July 23, 2020

Project Play WNY’s Commitment to Advancing Equity Through Sport

The COVID-19 crisis and the tragic death of George Floyd have created a renewed call to action to address the inequities that result from centuries of discrimination and racism. As an organization built around a mission to ensure all kids have access to sports regardless of zip code, racial equity and inclusion are at the center of our discussions and decisions. Western New York is one of the most segregated regions in the United States, and our sports fields and facilities often reflect that statistic. At Project Play WNY, we have been asking, “how can youth sports help to change that?”

Youth sport has often provided a meeting place that bridged racial, ethnic, and social divides. The rising cost of youth sports has left many kids, especially those residing in communities of color, priced out of participating.  As noted by the Aspen Institute, there is a “haves versus have-nots” situation in 21st Century youth sports, which hampers opportunities for kids from different backgrounds to interact through sport. Project Play WNY is addressing this disparity and the outcomes it creates by placing equity at the forefront of our decision making. We are also offering experiences that will help WNY Western New York youth sport organizations do the same. To learn more about how your organization can sharpen its equity lens, please email us at projectplaywny@cfgb.org.