USTA hosts Celebration of Diversity Networking Event for Davis Cup April 7

USTA Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer D.A. Abrams

As reported here in the PRIDE last month, the Davis Cup will he held at Belmont University on Friday, April 6, Saturday, April 7, and Sunday, April 8. The USTA will host a casual brunch / lunch networking event prior to the Davis Cup matches on Saturday afternoon where USTA Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer D.A. Abrams will be in attendance.

The USTA and United States Davis Cup Captain Jim Courier have announced that world No. 11 Jack Sock, No. 14 Sam Querrey, No. 17 John Isner, No. 53 Ryan Harrison, and No. 54 Steve Johnson will represent the U.S. in the 2018 Davis Cup by BNP Paribas World Group Quarterfinal against Belgium. The best-of-five match series will be played on a hard court at Belmont University’s Curb Event Center in Nashville, Tenn., April 6-8. Play begins at 4 p.m. local time Friday, April 6, and Saturday, April 7, and at 2 p.m. local time Sunday, April 8. Friday will include two singles matches featuring each country’s No. 1 player against the other country’s No. 2 player. Saturday’s schedule features the doubles match, and the final day of play on Sunday features the two “reverse singles” matches, in which the No. 1 players square off, followed by the final match between the No. 2 players. All matches are best-of-five sets until one nation clinches. Sunday will feature a revised schedule if a team clinches in the third or fourth match. Tennis Channel will provide live daily coverage.

The Celebration of Diversity event will be held right before the Davis Cup tennis matches start on Saturday afternoon, April 7 . The event is from 1:30 p.m. until 3:00 p.m. at Backstage at Sinema Restaurant & Bar on Franklin Road in the Melrose area, not far from the Belmont University campus, and the matches start at 4 p.m. Again, this is a casual conversation / networking event. Their hope is to also drive diverse audiences to the Davis Cup matches that weekend. Single-day tickets for Friday, Saturday or Sunday range from $90-175; three-day packages for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday are $240 to $500.

USTA Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer D.A. Abrams will be in attendance to discuss USTA Diversity & Inclusion initiatives and best practices. Abrams will focus on the USTA’s mission of Promoting and Developing the Growth of Tennis, highlight the organization’s Diversity & Inclusion philosophy, and outline its Diversity & Inclusion strategic plan of attack as it relates to all demographics, with an emphasis on the LGBTQ community.

“The overall goal of hosting these networking events is to generate an opportunity that will allow us to deepen our relationship and further engage with the LGBTQ community, as they are one of the USTA’s most sought-after audiences for growing the sport of tennis,” Abrams says. “With the Davis Cup event as our backdrop, what better way to engage with the LGBTQ community of Nashville and discuss our focus of making tennis look like America than gathering together  to cheer on team USA.”

Meet D.A. Abrams, USTA  Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer

D.A. Abrams was named the USTA’s Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer in January, 2012. In this role, Abrams is focused on developing and innovating the USTA’s diversity and inclusion initiatives on both a national and grassroots level. Abrams works out of the USTA’s national headquarters in White Plains, N.Y., and reports to Gordon Smith, Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer for the USTA. He began officially in his new role on February 21, 2012.

“D.A’s commitment to growing the game and providing opportunities for people of all ages and backgrounds makes him the ideal person to implement our diversity and inclusion mission both within and outside the USTA family,” said Smith.

Abrams has more than 30 years of experience with the USTA both on the national and sectional levels. He had served as the Executive Director of the USTA’s Eastern Section just prior to his appointment, where he led it through unprecedented growth. Under his leadership, the section’s membership increased by more than 20 percent, and its recreational programs for adults and juniors expanded, as well. Prior to joining the USTA’s Eastern Section, Abrams served as the Director of Outreach for the USTA’s national office in White Plains, where he helped expand the organization’s National Junior Tennis and Learning (NJTL) network and other programs for special populations.

He has been a pioneer by becoming the first African-American executive director of a USTA regional office at the USTA Missouri Valley section. While there, Abrams increased USTA individual and organizational membership and exceeded goals set for growth in USTA programs, including USA Tennis 1-2-3, Team Tennis, Community Tennis Associations, NJTL, Schools and Park and  Recreation organizations. Abrams began his USTA career in 1993 as a national coordinator for the NJTL program in the USTA’s national office. He played tennis at Millersville University in Pennsylvania and earned a master’s degree from Metropolitan State University in Minneapolis. Abrams was born and raised in Philadelphia, where he participated in the city’s NJTL program.