Experienced Organizer To Drive Initiatives for The ALLIANCE: Los Angeles Across Diverse Communities


LOS ANGELES (Nov. 13, 2020) – The Play Equity Fund is pleased to announce the recent hiring of Otha Cole as Project Director. Cole possesses a deep background in leadership development, managing multiple strategic projects and developing programs across Southern California.

With the Play Equity Fund, Cole’s responsibilities are to envision and facilitate the mission and programs of The ALLIANCE: Los Angeles. Cole will be a primary contact with the advisory group of the 11 professional sports organizations in greater Los Angeles that form The Alliance.

The 11 professional sports teams that make up The ALLIANCE: Los Angeles include the Anaheim Ducks, Los Angeles Angels, Los Angeles Chargers, LA Clippers, Los Angeles Dodgers, Los Angeles Football Club (LAFC), LA Galaxy, LA Kings, Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Rams and Los Angeles Sparks.

These 11 teams have united and partnered with the Play Equity Fund to respond to the challenges that face communities of color with a comprehensive five-year commitment to drive investment and impact for social justice through sport. Cole will have a key role in directing new programs with input and guidance from the professional teams. The ALLIANCE: Los Angeles is dedicated to this work in addition to the efforts of the teams’ community affairs departments and foundations, which continue their charitable activities across the region.

The Alliance is launching leadership opportunities and educational initiatives within local schools in the coming weeks that uphold social justice, address disparities and introduce career opportunities in the sports industry. The goals of The Alliance are to produce work in communities of color to affect structural changes on levels that have a lasting impact.

“We’re thrilled to have Otha join the Play Equity Fund to manage The Alliance programs,” said Renata Simril, President & CEO of the Play Equity Fund. “He shares the commitment and energy we all feel in this work for The Alliance to deliver the kind of impactful long-term changes that the teams are seeking. He brings significant experience collaborating with organizations, schools and students.”

The Alliance will have a virtual Teen Town Hall on Nov. 17 with ICEF View Park Prep High School and LA Promise Charter High School. Leaders from the Dodgers, Lakers, Rams and the LA84 Foundation – as well as U.S. Olympian Gwen Berry – will participate in this internal event for the schools and speak about the upcoming launch of The Alliance student leadership program, explore careers in sports and stress how communities need the students’ creativity, voices and cultural expression.

Cole joined the Play Equity Fund after serving as a Program Manager at Community Partners, which manages philanthropic initiatives. At Community Partners, he was responsible for technical assistance and learning opportunities for 180 fiscally sponsored projects.

Cole serves on the steering committee of Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy Los Angeles and is an adjunct instructor at Los Angeles Trade Technical College, where he teaches community planning and nonprofit management.

Before joining Community Partners in 2016, Cole worked for Shelter Partnership, a technical assistance and capacity builder for Homeless Service Providers in LA County. He was on the board of directors of the Architectural Foundation of Santa Barbara.

Cole earned a Master’s in Urban and Regional Planning from San Jose State University, specializing in community development, and a B.A. in Political Science from University of California, Santa Barbara. He began his college career as a football player at Howard University, before suffering a career-ending injury, transferring to UCSB and dedicating his future to philanthropic pursuits.