Sounders FC celebrating Black History Month
Sounders FC today shared details surrounding the club’s celebration of Black History Month. Building on year-long efforts to fight racism and build stronger, more equitable communities as part of Rave Green’s social justice framework, the team is offering programming and special projects focused on partnership with Intentionalist to support local, black-owned small businesses, amplify the voice of experts through the Northwest African American Museum (NAAM) in Seattle and invest in youth through the popular Books & Balls program, a partnership between the RAVE Foundation and NAAM.
This month, the club continues to deepen its impact alongside Intentionalist – an online guide to intentional spending that supports small businesses and diverse local communities – with several special projects designed to encourage business awareness and support. black-owned locals.
In the Reception and reception program, Sounders FC and other Emerald City professional sports teams – the Seattle Storm, Seattle Seahawks, Seattle Kraken, Seattle Mariners and OL Reign – encourage all fans to visit and shop at black-owned businesses, with the chance to win special prizes of their favorite sports teams and Intentionalist. Entrants simply upload all receipts via the Intentionalist website, with each receipt counted as one entry for the prizes. This program is currently active and runs through February 28, with a target of $20,000 spent at Black-owned businesses during the month.
Sounders FC encourages fans to participate in this effort both by visiting their favorite black-owned establishments and by using the Intentionalist to research new options to explore.
In the Buy black programme, Sounders FC once again joins other local teams and Intentionalist to offer 20% off gift certificates for black-owned businesses. Starting Feb. 18 and running through Feb. 28, fans can take advantage of 20% off gift certificates up to $100 from participating Black-owned businesses, available at Intentionalist.com/Black-History -Month-Gift-Certificates.
Because this special discount is underwritten by teams and Intentionalist does not charge commission fees, 100% of gift certificate sales benefit participating businesses.
In addition to the programs above, Sounders FC and Intentionalist have teamed up to share the story behind a BIPOC or minority-owned business each month, continuing the collaboration that was shared for the release of the 2022 calendar of the team. In February, in honor of Black History Month, the club recognizes Taste of the Caribbean, a black and women-owned Jamaican restaurant located in Seattle’s Central District.
Sounders FC is also continuing its partnership with the Northwest African American Museum (NAAM) this month, with the aim of amplifying the voices of experts. While NAAM has kept its doors closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the institution has been active in serving the community by producing virtual programs and pop-up experiences, reaching over 100,000 viewers each year. The Rave Greens are excited to share some of NAAM’s important work with fans in person by hosting a Matchday Museum pop-up exhibit at Lumen Field on February 27as part of the festivities surrounding the team’s home opener against Nashville SC.
Fans of the game can view a sample of NAAM’s collection through two exhibits: “Fighting for Hope: Seattle in the 1960s” and “Art as Life: The Story of Seattle’s Jacob Lawrence.”
Sounders FC and NAAM are further celebrating Black History Month through the continuation of the popular Books & Balls program.
First introduced with giveaways in late 2019, Books & Balls distributes free black centric children’s books and high quality soccer balls to local youth through a partnership between the charity arm of Sounders FC, the RAVE Foundation and NAAM. NAAM has curated children’s books by black authors and artists who seek not only to reflect personal experiences and reaffirm the value of black youth, but also to introduce all children to diverse characters and plots. while enjoying a new book.
The RAVE Foundation’s gift of new footballs to pair with the books reflects RAVE’s belief in removing barriers to participation in football and sport for all children and that the right to play – regardless of race, income , ability or where you live – is a human right.
This month, RAVE Foundation and NAAM are joining fifth-grade students at Thurgood Marshall Elementary School for a leadership conversation with Sounders FC alumni Brad Evans and Steve Zakuani. As an extension of the Books & Balls program, RAVE provides the school library with a collection of books, curated by NAAM, which features inspiring stories of black leaders, as well as a new football for every fifth grader. .
In addition, on February 27 during the MLS home opener, fans will not only be able to enjoy the NAAM exhibits mentioned above, but they will hear the performance of “Lift Every Voice and Sing” by NAAM’s African American Choir Ensemble. Fans can also support the NAAM and RAVE Foundation’s Books & Balls program via “Get a book and a ball, give a book and a ball”. At the game, when a fan donates $20 to provide a book and a ball to a local child, that fan will also receive a book and a ball.
Further details regarding Black History Month-centric events at Sounders FC’s home opener – including Black-owned food truck fans can visit for game-day treats – are to come. For more information on any of the mentioned Black History Month programs, please contact a member of Sounders FC Communications.