The Chicago Red Stars have announced the selection of Semicolon — a Black, woman-owned bookstore and gallery space — as their featured business for the Verizon Community Shield competition.
This is part of Verizon Community Shield, a partnership between the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) and Verizon during the 2020 NWSL Fall Series. Each of the NWSL’s nine clubs will partner with small businesses or programs in their community, and the team with the most points at the end of the Fall Series will be awarded the Verizon Community Shield.
“Semicolon is an amazing business to play for because of the work they do to spread knowledge and power throughout our community and the representation they bring for women of color in literature and art,” said Tierna Davidson, Chicago Red Stars defender.
“Semicolon exemplifies the concept of community and their unwavering commitment to our city is undeniable,” said Arnim Whisler, Chicago Red Stars owner and CEO. “Semicolon strives to raise literacy rates in Chicago while creating a space that encourages anyone who enters to push past their comfort zone in the pursuit of knowledge. We are excited to have an opportunity to shine a light on the incredible things they’re doing and hopefully bring them home some grant money.”
One of Semicolon’s standout programs is their #ClearTheShelves initiative. Every month, Semicolon invites Chicago Public School students to the store. Free of charge, students can take home whatever books they’d like.
“We believe that small businesses are the pillars of our communities, so we do all that we can to lift our community up,” says Semicolon owner, Danielle Mullen, of the #ClearTheShelves program.