According to officials, on January 11, 2021, Acting Morris County Prosecutor Robert J. Carroll, First Assistant Prosecutor Maggie Calderwood and Detective Supervisor Patrick LaGuerre joined the student-athletes and coaches of Fairleigh Dickinson University Athletes for Change and Equality, to share an inspirational message and participate in a Q&A with members.
Created by women’s basketball coach Melissa Brooks, Athletes for Change and Equality (ACE) is a new student group made up of representatives from each athletic team to cultivate inclusivity, discuss social justice and promote cultural change. The leadership committee is comprised of six student-athletes from the football, volleyball, women's lacrosse and women's basketball programs.
The student leaders shared their reasons for joining ACE and what they hoped to accomplish, both personally and for their campus community. They also engaged in a candid and informative exchange on accountability, use of force, Black Lives Matter movement, upcoming changes to New Jersey law enforcement, their own experiences growing up, and similar topics.
Acting Prosecutor Carroll shared his decades-long background in criminal justice and working with Native American Tribes to establish government entities and regulatory systems. He reflected on his years as a college athlete at Wake Forest University, which imparted lifelong lessons on working with and developing bonds with diverse teammates, self-discipline, and maintaining a strong work ethic.
Acting Prosecutor Carroll commended the athletes for their dedication to their athletics and the ACE objectives and encouraged them to continue their efforts to understand and seek solutions to current societal challenges. Acting Morris County Prosecutor Robert J. Carroll added, “I can tell you that as a D1 athlete and all of you who are athletes know this, you have to sacrifice. You have to sacrifice things that students who aren't athletes don't have to sacrifice. That type of focused mindset, that dedication to what you want to do and what you want to achieve on a personal level and achieve as part of a team, are experiences and skills that will be useful in your later life. You are all future leaders.”
First Assistant Prosecutor Calderwood and Det. Supervisor LaGuerre likewise added examples from their life’s experiences that emphasized different perspectives and solutions to challenges they endured in their professional careers and provided examples of how perseverance and good character practices are beneficial in later life. In autumn, Acting Prosecutor Carroll and Detective Supervisor LaGuerre joined student football players, coaches and administrators of Parsippany-Troy Hills Township Schools for a similar virtual assembly.