FIFA conference on its ‘No Discrimination’ initiative to be held at William Paterson on Saturday

Dembowski, senior diversity and anti-discrimination manager at FIFA, to give presentation, as well as sit on panel discussing efforts globally and locally to promote DEI, confront racism

Gerd Dembowski, the senior diversity and antidiscrimination manager at FIFA, will be the keynote presenter and a panelist at an event on diversity, equity & inclusion and racism Saturday afternoon on the campus of William Paterson University.

The event, titled Diversity and Anti-Discrimination in Sports, is co-sponsored by the New Jersey Pride Chamber of Commerce and William Paterson University and presented by FIFA’s “No Discrimination” initiative. It will be open to the public and live streamed around the world.

(For more information or to register, click here.)

The event marks just the second time that Dembowski and FIFA will publicly address its “No Discrimination” initiative that it launched in 2021 to address and combat misogynistic, racist and anti-LGBTQ rhetoric and actions in the sport, both on the field and in the stands.

Dembowski, who was hired by FIFA shortly after the 2014 World Cup to begin addressing the issue, will give an hourlong presentation on FIFA’s efforts. He will then be part of a five-member panel to discuss how the issue impacts the game at a global and a local level.

Dembowski offered the following goals for the event:

  • Raise awareness about the overall antidiscrimination by FIFA;
  • Inform about standard antidiscrimination measures at FIFA competitions;
  • Learn about the local/regional needs with regards to antidiscrimination in football (soccer) and good practice in local club football;
  • Demonstrate a desire to engage local civil society groups.

The panel, which will be moderated by Tom Bergeron of ROI-NJ, also will include representatives from three area teams and the area World Cup committee:

  • Saara Hassoun, NJ/NY Gotham FC, chief of staff;
  • Briana Keys, N.Y./N.J. Host Committee, human rights advocate;
  • Jennifer O’Sullivan, NYCFC, chief operating officer;
  • Elisa Padilla, New York Red Bulls, chief marketing officer.

The event will start at 12:30 p.m., when doors open at the Shea Center for Performing Arts on the campus of William Paterson.

The event will formally start at 1 p.m., including a welcome from William Paterson President Richard Helldobler.

Dembowski will give his presentation at 1:20 p.m.; the panel will follow at 2:25. The event will conclude with a 30-minute question-and-answer period (both from the live audience and those watching online) at 3:30.

For more information, click here.