For more than 20 years, Don McPherson has used the power and appeal of sports to address complex social justice issues. He has created innovative programs, supported community service providers and provided educational seminars and lectures throughout North America.
As an athlete, McPherson was a unanimous All-American quarterback at Syracuse University, elected to the College Football Hall of Fame, and is a veteran of the NFL and Canadian Football League. As captain of the undefeated 1987 Syracuse football team, McPherson set 22 school records, led the nation in passing and won more than 18 national “player of the year” awards, including the Maxwell Award as the nation’s best player, the Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award and the inaugural Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award.
In 1995, McPherson turned his focus to the issue of “men’s violence against women” as director of Sport in Society’s Mentors in Violence Prevention Program, taking over for the program’s founder, Jackson Katz. McPherson emerged as a national leader and advocate for the prevention of sexual and domestic violence. Don has testified before the United States Congress and has worked closely with the U.S. Departments of Education and Defense on issues of sexual violence in education and in the military. He has received several honors in recognition of his service, including The Creative Vision for Women’s Justice (Pace University Women’s Justice Center), and a Leadership Award from the National Center for Victims of Crime. He has served as a board member, consultant and advisor for the Ms. Foundation for Women, the National Football Foundation and the U.S. National Committee for UN Women.