Front & Center: Solomon Thomas



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Coppell Arts Center
505 Travis Street
Coppell, Texas 75019

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Coppell Arts Center is pleased to announce the final guest in their 2021-2022 Front & Center Speaker Series, a topical speaker series with an annual theme focusing on significant national and global discourse. Coppell High School alumnus and defensive tackle for the Las Vegas Raiders Solomon Thomas will speak on mental health awareness and suicide prevention on Sunday, April 3 at 6 PM. Speaker series events will take place in the Main Hall at the new Coppell Arts Center (505 Travis Street, Coppell, TX 75019). Tickets are $39 and on sale now at • 972-304-7047.

Solomon Thomas attended Coppell High School and committed to? Stanford University?to play college football. After redshirting his first year at Stanford in 2014, Thomas played in all 14 games in 2015. In 2016, Thomas played and started all 13 games and had 62 total tackles with 15.0 TFL and 8.0 sacks. Thomas was named first team All-Pac-12, All-America, and won the?Morris Trophy.

Following the 2016 season, Thomas entered the?2017 NFL Draft and was selected as the 3rd overall draft pick by the?San Francisco 49ers. Sadly, during his second season with the Niners, Solomon and his family experienced an unimaginable and tragic loss. On January 23, 2018, his big sister Ella died by suicide. Thomas then started his own foundation in her memory, The Defensive Line, whose mission is to end the epidemic of youth suicide, especially for young people of color, by transforming the way individuals communicate and connect about mental health.

Off the field, Thomas has dedicated his life to sharing Ella’s story and has worked with a myriad of nonprofit organizations to raise awareness and secure funds for mental health and suicide prevention work. Thomas has been a keynote speaker and panel member at events for American Foundation Suicide Prevention Gala, Mental Health America, San Francisco Suicide Prevention, Felton Group, NFLPA Super Bowl Players Summit, Kick the Stigma, ESPN, NFL Network, CNN, Bring Change 2 Mind, and USC Annenberg Summit. He has also been the recipient of the 2019 AFSP Lifesavers Award with his parents Martha and Chris, and has publications in ESPN magazine and Players Tribune.

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