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Introducing the Sport for Reduced Racial Inequalities Collective Impact Award Winners

Supported by The DICK'S Sporting Goods Foundation

November 20, 2020

Together with The DICK’s Sporting Goods Foundationthe Beyond Sport Foundation is proud to announce the four winners of the Sport for Reduced Racial Inequalities Collective Impact Award, an initiative designed to drive collaboration between multiple community sport organizations to address systemic racism, inequality and injustice in the United States. 

Supported by grant funding of $275,000 and a comprehensive business support package, four organizations were selected to work together over one year, benefiting from each other’s individual expertise, sharing best practices and working through issues in real-time to drive real, sustainable impact through sport.

The initiative marks the second year of the Collective Impact Awards, initially established to bring together the best and most innovative organizations from around the world that are using sport to address specific UN Sustainable Development Goals.




While many organizations use sport to successfully address issues arising from systemic and institutional racism, very few have specific programs that address the issue head on. However, with their powerful local connections and interventions, youth sports organizations are well-positioned to play a key role in leveraging sport’s ability to break barriers and bring communities together.  

To support this belief, the Beyond Sport Foundation and The DICK’S  Sporting Goods Foundation will partner for a second year to address inequality through an initiative that will see a deep financial investment made to foster collaboration among organizations using sport to promote racial equality and support Black communities across the US.  

 “The DICK’S Foundation believes that sports bring people together,” said Aimee Watters, Senior Director, The DICK’S Sporting Goods Foundation. “Sports also have the power to teach our kids important life lessons like teamwork, sportsmanship and equality. Organizations using sport to level the racial playing field are critically important to solving the racial inequality our country is currently facing.” 


MEET THE WINNERS: 

“Literacy in Action” from AMERICA SCORES New York

ASNY offers a free after-school program called Literacy in Action, which consists of: Health through Soccer (practices & games); Power of Poetry (creative self-expression); Writing for the Community (service-learning), One Hen (social entrepreneurship) and Coaching for Change (leadership development). In line with their 2030 Vision Strategy, each component is youth-led and aligns with the principles of social-emotional learning (SEL), social justice youth development and racial equity. Their curriculum aligns with national education standards for English Language Arts, Physical Education, Math and K-12 Service-Learning ensuring that their methodologies provide academic results for the predominantly Black and Latino youth they serve. newyorkscores.org


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Watch the interview with ESPN SportsCenter Anchor, Michael Eaves and America SCORES NY Program Director, Zachary Gomes here.

“Building a Peaceful and Equiable Society” from PeacePlayers

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The United States is a country with deep racial divides that support an inequitable society in which young people of color are systemically not seen as people. This creates unequal opportunity for youth, and communal conflicts across racial, geographic and economic lines. PeacePlayers believes that basketball has the power to be a catalyst for change. Peace Players US is building and supporting a local and national network of young leaders and community partners who come together across divides to create a more peaceful and equitable society. They develop curriculum and implement programming across the US that is designed to advance this mission. peaceplayers.org

Watch the interview with ESPN SportsCenter Anchor, Michael Eaves and PeacePlayers USA Director of Programs and Partnerships, Sally Nnamani here.

Memphis Inner City Rugby

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Memphis Inner City Rugby (MICR) expands academic and athletic opportunities in under-resourced communities using rugby. MICR serves 350 students ages 8-22, 99% of whom identify as ethnic minorities. Students are impacted through dynamic wraparound services including nutritional assistance, academic mentoring, college/career counseling, travel opportunities, leadership development, competitive rugby and employment opportunities- all free services delivered through strong school partnerships and excellent coaching. More than 85% of students in the program are living below the poverty line. memphisinnercityrugby.org

Watch the interview with ESPN SportsCenter Anchor, Michael Eaves and Memphis Inner City Rugby Co-Founder, Shane Young here.

Bigger Than Baseball: The Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation

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Through a social justice lens, the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation (LADF) runs and funds proven programs aimed at tackling social inequities, leveling the playing field and investing in on-the-ground solutions driven by the community. LADF champions racial equity through Dodgers Dreamfields and Dodgers RBI, by making baseball and softball more accessible to racial and ethnic minority youth, refurbishing dilapidated fields in underserved areas, and delivering healthcare, educational resources and trauma-informed coaching approaches to create healing environments for Los Angeles’ most vulnerable youth. And in its quest for a more equitable and just society, LADF offers unwavering support to the Black community through the programming. mlb.com/dodgers/community/foundation

Watch the interview with ESPN SportsCenter Anchor, Michael Eaves and Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation CEO, Nichol Whiteman here.

Helping to shape the guidelines and guide the group, will be an Advisory Panel of subject-matter experts in addition to expert partners: RISEPlay Equity Fund, the Global Sport Institute at Arizona State University, the Nascimento Foundation and LISC. Beyond Sport and the Play Equity Fund are also partnering on a mapping of the US sport for development sector and the current landscape of how sporting organizations are addressing racial inequities.

Laureus Sport for Good Foundation, along with providing additional funds to The DICK'S Sporting Goods Foundation's donation, will also act as an expert partner and grant manager on the initiative.

Learn more about the rest of this year’s Shortlisters and Collective Impact Award winners and follow their journeys at beyondsport.org/journey.

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