Angel City Joins The Alliance, Increasing Collaboration to All 12 Pro Teams in Greater Los Angeles Utilizing Sports for Social Justice
LOS ANGELES (April 26, 2022) – The Alliance is thrilled to welcome Angel City Football Club (ACFC) to its unique collaboration between the pro sports teams in greater Los Angeles that have been working together to drive lasting impact in communities of color for nearly two years. The addition of ACFC brings The Alliance to all 12 pro teams in the region, working in partnership with the Play Equity Fund.
“We are thrilled to be joining The Alliance and to be embraced by the LA professional sports community as we head into our first-ever regular-season game,” said Julie Uhrman, President and Co-Founder of Angel City FC. “ACFC leads with purpose, driving positive impact in our community and have been honored to do so from our inception alongside the LA84 Foundation and the Play Equity Fund. As part of The Alliance, we are looking forward to collaborating with our fellow members to create real change for the benefit of our collective community.”
The Alliance was established in 2020 in response to the murder of George Floyd to create lasting impact and change in underserved communities of color in greater Los Angeles, particularly Black communities. The pro sports organizations in the region united as allies to address racial injustice, create new educational opportunities for local youth and take on other important issues by working collaboratively. The work of The Alliance is in addition to the teams’ community affairs departments and charitable foundations.
Angel City joins the Anaheim Ducks, the Los Angeles Angels, the Los Angeles Chargers, the LA Clippers, the Los Angeles Dodgers, LAFC, the LA Galaxy, the LA Kings, the Los Angeles Lakers, the Los Angeles Rams and the Los Angeles Sparks in The Alliance.
“The Alliance is 12 members strong with Angel City Football Club joining our commitment to address racial injustice and create new opportunities in communities of color,” said Renata Simril, President of the Play Equity Fund. “Each team brings their own philosophy, resources and talents to ensure underserved communities thrive, and since its founding ACFC has been dedicated to strengthening the fabric of communities while working with the Play Equity Fund. We’re fortunate to not only have 12 pro sports organizations in the Los Angeles region, but also teams that are so focused on working together to develop healthy, inclusive, and lasting programs that impact our youth.”
In July 2020, ACFC debuted as a National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) expansion team, and the club begins its inaugural regular season at home on Friday, April 29 at Banc of California Stadium. Making a positive impact in the community has been a core tenet of the club. ACFC’s women-led ownership group is mission-driven to level the playing field in women’s sports.
“Congratulations to Angel City Football Club, its players, fans and ownership on launching their inaugural season,” said Luc Robitaille, President, Alternate Governor of the LA Kings. “The Kings welcome ACFC to The Alliance, which brings our collaboration to all 12 pro sports organizations in greater Los Angeles and will expand the reach and impact of our collective work.”
With activities and programs that reach communities in South LA, Inglewood, Long Beach and students in Orange County, The Alliance has increased enrichment in local schools, advocated for support of youth sports access in under resourced communities, as well as developed career immersion initiatives for local students in the sports industry.
The Alliance established its Student Empowerment Program with Inglewood High School, Morningside High School, City Honors High School, View Park High School, Boss Academy and Project Blue. Through symposiums and events with participation from team staff and athletes, the students participate in an advocacy curriculum that includes addressing access to youth sports programs in their communities.
This long-term engagement with students in a sports-based advocacy curriculum is one of a kind. The Alliance is also providing grants to support sports programs and increase participation. The support of the Inglewood School District has impacted over 1,000 students.
The teams are also expanding career exposure programs to engage with students and help them make more informed decisions about future careers, including visits to the LA Kings training facility for a panel with team executives, as well as learning about careers in motorsports and broadcasting with NASCAR and FOX Sports. Visits with the Dodgers and Angels are this month. Internships at the pro teams for the students are coming this summer.
The Alliance partnered with the Play Equity Fund to manage this initiative. A 501(c)3 public charity, the Play Equity Fund was established in Los Angeles to drive social change across communities through sport. It is the only nonprofit dedicated to play equity as a social justice movement to bring the transformative power of sport and structured play to all youth – regardless of their race, socioeconomic status, or gender.
The Play Equity Fund is the only nonprofit worldwide dedicated to Play Equity as a social justice issue. Its mission is to bring the transformative power of sport and structured play to youth who have been left behind by the current system.
In neighborhoods with high poverty rates, opportunities to play – a globally recognized fundamental human right of childhood – oftentimes do not exist, particularly for kids of color.
Barriers to access include the elimination or reduction of enrichment of programs, budget challenges for afterschool programs including sports, safe passage to playgrounds, transportation, lack of trained and well-paid coaches and the rising costs of athletics and intramural programs. These factors severely limit access and opportunities for kids of color to build a pathway to lifelong well-being.