"A Night with
a Legend: Jim Brown in His Own Words"
Thursday, October 29
Jim Brown, considered by many to be the greatest running back in the history of the NFL, while starring for the Cleveland Browns, will be at Williams College on October 29th to meet with students and coaches and to speak the public. Before the speech, he will meet with the football and men's lacrosse teams and will hold an informal Q&A with students in leadership studies and political science to discuss social issues addressed by his Amer-I-Can Program.
Brown serves as the Executive
Director of the Amer-I-Can Program, which he founded in 1988. On
the day before his Williams visit he will travel to Capitol Hill to
speak about the program’s efforts to promote social justice
and self-esteem for under-represented populations in America.
The Amer-I-Can program is a 60-to-90-hour, 15-chapter life management skills curriculum "designed to empower individuals to take charge of their lives and achieve their full potential." According to the organization's website, the objective of the program is "to cause one to examine their past conditioned behavior patterns and to systematically apply proven methods to overcome behavior that negatively influenced their lives."
Brown believes the life-management
skills training sessions at the program’s core are key in
making individuals responsible for their self-determination, which
combined with increased self-esteem enables them to seek out and
attain a meaningful life. Brown proudly states that the program
transcends race, age, gender, religion, and socio-economic
Brown’s talk is sponsored by the Athletic Department, the Society of Griffins, Leadership Studies, Claiming Williams, the Lecture Committee, and the Office of Strategic Planning and Institutional Diversity.
Prior to joining the NFL, Brown was a standout at Syracuse University in football, basketball, lacrosse, and track & field, earning 10 varsity letters. His was not originally awarded an athletic scholarship, but that soon changed when he proved what he was capable of on the football field. He earned All-America honors in both football and lacrosse and is a member of the Pro Football, College Football, and Lacrosse Hall of Fame.
Three times in his 9-year NFL career (1957-1965) he was named the league’s MVP. He started all 118 games in his career and averaged 103 yards rushing a game in an era when running the ball occurred more often than passing. Even though every defense was geared to stop Brown, he scored 106 TDs on the ground and 20 through the air for a total of 756 points. In his final season he ran for his second-best yearly total (1,544 yds.) and scored a personal best 126 points.
Brown retired from the NFL at the age of 29, leaving many
experts and football fans to wonder why he would walk away from a
game he was dominating. He maintained then and now that he knew
what he had done and what he wanted to do. He looked at acting and
film as a salary increase and social activism as his way to help
society. He achieved notoriety in social justice circles when he
negotiated a ceasefire between the rival LA gangs “The
Bloods” and “The Crips” in 1989.
The Chapin Hall event is open to the public and there will be no charge for admission. Seating will be on a first come, first served basis.