More than $1.8 million has been raised through a partnership with Black Players for Change, Musco Lighting and U.S. Soccer Foundation to install 12 mini-pitches honoring the founding members of Black
Players for Change, the organization of MLS players, coaches and staff working to bridge the racial equality gap that exists in soccer and society.
The project is part of a new
partnership between the organizations aimed at removing systemic barriers that keep children of color from playing soccer.
“We are committed to investment at all levels of our
game, especially at the grassroots level," said Quincy Amarikwa
, a co-founder and director of relationships and strategic partnerships for BPC. "These mini-pitches address a real barrier --
lack of access to a safe place to play -- that leaves too many Black youth from having a path to build equity in our game. Partnering with U.S. Soccer Foundation and Musco is the first step in
creating real, tangible assets, invested in local communities to serve as a launching pad for future investment, creating dividends of impact over the long term."
Musco, which provides
structural support for lighting systems, has worked with the U.S. Soccer Foundation for more than 20 years on mini-pitch projects. It includes state-of-the-art LED lighting technology, fencing, goals,
lockable storage, and ADA-compliant access. Lighted mini-pitches are important for extending the time that mini-pitches can be used each day.
In July, the U.S. Soccer Foundation installed
the 300th mini-pitch in underserved communities nationwide as part of its works since 2015.