August 24, 2018

Screening and discussion of ‘a sports civil rights story’ set for year’s first Salukis SPEAK, featuring filmmaker and SIU Alumnus Oyd Craddock

by Christi Mathis

oyd-craddock CARBONDALE, Ill. — A film about groundbreaking school sports integration in Louisiana will be shown at Southern Illinois University Carbondale by the man who wrote, directed and produced it. Oyd Craddock is an alumnus of the school featured in the film and of SIU.

Two chances to see Craddock’s presentation

“Before the West Coast – A Sports Civil Rights Story” will be shown at 4 p.m. and again at 7 p.m. on Sept. 11 in Lawson Hall, Room 171. Craddock, a Saluki football player from 1976 to 1980, will speak and answer questions afterward.

Students, faculty, staff and the general public are welcome to attend the free presentation.

Documentary highlights the struggles of sports integration

The documentary tells how St. Augustine High School, an all-black private Catholic school in New Orleans, broke racial barriers as it integrated into Louisiana’s all-white sports association following a 1967 federal court order. It’s a poignant tale of how passion, perseverance and leadership triumphed over adversity.

Craddock graduated from St. Augustine just nine years after the court ruling – thus living part of the story himself. He was an honor student and a member of the school’s 1975 state football championship team.

Craddock has excelled in many ways

Craddock’s athletic and academic achievements propelled him to SIU, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in business while playing on the football team. He was inducted into the SIU Sports Hall of Fame in 2004. He also completed his MBA at Tulane University.

He enjoyed a 31-year career with IBM Corporation, working in various sales, marketing, operations and management positions, and also serving as IBM Visiting Professor at Morehouse College in Atlanta, where he taught management information systems and leadership and professional development. He later returned to St. Augustine High School, where he served four years as president and CEO.

Currently, Craddock is president of CYO Management Inc., a company he founded specializing in management consulting and project management for the media, entertainment and information technologies industries.

Craddock and wife Annette have two children, Koya and Oyd II, and a grandson, Mark.

Presentation launches 2018-19 Salukis SPEAK

Craddock’s presentation kicks off a new year of Salukis SPEAK (Solutions for Peace and Equality through Advocacy and Knowledge) discussions at SIU. The university created the program last year and early sessions addressed free speech versus hate speech and the #metoo campaign. A unity poetry jam was held as well.

The goal of Salukis SPEAK is to offer, through speakers, facilitators and special presentations, opportunities for people of various backgrounds to meet and focus on a commitment to inclusivity, diversity, respect and personal growth – an integral part of SIU’s mission.

Future presentations set

Two additional Salukis SPEAK discussions are already planned this semester. They are:

  • Oct. 9 from 5 to 6 p.m. at the Lentz Hall lower level multipurpose room – “Won’t you be my Saluki Neighbor? Lessons from Mister Rogers all Salukis Should Know,” presented by Brian Beccue, Paul Copeland and Amanda Heslinga.
  • Nov. 13 from 5 to 6 p.m. – presentation by Cordy Love and Shannon Schroeder of SIU’s New Student Programs office. Location and details to be announced.

Salukis SPEAK is a cross-campus collaboration, coordinated by Student Affairs and involving numerous campus departments and units.