The Black Women’s Player Collective’s mission is rooted in changing the narrative around racial and gender diversity within the realm of sports and thanks to a newly fostered, long-term partnership with the global sporting good brand adidas, the nonprofit will be able to further its impactful efforts. The organization and the company are teaming up to address barriers around accessibility to soccer.
The U.S. Soccer Foundation reported organized youth soccer programs are nonexistent within many of the country’s underserved neighborhoods due to the lack of investment in community-focused programs and spaces where youngsters can learn about the sport. Aware of how the disparities are catalysts for the lack of representation within soccer, BWPC and adidas joined forces to cultivate an initiative designed to introduce Black girls to the sport. Through the project the brand and the nonprofit are aiming to move the needle around equity forward, create safe spaces for Black girls to learn about the sport and cultivate a community of women soccer players who will be at the forefront of driving change.
“This partnership will provide spaces where young girls can go out and experience the sport without constraints, as well as providing role models through our collective,” said professional soccer player Ifeoma Onumonu, who serves on the BWPC board. “What we plan to do with adidas is give young girls the space to know they belong inside and outside of the sport.” Imani Dorsey, who plays for the NJ/NY Gotham FC and also sits on the BWPC board, added “Black women’s voices are essential in soccer and in sports, because we need to highlight the women who are playing in this arena for the next generation.” The collective, which is spearheaded by Black women soccer players, consists of 38 members and 15 advocates.
This isn’t the only project adidas has led to use the game of soccer as a vessel to empower youth from underserved communities. Last year, the brand teamed up with the U.S. Soccer Foundation, Black Players for Change, BWPC and Musco Lighting to bring artificial turf spaces to predominately African American neighborhoods.