Webinar Recap: The Rise of Girls’ Flag Football

WEBINAR RECAP: The Rise of Girls’ Flag Football

Watch the recording to learn more about:

  • The current state of girls’ flag, and what has attributed to the growing popularity and visibility of the sport
  • Significant benefits of girls participation
  • The challenges girls from marginalized communities face in accessing flag football, and how these can be effectively addressed to increase participation
  • Current initiatives or and strategies to promote diversity and inclusion in girls’ flag football 
  • Panelists’ vision for the future of the game 

We invite you to dig deeper and learn more about our panelists’ research, upcoming events, and resources:

Meet the Panelists

Dr. Kimberly S. Clay
Founder & CEO, Play Like a Girl

Dr. Kimberly Clay is founder and Chief Executive Officer of the nationally recognized nonprofit Play Like a Girl, which she established in 2004. Dr. Kim is responsible for setting the overall direction and program strategy for the organization. A respected social entrepreneur and nonprofit leader, Dr. Kim began her career at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, gaining unparalleled experience in chronic disease prevention and health promotion. She later earned a PhD in public health, establishing herself as a respected behavioral scientist in cancer research. While her travels have taken her around the world, Dr. Kim is proud to call Nashville home.

Amber Clark
US National Team Defensive Back

Amber Clark is a defensive back on USA Football’s 2023 U.S. Women’s Flag National Team. She won a gold medal at the 2023 IFAF Americas Continental Flag Football Championship in Charlotte this past July as the women’s team defeated Mexico 26-21 in the championship game. Clark intercepted five passes across the tournament, including the game-sealing interception against Mexico. She previously served as an alternate on the 2022 U.S. Women’s Flag National Team. 

After bringing home a gold medal, Clark represented USA Football and the U.S. National Team as an ambassador at the National Team West Coast Talent ID Camp in Los Angeles hosted by USA Football and the Los Angeles Rams and attended the Carolina Panthers’ home preseason game against the New York Jets to serve as an honorary captain for an exhibition game between local Charlotte-Mecklenburg School girls’ flag football teams. Through these opportunities provided by USA Football and their partners in the NFL, Clark has served as a role model on and off the field for young, aspiring athletes. 

Prior to playing flag football, Clark competed in the long and triple jump in track and field at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She played tackle football in the Legends Football League (LFL) with the Atlanta Steam from 2016-2019, earning nominations for the league MVP and Defensive Player of the Year awards. Clark is the current head coach of the women’s flag football program at the University of Saint Mary.

Jade Strawberry
Chief of Staff, RCX Sports

Moderator: Ajhanai Keaton
Assistant Professor at the University of Louisville
Executive Board Member of DIECE (Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity Council of Excellence)

Dr. Ajhanai “AJ” Keaton is an Assistant Professor at the University of Louisville and studies how race and gender (in)equity shape organizational structures, norms, and experiences. Keaton’s scholarship is interdisciplinary, as her examination of sports phenomena intersects with management and sociological communities. As an interdisciplinary scholar, she has published in the following peer-reviewed academic outlets: Journal of Issues in Intercollegiate Athletics, Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health, Journal of Sport Management, Sociology of Sport Journal, and several others. She draws upon and advances the theoretical prescriptions Black feminism, institutional theory, and critical theory to address the experiences of varying organizational actors, specifically women, girls, and historically marginalized racial groups in sport. She is an Executive Board member of DIECE (Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity Council of Excellence), a collective of practitioners and college sport researchers who provide tangible solutions that drive intentional growth toward increased diversity and inclusive excellence within college athletics by supporting diversity leaders and designees. She is a member of the Wasserman Collective Think Tank, a collective of industry and sport management scholars who provide solutions for addressing inequities in women’s sport. Lastly, Dr. Keaton is a former two-time Mountain West women’s basketball athlete and these formative experiences in sport led to her passion for researching, teaching, and presenting on sport related phenomena.

Moderator: Daycia McClam
Director of Community Impact (Women and Girls Initiative), PCA

Daycia McClam is a youth development professional with over a decade of experience advocating for young adults in sports and higher education. Daycia joined Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA) in 2023 as the Director of Community Impact, where she evaluates the organization’s outreach efforts and community organizing. She also gathers data that will guide the implementation of PCA’s strategic impact vision in its assigned cities and areas.

Most recently, Daycia was the director of Project Play WNY/Youth Sports Initiatives Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo. In this role, she served as the link between the Community Foundation, the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation, the WNY Youth Sports Advisory Council, contractors, working groups, and key stakeholders. She developed, formalized, and maintained a strong youth sports network, as well as executed Project Play’s learning and evaluation strategy.

Before that, she was the education program manager for the United Way of Buffalo and Erie County, advocating for key issues impacting girls and sports. She developed and coordinated program activities to meet the needs of the community, as well as the non-profit’s programmatic and expansion objectives. She collaborated with United Way coalitions to identify barriers to access and develop equitable strategies to reach underserved communities. Her career also includes previous roles at Medaille College’s Upward Bound Programs and the University of Buffalo.

Outside of work, Daycia is actively involved in her community. She is a board member of Young Audiences of WNY and works as a school mentor at SAY YES to Education Buffalo. On Sundays, she continues her commitment to youth as teen ministries coordinator at Edison Community Church.