The ALLIANCE: Los Angeles Unity March and Dialogue Returns for the 2nd Year
On a sunny Sunday morning, around 300 participants gathered for the second annual ALLIANCE: Los Angeles Unity March and Dialogue at the Banc of California Stadium. The event was attended by youth from communities across Los Angeles, officers from the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), and staff from the 12 professional sports teams that united to form the Alliance.
The event marks the two-year anniversary of The ALLIANCE: Los Angeles, a coalition formed between the 12 professional sports teams in Los Angeles after the death of George Floyd on May 25, 2020. The Alliance brings awareness to the inequities that exist in communities of color, empowers youth to create change and exposes young people to career opportunities in the sports industry beyond professional athletics. Brotherhood Crusade led the dialogue discussion groups following the march.
Participants were welcomed with a breakfast of pastries and fruit outside of the stadium. After participants registered, they decorated signs at tables filled with posters and markers.
The Alliance advisory group and team presidents gathered for photos before the speaker series began. Otha Cole, Project Director of the Alliance opened the event with opening remarks from Renata Simril, President of the Play Equity Fund. Benny Tran, Executive Vice President, Corporate Strategy and Operations at Los Angeles Football Club (LAFC) acknowledged the formation of the Alliance partnership and the notable location at the Banc of California Stadium. AG Spanos, President of Business Operations for the Los Angeles Chargers followed. Gillian Zucker, President of Business Operations of the L.A. Clippers commended the youth who travelled to attend the march. Kiesha Nix, VP Charitable Affairs-Executive Director of the Lakers Youth Foundation spoke about the first days of the Alliance partnership.
Nichol Whitman, CEO of the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation said, “Our unified approach helps us to create change in communities. Partnership is the secret in what is a movement, not a moment. I’m so proud to be a part of it.”
Gina Galasso, Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer of the Anaheim Ducks and Natalie White, Senior Vice President of the Los Angeles Sparks also spoke. Shandela Contreas, a youth participant recited a poem and Curtis Silvers, the Executive Vice President Brotherhood Crusade closed the speaker series.
James Lopez, Program Director, Social Impact of the Play Equity Fund moderated the Diversity in Sports Panel. Panelists included Blake Bolden (LA Kings Scout, LA Kings), Chris Reed (Executive Director, LAFC Foundation), Liliana Perez (Director of Cultural Affairs, Los Angeles Chargers), and Tiffany Rubin (Director, Programs, Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation).
Blake Bolden shared with the youth, “never be quiet, continue to be curious and press your leadership.”
Following the Diversity in Sports panel, participants gathered and marched around the stadium past the Los Angeles Coliseum, space shuttle, and museums. Sixteen officers joined the unity march. The march ended back at the NW plaza where everyone gathered. The group was split into smaller discussion sessions. Each dialogue discussion group was joined by a few LAPD officers.
All participants enjoyed lunch boxes provided after the dialogue discussions. The participants received swag bags which included Fitbits, Dodger hats, and Los Angeles Galaxy wristbands.