This week’s diverse sources are experts in psychology and mental health with respect to sports.
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Gymnast Simone Biles received attention worldwide following her withdrawal from multiple Olympic events. Citing stress and a case of the “twisties,” Biles is one of several superstar athletes who have emphasized mental health awareness at the Games. Black women, in particular, have led this effort, with Naomi Osaka, Simone Manuel and Raven Saunders all opening up about the impact of mental health on their Olympic journeys. Their experiences have sparked conversations about mental health and wellness support in athletics at large.
This week’s sources are experts in psychology and mental health with respect to sports.

Leeja Carter

An African American woman with dark brown hair in a slicked back ponytail looks directly at the camera with a closed mouth smile. Her hands are in fists placed under her chin. She is wearing rectangular tortoise shell glasses, a white t-shirt, a black necklace, and a white and gold watch.
Courtesy of Leeja Carter

Leeja Carter is an associate professor of exercise psychology at Temple University and chair of the Association for Applied Sport Psychology’s Diversity and Inclusion Council. She’s an expert on feminist sport and exercise psychology, and gendered racism in sports.
Carter has presented internationally and published publications, book chapters, and articles on topics related to feminist sport psychology, Black feminist politics, and equity in sports. Recent publications include her book Feminist Applied Sport Psychology: From Theory to Practice and “Embodying strength: The Origin, Representations, and Socialization of the Strong Black Woman Ideal and its Effect on Black Women’s Mental Health.” Her work has been featured in Self Magazine, Bustle and other outlets, and she writes for Psychology Today.
You can listen to Leeja Carter here


Pronouns: She/her
Email: [email protected] 

Caroline M. Brackette

An African American woman with black hair in a low bun smiles at the camera. She is standing behind a podium with a microphone wearing a black and white, plaid, long sleeve dress.
Courtesy of Caroline Brackette

Caroline M. Brackette is the assistant dean for accreditation and assessment and an associate professor at Mercer University in the College of Health Professions. She is a nationally certified, licensed professional counselor and clinical supervisor, and an expert in mental health counseling with a focus in sports.

Brackette specializes in the use of cognitive behavioral techniques to address behavioral and relationship issues. She assists clients in anxiety and anger management, communication skills and stress management related to careers, sports and performance. She is on the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee Mental Health Registry and mental health directories for several professional sports leagues.

You can listen to Caroline Brackette here


Pronouns: She/her
Email: [email protected] 
Phone: (678) 547-6058
Other sources of interest this week

The Senate is set to vote this week on a long-awaited, roughly $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure package. At 2,702 pages, the agreement outlines plans from expanding transit networks to addressing pollution. 
Zhan Guo is an associate professor of urban planning and transportation policy at New York University’s Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. Guo studies travel behavior and looks for ways to influence decision-making to produce better social outcomes such as reduced congestion and carbon emissions. 
Isabel Araiza is an associate professor of sociology at Texas A&M, Corpus Christi, where she teaches in the Mexican American and women and gender studies programs. She’s an expert on sociology and its intersections with education, social class and inequality. Araiza is a founding member of For the Greater Good, a local advocacy organization that pushes for access to clean water and investment in public institutions and infrastructure.
The latest coronavirus surge is largely attributed to the delta variant. As the number of infections rises and new mask mandates are put in place, the pandemic continues to change course. The Diverse Sources Database has a section dedicated to sources who can provide insight and context on the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. 
Sources of the Week on the news

Matt Barreto spoke to NPR about the need for community engagement from political parties ahead of elections. Elizabeth OuYang spoke to Gothamist about the New York State Legislature's role in the redistricting process. Philip Higuera spoke to CNN Weather Center about widespread wildfires across the U.S. Pedro Noguera spoke to The New York Times about ways to better support students during the pandemic. Briana Scurry spoke to NBC about social justice in sports culture.

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Vanessa Handy | She/Her/Hers | Diverse Sources Intern
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