USA Gymnastics announces lineup for November 10 panel on diversity, equity and inclusion in gymnastics as part of ongoing series
posted on 11/05/2020

INDIANAPOLIS, November 5, 2020 – On Tuesday, November 10, 2020, USA Gymnastics will host the second panel in the organization’s three-part fall series focused on diversity, equity, inclusion and bias in gymnastics. Panelists will include Jeffrey Brown, Laurie Hernandez, Derrin Moore, Jessica Renteria, and Orson Sykes; Dr. C. Keith Harrison and USA Gymnastics Chief of Communications and Marketing Carol Fabrizio will return as moderators.

The hour-long virtual session will begin at 3:30 p.m. ET. Panelists will discuss their experiences and insights, share their suggestions for the sport, and provide advice for community members who are hoping to create a more inclusive and equitable culture within gymnastics.

Attendees must register to join, and live audience members will be able to submit questions throughout the conversation. A recording of the November 10 panel will also be made available. Those who missed last month’s panel are encouraged to view the recording.

Meet the panelists:

Jeffrey Brown
Brown competed in trampoline and tumbling from 1996-2009, earning multiple state and regional titles and five national championships. In 2001, he was named to the National Team and represented the U.S. in two World Cup events and two World Championships during his career. In addition to coaching aspiring gymnasts and cheer tumblers, Brown performed as a tumbler in the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and has performed stunts, dance and in acting roles for Universal Orlando, Sea World and Cirque du Soleil’s La Nouba. In 2017, Brown stepped away from performing following a severe hip injury. He currently serves as the Trampoline and Tumbling Director at the World Champions Centre in Houston, Texas. Brown holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Missouri – Kansas City.

Laurie Hernandez
A second-generation American, Hernandez – whose grandparents are from Puerto Rico – earned an individual silver and a team gold medal at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games as the first U.S. born Latina to compete for the U.S. since 1984. Hernandez is a two-time New York Times best-selling author and took home the Mirror Ball trophy as champion of season 23 of Dancing with the Stars. She is a fierce advocate for mental health awareness and has done charitable work with the Make-A-Wish Foundation, St. Jude’s Research Hospital, the Alzheimer’s Association, UNICEF, Stomp Out Bullying, IDONTMIND, and the National Alliance on Mental Illness. In May, in conjunction with NAMI and One Mind, Hernandez co-hosted Stronger Than You Think – a three-day livestream event focused on youth mental health. She was also recently featured in an episode of Peacock’s True Colors, a short-form documentary series highlighting trailblazers and thought leaders from the Hispanic community.

Derrin Moore
The owner of In Flight Gymnastics and Circus, Moore has coached gymnastics for over 25 years guiding athletes to numerous state, regional and national championships. She had a goal to reach the underserved communities of metropolitan Atlanta by providing gymnastics and circus training to youth of color, and this work continues to thrive through her nonprofit Take Flight, which is an official partner of Cirque du Soleil's Cirque du Monde program. Moore serves as the director of the professional circus troupe ELEMENT circus + entertainment. She is also the founder of Brown Girls Do Gymnastics, an advocacy organization helping to guide Black & brown gymnasts through their acrobatic careers, and is the founder of CooperRose Baby, an eco-friendly baby brand advocating for natural parenting in communities lacking support. Each of Moore's organizations and initiatives began with a burning desire to share knowledge and fill a need. Where she saw a need, she blazed a trail to meet it, clearing a path for others in the process. Community advancement and advocacy remain at the forefront of her endeavors.

Jessica Renteria
Renteria competed in acrobatic gymnastics for 11 years as a member of the U.S. Junior and Senior National Teams. Jessica and her partner were the first U.S. senior women’s pair to medal at a FIG World Cup event. After retirement, she continued to coach part-time, host athlete clinics and choreograph dance routines for gyms across the U.S. Renteria is currently an elected Acro athlete representative and vice-chair of USA Gymanstics’ Athletes’ Council and serves on multiple committees with both the Acro program and USA Gymnastics. Renteria recently earned her bachelor’s degree in sport psychology and is pursuing a master’s degree in kinesiology with special emphasis in sport and exercise psychology at Texas Christian University.

Orson Sykes
Sykes was a competitive gymnast at the University of Oklahoma where he was a member of the 1991 NCAA National Championship team, and in 1993, he joined the University’s cheer squad, earning a National Cheerleading Association National Championship. After two years as an assistant gymnastics coach at OU, Sykes and his wife founded Twist and Shout Training Center in Edmond, Okla. Over the past 20 years, Twist and Shout athletes have won multiple NCA, World Spirit Federation, Jamfest and Cheerpower national championships and have competed at the U.S. All-Star Federation’s world championships for the last 13 years, accumulating 12 medals including 3 gold. In addition to coaching, Sykes does choreography for high schools, all-star programs, and universities throughout the U.S. and around the world. In 2011, he was named USASF coach of the year, and in 2012, he was inducted into the body’s Hall of Fame. Sykes currently serves as president of the Cheer Alliance.