete Activism

Few have done more than Harry Edwards, the renowned sociologist, civil rights activist, and inveterate advocate for the black athlete, to change the way athletes are viewed — not just as one-dimensional performers, but as three-dimensional people with beliefs.

Dr. Harry Edwards Collection

The Dr. Harry Edwards Collection includes historic photos, autographed books, Olympic Project for Human Rights memorabilia and correspondence from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and President Barack Obama.