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2020 Collective Impact Award Winners Supporting Black and Brown Youth in the US

October 22, 2021 

We recently announced the Racial Equity Assessment & Learning Tool (REAL) to help US youth sport organizations self-assess internal systems and practices and provide steps that can be taken to address structural racism. In recognition, we’re taking a look at some of the upcoming and past events of the winners of the 2020 Sport for Reduced Racial Inequalities Collective Impact Award supported by The DICK’s Sporting Goods Foundation. The four have been hard at work supporting youth and communities, while leveraging sport to address systemic racism, inequality and injustice in the United States.

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America SCORES New York 

America SCORES New York seeks to create equitable opportunities for youth to experience sport, express themselves and inspire positive change off the field and outside the classroom. Using a social justice youth development framework, the organization emphasizes racial equity, fair play, teamwork and youth voice as key drivers of building a better, more equitable New York City. 

On November 18, America SCORES New York will hold its second annual Change Makers Benefit in support of its social justice youth development mission. The event will also celebrate the 20th anniversary of its soccer, poetry and civic engagement program and honor 20 inspiring young people who have "changed ASNY, changed their communities and now have the opportunity to change the world."

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Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation (LADF)

Through a social justice lens, LADF runs and funds proven programs aimed at tackling social inequities and leveling the playing field. With a focus on homelessness, education, healthcare and social justice, it provides programming to tackle these social inequities for Los Angeles’ underserved youth through baseball and softball. 

On Wednesday, LADF CEO, Nichol Whiteman spoke on ‘ESPN Presents: Helping Underrepresented Communities Return to Sports’ panel during Aspen Institute's 2021 Project Play Summit. The session also featured the launch of The Return to Play Fund founded by ESPN and Beyond Sport.

During the panel, Whiteman - who is a member of the Fund's Advisory Council - spoke on the importance of holistic approaches to sport, stating: "There can be a family and community approach if you wrap services around individuals...We believe it's that comprehensive approach where you're infusing health and education resources when families start to say 'okay my kid might not be the next Lebron, but wow he's going to benefit a lot from this and frankly we will as well." 


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Memphis Inner City Rugby (MICR) 

MICR leverages the power of rugby to expand academic and athletic opportunities for young people in under-resourced neighborhoods. It is on a mission to close the opportunity gap for the underserved as more than 85% of students in its program are living below the poverty line. 

Today, MICR is holding its 3rd annual An Evening for MICR celebrating the young men and women of MICR as the organization launches its 9th year of service. The evening will play a vital role in making MICR’s free, year-round services accessible to its teams at a time when they need them the most. All proceeds from the event will go directly to supporting the re-launch of MICR’s school-based programs for the 2021-2022 school year. The event features USA Rugy Hall of Famer, Todd Clever. 

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PeacePlayers US 

PeacePlayers US believe that basketball has the power to be a catalyst for change - uniting divided communities and educating and inspiring young people to create a more peaceful and equitable society. They develop curricula and implement programming across the United States that is designed to advance this mission. 

Most recently, PeacePlayers Los Angeles partnered with Los Angeles County Parks and Rec for the 7th annual I Matter – Girls Empowerment Conference, where the theme was ‘girls with dreams become women with vision.’ The free event was held on October 9 at three park locations for over 200 girls aged 12-18 year. They heard from powerful women leaders, engaged in female empowerment workshops and had the opportunity to connect with their peers to feel inspired and empowered. The PeacePlayers team of female coaches and staff-led basketball and movement activities for the girls throughout the conference.

US-based youth sport providers are encouraged to take advantage of the free online Racial Equity Assessment & Learning Tool to advance equality on and off the field! Access the REAL tool here.


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