Monday, September 26, 2022

Game Changing 1963 Ramblers Team Spotlighted in ‘The Loyola Project’ | VIDEO

*Just in time for the arrival of March Madness, financial services company Northwestern Mutual presents “The Loyola Project.” The documentary is based on the 1963 Loyola Ramblers men’s basketball team. At the height of the civil rights movement, they broke racial barriers by starting four Black men and changed college basketball forever.

“The Loyola Project” will be shown on more than 60 college campuses across the country before a one-hour version airs on CBS and streams live on Paramount+ Saturday, April 2. In advance of the screenings, EURweb correspondent Jill Munroe talked with Ronald J. Adams, the Vice President of Field Diversity & Inclusion, about Northwestern Mutual’s sponsorship of the project and their plans on closing the wealth gap in communities of color.

Adams explained how Northwestern Mutual became a sponsor for The Loyola Project and the company’s family ties to that team.

“It is a compelling documentary about race tension, courage, and college basketball. Centered on the 1963 NCAA champion Ramblers, one of the most memorable games of that season involved them playing an all-white team from Mississippi State University. That team was actually forbidden from traveling north to play against Black athletes. Instead, the team literally snuck out of Mississippi to play the Ramblers because they wanted to compete. That historic game is referred to as the ‘Game of Change.’ In the doc, current team members – including captain Lucas Williamson, a Northwestern Mutual intern- take a look back at the legacy game. Williamson also co-wrote and narrated the story.

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One of our team members brought the project to our attention because his father was on that groundbreaking squad. He grew up learning leadership lessons from it because of his father’s participation on that 1963 Ramblers team and his experience.

For Northwestern Mutual, the film aligns with the company’s values in many ways, including the commitment to amplify voices and accelerate change. Adams added that it is also vital for independent films, “We believe it’s important to share this story. We aren’t in the filmmaking business. We had nothing to do with the content in this wonderfully produced project. But we felt that it was important for people to see the film. So we sponsored the 63 for 63 screening series. We go into 63 schools in honor of that 63 Ramblers team.”

Adams said that one of the ways to make an impact is through conversation, which is why the film is being shown on campuses to get that dialogue started. “We want to be a part of those conversations, Adams continued, “one of the film’s taglines is, ‘see the film, start the conversation.”

The Loyola Project Documentary
The Loyola Project Film

Beyond that, Adams said that Northwestern Mutual wants to help Black families with financial planning. According to The Brookings Institute, there is a 10 to 1 wealth gap in the U.S. between a typical white family and a typical Black family. “That’s what we do best,” said Adams; we help individuals plan to secure their future.”

For more information on TheLoyolaProject and Northwestern Mutual.

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