While we always have been and always will be a world-class pro soccer team where supporters can expect to see some of the best players on earth, we realized we were falling short on other fronts. On June 3rd we shared “Our Commitment” — the tangible next steps the club would take to not only denounce systemic racism, oppression, and police brutality, but to take action and use our platform for change.
It has been 3 months and it’s time to share with you what progress has been made. As a reminder and for accountability, our Commitment included three key pillars: Meaningful Education, Better Representation, and Ongoing Solidarity. We’ve broken down each tenant below.
The Commitment: We will partake in allyship training as a full organization, initially focused on supporting the Black community and fighting against racism, and we will share the opportunity to participate with the broader community.
The Progress: The full Red Stars organization took part in allyship training led by Women Unite! on Monday, June 15th. The invitation was opened to the community and we had 72 supporters who RSVP’d to take the training with us. The recording of the webinar is still available and can be accessed here.
The Commitment: We will open lines of communication with players, supporters’ organizations, and local government — and then we will listen.
The Progress: We have had several conversations with the leaders of our incredible supporters’ groups –Black Fires and Local 134. Our ownership and members of our front office leadership team have remained in consistent communication with players, allowing us to assist in bringing some of their incredible ideas to life including Sarah Gorden’s Pass It On Challenge and the Player Auction for Action benefitting Contextos Chicago.
The Commitment: We will identify books, podcasts, documentaries and other resources that will aid in our growth and understanding. We will share those with you, and we will discuss.
The Progress: We created an internal effort that is being shared externally on our social channels as #CRSLearns. Each week, we share resources out on an all staff email chain for individual consumption by coaches, staff members, and players. We then share these resources with you on our channels the following week. If you have resource recommendations, please DM us!
The Commitment: We will present diverse artists, authors, illustrators, musicians, leaders and athletes in our content. We will use our privilege and position of influence to amplify Black voices, LGBTQ voices, the voices of POC, the disabled, and other marginalized communities.
The Progress: We’ve created #MyKindOfPeople where we’re sharing and amplifying diverse voices across our channels every week. If you know someone that should be featured, DM us! We also dedicated our channels on Juneteenth to celebrating the holiday and amplifying Black voices, businesses, nonprofits, authors and illustrators.
The Commitment: We will proactively look for opportunities to engage with minority-owned businesses when needs for vendors arise.
The Progress: While we haven’t pursued any new vendor relationships due to Covid and lack of need, we’ve readjusted this commitment and have proactively looked for ways to start diversifying on the field and in the office. We set up a scholarship that allowed ten deserving Black girls to attend our Preseason Academy. We’ve also sent all internship opportunities directly to Black, Latinx and LGBTQ student unions and organizations at DePaul, UIC, Northwestern, and Columbia.
The Commitment: We will not stop. The Red Stars will dedicate themselves to the lifelong commitment that is true allyship. When the hashtags have quieted, we will remain steadfast next to you.
The Progress: The Red Stars have set up CRS Cares, a formal foundation that will allow us to continue our efforts long term and with greater impact. The foundation will provide programming and opportunities designed to empower and uplift women – particularly those from marginalized populations – on the field, at the table, and in the community. Please be patient. This is a long-term play that includes the appropriate legal documentation, the creation of a board, and more.
We welcome specific and actionable feedback which can be shared here at any time. Thank you for taking this journey with us. Let’s keep the momentum going on and off the pitch.
Looking forward to the Fall Series!
Your Red Stars Family