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Check Out Our Book!

CHECK OUT OUR BOOK: Playing for the City, available here on This book explores the direct application of community development principles to the sports world, and features work and stories from our own community as well as other cities across the country. 

The Midian Leadership Project participates in ongoing research on the power of sports for trauma-healing and leadership development in urban youth  and young adults. 


Deputy Director Turan Rush presents research at the University of Charleston


Community Peacebuilding Coordinator Calvin Wilder presents research at the Christian Community Development Assosiation conference in Dallas, TX.

Plenty of athletes can tell us that sports helped them get over their anger, that a coach became a trusted mentor, that their experiences on the field helped them overcome life obstacles, or that their leadership was affirmed through sports in ways that didn't happen elsewhere. Midian is on the cutting edge of being able to understand the science and strategies behind harnessing this power. 

This exciting, interdisciplinary research blends sports psychology, kinesiology, education research, and neurobiology to explore the ways in which athletes, parents, coaches, and other mentors can partner to promote healing from past trauma, encourage connection with peers and community, and develop leadership that will transform community dynamics. 

This research is culturally contextualized to the experiences of athletes in urban America, addressing issues such as the effects of the school-to-prison pipeline, interpersonal violence, peacebuilding, and leadership for social change. 

This year, Midian is working to implement a grant through UniCare that will further this research through work with local school and community sports teams.

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