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Tenn. Titans honor local minority businesswoman as 2022 Playmaker

by PRIDE Newsdesk
Dr. Kimberly Clay

Titans controlling owner Amy Adams Strunk presented Dr. Kimberly Clay with the Tennessee Titans’ 2022 Playmakers award, an honor reserved for remarkable women making an impact in their community. In her role as founder and chief executive officer of Nashville-based Play Like a Girl!, Clay leads the organization’s work to level the playing field by leveraging the skills gained from sports to propel young women into competitive, male-dominated careers in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and related fields (STEM+). Clay’s work was spotlighted in a commercial alongside Titans’ running back Derrick Henry who recently teamed up with Play Like a Girl and Bridgestone Americas to increase girls’ access to positive women role models and mentors across Nashville.

Dr. Kim began her career as a public health analyst at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Early in her career, she saw the gender gap in education and health firsthand while working in underserved communities across the South. This led her to establish Play Like a Girl during her doctoral studies in health education. In 2007, she returned to the classroom (this time, as a tenure-track professor) at the University of Georgia where she taught and conducted research exploring long-term cancer survivorship in women.

Dr. Kim is a graduate of Xavier University of Louisiana, Tulane University Schools of Public Health and Social Work, and the University of Alabama at Birmingham, where she received her Ph.D. in Health Education and Promotion. Her work on behalf of young women has earned her the following national recognitions: Daily Point of Light Award; Toyota Everyday Hero; Xavier University’s 40 Under 40; and, Nashville Business Journal’s 50 People on the Move, among others. She is a semi-finalist for the 2020 L’Oréal Women of Worth Award.

Dr. Kim serves on the leadership team for the Nashville Chapter of Elevate Network, which is an international community of professional women committed to a more equal world where women achieve career success. She is also a member of the leadership team for Tennessee Girls Collaborative, the local affiliate of the National Girls Collaborative bringing together organizations across the nation that are committed to informing and encouraging girls to pursue careers in STEM. In addition, she mentors college women and is a member of the Scholarship Committee for Women in Technology Tennessee. Her past service includes appointments to the board of directors for YWCA of Nashville & Middle Tennessee and Junior League of Nashville.

The local organization’s reach and impact spans beyond the local level. This week, NFL players across the league will wear custom cleats to showcase Play Like a Girl as part of the NFL’s national ‘My Cause My Cleats’ campaign. Custom Play Like a Girl cleats will be worn by seven players in NFL games, including: Greg Newsome (Cleveland Browns vs. Houston Texans, 12/4); Jonathan Jones (New England Patriots vs. Buffalo Bills, 12/1); Michael Brockers (Detroit Lions vs. Jacksonville Jaguars, 12/4); Tyler Mabry, Jalen ‘Teez’ Tabor, L.J. Collier, and Poona Ford, Jr. (Seattle Seahawks vs. Los Angeles Rams, 12/4). Players will auction their game-worn cleats at <NFL.com/auction>. Proceeds will be donated to Play Like a Girl.

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