OL Reign will compete on behalf of the Black Future Co-op Fund during the Verizon Community Shield, the club announced today.
The Verizon Community Shield is a partnership between the National Women’s Soccer League and Verizon, where each of the NWSL’s nine clubs will partner with small businesses or programs in their community. The team with the most points at the end of the Fall Series will be awarded the Verizon Community Shield and the opportunity to present a grant of $25,000 to their community partner, made possible by Verizon. $15,000 and $10,000 will be presented to the second and third-place teams, respectively.
In addition to the funds committed by Verizon, OL Reign’s ownership group will make a minimum donation of $15,000 to the Black Future Co-op Fund, with the donation increasing to $25,000 should OL Reign finish first in the Verizon Community Cup, potentially doubling the impact of Verizon’s grant.
The Black Future Co-op Fund was launched in June 2020 to address the systemic racism and wealth inequality that has disproportionately affected the Black community for generations. The Fund serves as a hub for efforts to combat poverty, build generational wealth, preserve Black culture, and celebrate the resilience of Washington’s Black community. The Black Future Co-Op Fund was founded by an alliance of Black leaders, including Andrea Caupain, CEO of Byrd Barr Place, T’wina Nobles, CEO of Tacoma Urban League, Michelle Merriweather, CEO of the Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle, and Angela Jones, the CEO of Washington STEM.
“The energy and passion that the four of us (founders) have for creating new pathways to sustainable and thriving Black communities in Washington state, matched with the energy and passion displayed by the women of OL Reign, feels like an invincible partnership,” said Black Future Co-op Fund architect Andrea Caupain.
“Our entire club is inspired by the opportunity to play on behalf of the Black Future Co-op Fund,” said OL Reign CEO Bill Predmore. “We encourage our supporters to join us by donating directly to the Black Future Co-op Fund, or by purchasing player-signed gear donated by players, of which 100% of the proceeds will be donated to the Black Future Co-op Fund.”
Supporters who wish to donate to the Black Future Co-op Fund may do so at www.allinwa.org/ol-reign.
The Black Future Co-op Fund was selected as OL Reign’s community partner for the Fall Series by the players of OL Reign. OL Reign forward Jasmyne Spencer, a member of the Black Players of the NWSL and business owner who runs an ethical, sustainable clothing brand, said that the Black Future Co-op Fund’s mission resonated with the team.
“Ever since the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement, we as a team have been working feverishly to educate each other and come together as a united front so we can create meaningful change for our local Black and Brown communities that we represent as an organization,” said Spencer. “Playing for the Black Future Co-op Fund gives us the chance to partner with four incredible Black women who share our desire to provide resources that will enable these communities to prosper for decades to come.”
Spencer continued, “This partnership makes me proud. Proud to be a Black woman, and proud to be a part of an organization that has given me the space to lead, educate, and amplify the voices of my community.”
To purchase items donated by OL Reign players visit www.olreignshop.com/VerizonCommunityShield.
Further enhancing the potential funds raised on behalf of the Black Future Co-op Fund, donations made by the NWSL, OL Reign, its players, and its supporters, are eligible to be matched dollar-for-dollar through a partnership with All In WA. Thanks to a generous matching donation from Amazon CEO and Founder Jeff Bezos, donations made to All In WA cause and community funds are eligible to be matched up to $1 million per unique donor.
All In WA (www.allinwa.org), which is hosted by Seattle Foundation, was launched in late May 2020 to support workers and families across Washington State that have been affected by COVID-19. Nearly 50 cause and community funds have come together to form this statewide relief effort. Seattle Foundation is one of the country’s leading community foundations, directly raising and distributing funds to benefit organizations and communities across the region.
“We’re incredibly proud to see the Black Future Co-op Fund and OL Reign team up to raise crucial resources in support of the Black community in Washington state. We know that the crises affecting our community right now have exposed and deepened the inequities that already existed in our region. It is important that we all step up to fund Black-led organizations and movements, and this partnership between OL Reign and the Black Future Co-op Fund is a great example of partners stepping up,” said Tony Mestres, President and CEO of Seattle Foundation.