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Virtual Series on Race, Social Justice Issues Launches

First panel is Feb. 24 at 5 p.m. ET and is set to feature Greg Harbut.

The Racing Biz, LLC, a media company focused on Thoroughbred racing and breeding in the mid-Atlantic region, has partnered with freelance journalist Teresa Genaro and NTRA Director of Communications Alicia Hughes to launch a series of digital panel discussions designed to tackle issues of diversity and inclusion within the Thoroughbred industry.

The series, titled "Truth to Power," will bring together various participants within the racing realm to share their perspectives on racial, gender, and social inequality and how it impacts the sport as a whole. In addition to featuring industry stakeholders, the multi-part series will also seek out diversity experts from other sports to help illustrate why greater inclusion is crucial for any business seeking sustainable growth.

The first panel will take place on February 24 at 5 p.m. ET and is set to feature noted bloodstock agent Greg Harbut, a third-generation horseman, and his business partner, Lexington-based entrepreneur Ray Daniels, to discuss their experience as Black owners in the racing and their non-profit the Ed Brown Society, which is working to create opportunities for people of color in the Thoroughbred industry through scholarships, internships, and apprenticeships. 

"As a biracial female working in the Thoroughbred industry, the issue of diversity—specifically the lack thereof in this sport—is a deeply personal one for me," Hughes said. "I am hoping we can further enlighten aspiring allies while holding industry leaders accountable to have their practices match their statements denouncing systemic injustice."

In addition to Harbut and Daniels, the panel will also feature an interview with Rose Grissell, head of Diversity and Inclusion for the British Horseracing Authority, which has had a Diversity in Racing Action plan in place since 2018.

"With each passing year, the United States becomes a more multi-racial, multi-ethnic, and multi-cultural society," said Frank Vespe, owner and publisher of The Racing Biz. "The future of the Thoroughbred industry here will depend in no small part on its ability to adapt to that changing landscape and to speak to, and most importantly, listen to, people of all races and ethnicities."

"The racing industry has been slow to become more inclusive and equitable," Genaro said. "The sport could not survive without the labor of people of color, yet their voices are seldom part of the big conversations about its future. Increasing the participation of people of color and of women, on boards, in offices, and as customers, is an essential step in the industry's growth." 

The panel will be streamed on both The Racing Biz website (www.theracingbiz.com) and social media platforms @TheRacingBiz as well as on the NTRA's Twitter account @NTRA. 

Tentative dates for future panels include March 17 and April 7, both at 5 p.m. ET.

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