Sports 4 Life Delivers Big Benefits for Girls of Color

Sports 4 Life is a national initiative co-founded by the Women’s Sports Foundation (WSF) and espnW. It was established in 2014 and seeks to increase participation of girls of color in youth sports. It has so far impacted over 60,000 girls of color, and its recently released report shows gains in girls’ leadership, self-esteem, confidence and perseverance resulting from their participation in the program.

(Photo Credit: Sports 4 Life)


2020 has been defined by the COVID-19 pandemic and calls for racial justice. Improving the physical and mental health—and leadership capacities—of girls of color is one way to help them navigate COVID and beyond. The WSF and espnW (“a voice for the woman who loves sports”), Sports 4 Life partnership is funding local sports programs, filling in the gaps to access and opportunity that often confront girls of color.

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Phaidra Knight Elected President of Women’s Sports Foundation

New York, N.Y. (September 30, 2020): The Women’s Sports Foundation (WSF) announced today its president-elect and two new members joining the Board of Trustees. World Rugby Hall of Famer Phaidra Knight was voted in as president-elect, and is joined by newly-elected Board members Brett Goodman and LaChina Robinson. Knight has been serving as a WSF Trustee since 2018, and now Goodman and Robinson join the elite group of cross-sector experts that help guide the Women’s Sports Foundation’s operations as well as its mission, to unlock the possibilities in every girl and woman through the power of sport.

Phaidra Knight was voted in as president-elect of the Women’s Sports Foundation, and is joined by newly-elected board members Brett Goodman and LaChina Robinson. (Image credit: WSF)

“We are thrilled for Phaidra and excited to welcome Brett and LaChina – amazing professionals who are fellow game-changers in our fight for gender equity in sports,” said WSF CEO, Deborah Antoine. “Each brings a wonderfully diverse range of knowledge and experiences to WSF, and we look forward to working together, and advancing our mission, to unlock the potential of girls and women in sport and in life.”

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Sports 4 Life Grants Aim to Increase Sports for Girls of Color

Sports 4 Life, a national initiative co-founded by the Women’s Sports Foundation (WSF) and espnW (“a voice for the woman who loves sports”), was established in 2014 to increase participation of girls of color in youth sports. Recently, Sports 4 Life announced their 2020 grants which will help African American and Latino girls overcome barriers to sports participation.

Twenty-five organizations based in 13 states and Washington, D.C. received the awards which totaled $175,000. The grants aim to augment and diversify sports opportunities for more than 7,700 middle and high school girls, and included funding for programs representing 23 different sports.

(Photo Credit: Sports 4 Life)

The impetus for Sports 4 Life is the recognition that the benefits of participation in sports—which include improved physical and mental health, as well as better grades and improved leadership skills—often disproportionately exclude African American and Latino girls. Historic racial injustices lie at the root of disparities in access to sports participation, and these gaps have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Major League Baseball Commits $3 Million for Domestic Violence

NEW YORK (AP) — Six organizations that aid survivors of domestic violence are among groups that will receive $50,000 each from Major League Baseball and the players’ association as part of a Healthy Relationships Community Grant initiative.

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New MLB grants will go toward domestic violence prevention and education. (Image Credit: MLB Healthy Relationships)

MLB and the union committed to donating $3 million from their joint charitable fund in seven phases through 2021, they announced Thursday. Other groups receiving money advocate for positive mental health and relationship skills.

Lutheran Settlement House in Philadelphia will use its money for a bilingual domestic violence program; Jeanne Geiger Crisis Center Inc. in Newburyport, Massachusetts, for a children’s safety project; and YWCA of San Diego County for its Becky’s House domestic violence program.

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Platforms for Good: Summer Sanders and Plan International USA

On February 20, 2020, global development organization Plan International USA announced its newest Ambassador, Summer Sanders Schlopy.

An Olympic athlete and most decorated U.S. swimmer in the 1992 Olympics, Summer is known for using her platform for good. She rose to precedence as a member of Stanford’s swimming team, taking on the 1992 National Championship and Olympic Games. In Barcelona, Summer became the most decorated U.S. swimmer with one bronze, one silver, and two gold medals.

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Summer Sanders Schlopy joins Plan International USA as their newest celebrity ambassador. (Photo Credit: Outside Online)

In the early 1990s, Summer turned to television, commentating the NCAA Swimming Championships for CBS Sports, and hosting MTV’s surf-and-sun competition show Sandblast. Her numerous television accolades include correspondent, co-host, and host for a range of sporting events, TV series, and competition shows.

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United for Girls: DICK’S Fdn Invests $5 Million in Girls Soccer

WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert; actor, director, and producer Katie Holmes; sports journalist Christine Brennan; and best-selling author and journalist Elaine Welteroth, among others, joined DICK’S Sporting Goods today to discuss the challenges and opportunities girls experience accessing sports and the impact sports and fitness have had on their lives

DICK’S announced its 2020 Women’s Initiative highlighted by The DICK’S Foundation’s $5 million grant to U.S. Soccer Foundation’s ‘United for Girls’ Initiative

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At its 2020 Women’s Initiative at the ‘Here for Her’ Summit, DICK’S Foundation announced a three-year $5 million grant to the U.S. Sports Foundation to support girls in soccer. (Stuart Ramson/AP Images for DICK’S Sporting Goods)

NEW YORK, Feb. 4, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Today, DICK’S Sporting Goods and The DICK’S Sporting Goods Foundation hosted a Here for Her Summit in New York City, a focused and collective effort to champion women and girls in sports and fitness.

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With Research and Equity Project, WSF Raises Stakes

WSF releases new national research report – Chasing Equity: The Triumphs, Challenges and Opportunities in Sports for Girls and Women – a comprehensive, current landscape analysis;

And launches The Equity Project, a new national campaign to galvanize leaders across sectors to help drive paradigm-shifting change that transcends sports

NEW YORK, Jan. 15, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — With the start of a new decade, 2020, and the golden anniversary of Title IX on the near horizon, 2022, the Women’s Sports Foundation (WSF) is staking a bold stand to gain true, lasting equity for girls and women in sports and beyond. Today the Foundation released its new national research report – Chasing Equity: The Triumphs, Challenges and Opportunities in Sports for Girls and Women – a comprehensive analysis of the current landscape and all its challenges, barriers, progress and opportunities, accompanied by a robust aggregate of calls to action to drive change.

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Back to School: Women Donors and Higher Education

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Roberta “Bertie” Buffett Elliott, who donated $100 million to fund the Roberta Buffett Institute for Global Studies at Northwestern University, recently visited the campus. (Photo credit: Buffett Institute for Global Studies)

Institutions of higher learning are major recipients of philanthropic gifts, and received donations totaling nearly $47 billion in 2018 (a more than seven percent increase from the year previous). This rise is fueled in part by an increasingly wealthy, educated and philanthropically active group of women who are willing to make big ticket donations to colleges and universities.

Major female donors to higher education have included Roberta “Bertie” Buffett Elliott, who in 2015 gave her alma mater Northwestern University $100 million to fund the Roberta Buffett Institute for Global Studies. The gift from Elliott, a member of Northwestern’s class of 1954, represents the single largest gift in the Evanston, Illinois school’s history.

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Serena Williams Invests $3 Million in Reducing Maternal Mortality Rates

Serena Williams, world class athlete and founder of Serena Ventures, is helping to address critical health issues for pregnant women in America. (Photo credit: Serena Ventures)

After her daughter’s birth in 2017, tennis legend Serena Williams spoke out about her many postpartum complications. Williams experienced a traumatizing pulmonary embolism that forced her to undergo several surgeries after her initial C-section. The complications kept her in a hospital bed for a week after childbirth–and ruminating on the implications of her health issues for a lot longer than that. 

Although harrowing, Williams’ story is far from unusual. The U.S. has the highest maternal mortality rate in the developed world. In particular, the immediate postpartum period is considered especially high-risk, due in part to the widespread inaccessibility of adequate postpartum care for both psychological and physiological complications. 

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Two Sponsors Give USWNT $1.2 Mil. What about Coke, Nike, Visa…?

Many on social media celebrated Secret’s announcement that it was taking action to close the pay gap for the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team. (Image Credit: Secret on Twitter)

The fight for equal pay for the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team has garnered as much attention as their on-field exploits, which culminated in their Women’s World Cup win in France on July 7. While many companies are now talking a good game about gender equity, two sponsoring companies—Luna Bars and Secret Deodorant—have stepped up and pledged money to the women’s team and its players.

The members of the U.S. Women’s team filed a gender discrimination suit against U.S. Soccer in March, and the two sides have agreed to mediation. Former U.S. star goalkeeper Hope Solo filed a lawsuit against U.S. Soccer nearly a year ago, also charging the Federation with pay and other discrimination. Her lawyers filed a motion on July 22 in Northern California District Court that she be allowed to join the mediation.

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