Black Women’s Player Collective Joins Black Players for Change, adidas, Musco Lighting, and the U.S. Soccer Foundation in the Creation of 12 New Mini-Pitches

First two mini-pitches installed in Hawthorne and San Diego, California

 

Washington, DC – Today, Black Women’s Player Collective (BWPC) announced that it has joined forces with Black Players for Change (BPC) to create 12 new mini-pitches in communities nationwide. The 12 mini-pitches are part of a partnership between the two organizations, adidas, Musco Lighting, and the U.S. Soccer Foundation aimed at providing greater access and opportunity for children of color to play soccer.

“These mini-pitches are the BWPC’s first tangible product of all the work we have been doing behind the scenes and we are thrilled for them to come to fruition so soon,” said Margaret Purce, Executive Director of BWPC. “These spaces will be critical to our mission of empowering young Black girls and increasing lasting opportunity for sport and community fostered through play. We hope children of all ages enjoy these pitches and create longstanding, memorable experiences for their communities.”

“BPC is committed to tackling the racial injustices that have limited Black people from having an equitable stake in the game of soccer and society,” said Justin Morrow, Co-Founder and Executive Director of BPC. “That’s why we are thrilled that BWPC has joined this effort, because our collective voice and support will go a lot further in making strides toward a more just society and equitable representation at all levels of the sport.”

The group of partners also announced today that the first two mini-pitches were recently completed at RH Dana Middle School in Hawthorne, CA and the Clairemont Branch of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater San Diego. BPC Executive Board Member Kei Kamara and BWPC Executive Board Members Jamia Fields and Ifeoma Onumonu are from Los Angeles and the surrounding area. San Diego is home to BPC Executive Board Member Earl Edwards Jr.

“I am so excited the BWPC is partnering with the BPC and U.S. Soccer Foundation to bring mini-pitches to Black communities across the country,” said Imani Dorsey, Executive Board Member of the BWPC. “So much of my passion for soccer continues to come from the casual yet competitive pickup games I have partaken in since a young girl. I hope young players view these pitches as a haven to play, compete, and be carefree. Everyone is welcome, and I hope the joint involvement of the BWPC and BPC inspires and encourages kids to believe in their own potential and dream big.”

“The joining of BWPC and BPC is not only a monumental moment in Black Soccer history, but U.S. Soccer history. Creating paths to build equity in our game for those who have until just recently been without access, required a commitment and dedication to a long-term vision,” said Quincy Amarikwa, Founder and Director of Strategic Partnerships of BPC. “The amount of work being done behind the scenes by our allies in the U.S. Soccer Foundation, Musco and adidas will never be undervalued. The impact of their commitments to closing the gap will only compound over the long term.”

Photos of BPC and BWPC members surround the two new mini-pitches. Members of both organizations plan to visit the pitches and meet with local youth to talk about their experiences and issues facing communities of color when it’s safe to do so or in the coming weeks virtually. The partners will also work to ensure that the pitches are open for pick-up play and that there are opportunities for high-quality soccer programs, such as the U.S. Soccer Foundation’s Soccer for Success program.

“We are delighted to work with BPC and BWPC on this mini-pitch initiative,” said Ed Foster-Simeon, President & CEO of the U.S. Soccer Foundation. “The players are not only involved in the creation of the new spaces, but also in hosting critical conversations with youth in these communities about overcoming the many challenges they face. We know that the impact of these spaces will be felt well beyond the pitch.”

“BWPC brings valuable perspective and influence to this shared commitment of inclusivity,” said Jeff Rogers, President of Musco. “We couldn’t be more proud to join them, BPC and the U.S. Soccer Foundation in this important endeavor to bring positive change and opportunity to youth in underserved communities.”

“We believe that through sport, we have the power to change lives and are excited to include the BWPC in our partnership with the U.S. Soccer Foundation and Black Players for Change to impact the Black communities we serve,” said Skate Noftsinger, Director of Soccer Sports Marketing for adidas. “It is important that young girls and boys see professional athletes of all genders represented in sport. We are committed to creating safe places to play, breaking barriers to sport, and creating an equal starting line for all young boys and girls of color.”

Ten more mini-pitches will be installed throughout 2021. In October 2020, adidas, BPC, Musco, the New York Red Bulls, and the U.S. Soccer Foundation celebrated the opening of a double pitch honoring BPC at West Side High School in Newark, NJ. It was the first mini-pitch and project in which the U.S. Soccer Foundation–along with the New York Red Bulls and Musco–collaborated with BPC.

To learn more about BPC, visit blackplayersforchange.org and to learn more about the BWPC, visit its Twitter and Instagram pages. Download photos of the two new mini-pitches in Hawthorne and San Diego here.

ABOUT BLACK PLAYERS FOR CHANGE
Black Players for Change (BPC) is an independent organization consisting of over 170+ Black players, coaches and staff of MLS, working to bridge the racial equality gap that exists in society. BPC is committed to tackling the racial injustices that have limited Black people from having an equitable stake in the game of soccer and society. Among the many goals the organization strives to advance the attention on human rights inequalities from protest to programs, partnerships and policies that address systemic racism. For more information visit www.BlackPlayersForChange.org or follow us on Twitter and Instagram.

ABOUT BLACK WOMEN’S PLAYER COLLECTIVE
The Black Women’s Player Collective (BWPC) is a nonprofit organization that elevates the image, value, and representation of Black women as athletes and leaders in business, industry, and public and private institutions. The BWPC currently consists of the 43 Black women competing in the NWSL as of 2020 and aims to provide a collective voice to the Black perspective and experience of a professional female athlete amidst the incessant and pervasive racial inequality and social injustice plaguing our country. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram.

ABOUT ADIDAS
adidas is a global leader in the sporting goods industry, offering a broad portfolio of footwear, apparel and hardware for sport and lifestyle around the core brands adidas and Reebok. Headquartered in Herzogenaurach/Germany, the company employs 57,000 people across the globe and generated sales of around €22 billion in 2018.

ABOUT MUSCO LIGHTING
Since 1976, Musco Lighting has led the world in the design and manufacture of sports and large area lighting solutions. The company has pioneered lighting systems that enhance the venue and its purpose, are sensitive to the environment, and are cost-effective to own and operate. Musco has been engineering systems around the LED for more than a decade, and has designed permanent and temporary solutions for everything from local Little League® fields to international Olympic Games. The company has earned awards including an Emmy for the quality of its lighting in television broadcasts and a Technical Academy Award, Oscar, for movie lighting. Musco’s global team of experts partner with customers to plan, complete, and maintain a trouble-free solution for their facilities.

ABOUT U.S. SOCCER FOUNDATION
The U.S. Soccer Foundation’s programs are the national model for sports-based youth development in underserved communities. Since its founding in 1994, the Foundation has established programs proven to help children embrace an active and healthy lifestyle while nurturing their personal growth beyond sports. Its cost-effective, high-impact initiatives offer safe environments where kids and communities thrive. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the U.S. Soccer Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization. For more information, visit www.ussoccerfoundation.org or follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Sirena Amarikwa, Black Players for Change
Sirena@BlackPlayersForChange.org

Jennifer Arnold, U.S. Soccer Foundation
jarnold@ussoccerfoundation.org; 202-872-6662

Eduardo Zamarripa, Musco Lighting
eduardo.tamezzamarripa@musco.com; 641-670-1608

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OUR PARTNERS

  • adidas

    adidas

    adidas, the Foundation’s Safe Places to Play – Mini-Pitch Partner, supports providing children in underserved communities with safe play spaces nationwide. adidas strives to be the globally leading and most popular sporting goods brand. Dedicated to innovation,  adidas embraces creativity and seeks to be socially responsible in all facets of its brand. For more information, please visit adidas.com.

  • APT

    APT

    APT (Advanced Polymer Technology), the Foundation’s Partner for Acrylic Coating Products, is a global leader in high performance sports surfaces. APT provides people around the world with safe, reliable, performance enhancing surfaces. APT’s Laykold Masters acrylic surfacing system will be the official surface of an estimated 500 mini-pitches. For more information on APT, please visit www.sportsbyapt.com.

  • CHA

    CHA

    CHA Sports, the Foundation’s Supplier for Soccer Facility Design and Planning Services, provides community partners with expertise in soccer facility design. CHA Sport’s full service approach allows the company to build world-class projects without breaking budgets. For more information, please visit chacompanies.com

  • The DICK'S Sporting Goods Foundation

    The DICK'S Sporting Goods Foundation

    DICK’S Sporting Goods and The DICK’S Sporting Goods Foundation believe that participation in sports makes people better. Since 2014, DICK’S and The DICK’S Foundation have pledged more than $100 million to support youth sports teams and leagues in need.  Through our Sports Matter initiative we strive to increase awareness for underfunded youth athletics nationwide and provide much-needed support through equipment, uniform and monetary donations. For more information on Sports Matter, visit SportsMatter.org.

  • Johnson & Johnson

    Johnson & Johnson

    Johnson & Johnson, the Foundation’s grant partner, is dedicated to supporting the next generation of female leaders by providing greater access to girls’ youth soccer programming in underserved communities nationwide. As the world’s largest and most broadly based healthcare company, Johnson & Johnson strives to create healthier communities, and put a healthy mind, body and environment within reach of everyone, everywhere. For more information, please visit www.jnj.com.

  • Kwik Goal

    Kwik Goal

    Kwik Goal, the Foundation’s Official Supplier for goals, seating, boundary equipment, training equipment and coaching accessories, will be supporting a variety of Foundation programs and initiatives including: Soccer for Success, National Training and the Safe Places to Play program. Over thirty years ago, Kwik Goal was founded on the revolutionary concept of providing transportable goals for coaches at all age levels. Since that time, Kwik Goal has continued to focus on helping coaches and soccer programs create safe and dynamic learning environments by supplying high quality, safety tested soccer goals, field equipment and training equipment to the domestic and international market. For more information, please visit Kwikgoal.com.

  • MLS WORKS

    MLS WORKS

    MLS WORKS, Major League Soccer’s community outreach initiative, is dedicated to addressing important social issues and serves as a platform for both League and club philanthropic programs. MLS WORKS seeks to establish Major League Soccer as a leader for improving the lives of people through sport. MLS WORKS is committed to improving the communities where we live and play our games by executing national programs and legacy projects, charitable giving campaigns, and undertaking various initiatives in underserved communities.

  • Musco

    Musco

    As a proud corporate partner of the U.S. Soccer Foundation, Musco is dedicated to helping the major charitable arm of American soccer create new opportunities through high-quality sports lighting. Their Total Light Control—TLC for LED™ technology is engineered as a system with lighting, structural, and electrical components designed to work together for streamlined installation and long-term reliability. TLC for LED delivers superior field lighting while eliminating glare and spill from impacting surrounding neighborhoods. And Musco’s long-term warranty covering parts and labor means U.S. Soccer Foundation partners don’t have to handle any maintenance on their system, or pay for it, for 25 years. Visit https://ussoccerfoundation.org/grants/ to learn more about the grant program and application process.

  • SCORE Sports

    SCORE Sports

    SCORE Sports, the preferred provider of shin guards to the Foundation’s Soccer for Success program, is a family-owned and operated business specializing in sports equipment, uniforms and apparel. SCORE is an industry leader and has been involved in the sports community for over 40 years. SCORE outfits athletes with high-quality uniforms that SCORE develops, designs and manufactures in the U.S. SCORE takes pride in working with various non-profit groups and causes to give back to athletes who may need some extra support to play the game they love. SCORE is environmentally cautious with the materials it uses for its products and does its part in minimizing our environmental footprint. SCORE proudly offers a wide variety of products to provide customers with a one-stop shop for all your soccer needs. For more information, please visit scoresports.com.

  • Soccer.com

    Soccer.com

    Soccer.com, the Foundation’s National Partner for Soccer Equipment and Uniforms, was founded in 1984 to provide high quality soccer gear at reasonable prices through its nationally circulated catalog. Soccer.com embodies a passion for the game that extends to the people who play, coach and support soccer. For more information, please visit soccer.com.

     

     

     

  • Target

    Target

    Target announced a national partnership with Safe Places to Play in 2017, along with a $6 million commitment to build 100 new soccer play spaces with the U.S. Soccer Foundation by 2020. This is the latest initiative in the Minneapolis-based retailer’s multi-dimensional approach to the sport of soccer, bringing the game to more kids and families across the country, and unlocking access and increasing involvement at all levels.

  • TGI Worldwide

    TGI Worldwide

    TGI Worldwide, the Foundation’s National Partner for Visual Branding (Signage, Event Décor, Pageantry, Sponsorship Activation), Perimeter Field Board Systems, Creative Services and Event Operations is proud to support a variety of initiatives and programs throughout the United States. Headquartered in the U.S., TGI is an internationally recognized sports marketing company delivering high profile Visual Branding, Live Event Management, LED, and cutting edge Digital Sports Applications to enrich the experience at major events and deliver commercial impact for sponsors and partners. The company has a 20-year history in providing its various solutions for many top-tier domestic and international events, organizations, teams and companies, with proven success and turn-key solutions across 1000+ events, 160+ cities and 50+ countries globally.

    For more information on our services, please visit https://www.worldwidetgi.com or contact Mike Squire at msquire@worldwidetgi.com / Phone: 312-371-5852.

  • World Soccer Shop

    World Soccer Shop

    Launched in 2001, World Soccer Shop is an online soccer retailer based in Birmingham, Alabama. It carries one of the world’s widest selections of officially-licensed products from the sport’s top brands and teams. World Soccer Shop is passionate about soccer and endeavors to spread the beautiful game around the world, especially to those in areas of need. For more information, please visit www.worldsoccershop.com.

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