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Dear Friends,

The 2012 USTA ICON Awards will be held on the evening of September 4th at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, during the US Open. This year marks the fourth annual ICON Awards presentation, and this year’s event will be highlighted by the presentation of the Billie Jean King Legacy Award to legendary Tennessee women’s basketball coach Pat Summit. The evening’s other honorees will be the late wheelchair tennis pioneer Randy Snow and the late Lee Hamilton who, as Executive Director of the USTA, instituted the creation of this association’s Diversity and Inclusion department.
 
This year’s honorees join an outstanding and accomplished list of those whose contributions have been previously recognized here, including the late Arthur Ashe, baseball legend Hank Aaron, former New York City Mayor David Dinkins, Chief Executive Officer and President of the Phoenix Suns, Rick Welts, former USTA President Judy Levering, and more. The dynamic achievements and unyielding commitment of this group to removing barriers and creating opportunities for others are the foundation of what the ICON Awards seek to recognize and honor. We honor them because they inspire us.
 
As an association, the USTA has made diversity and inclusion a top priority. We are committed to making diversity more than just a goal, but to making it a reality in our everyday lives and in everything we do.  We are committed—one hundred percent—to making the face of our sport look more like the face of our country. We know that that great goal can only be realized by embracing the ideals of diversity and inclusion. That is our goal today and it will forever be our goal going forward—because it is the only way to go forward.
 
The ICON Awards celebrate those ideals and the remarkable people who have built their lives and their successes around them. We sincerely hope that the ICON Awards also will inspire others to follow in their footsteps and help us all to create a more level playing field in our sport and in our society.
 
D.A. Abrams
USTA Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer