TAMPA, Fla. – The United Soccer League announced today that it will host workshops at its annual Winter Summit that will focus on diversity, equality and inclusivity for the first time in the program’s history. The workshops will be offered to the over 700 attendees that will be representing clubs across all of the USL’s properties. The workshops being offered will include a panel from the Anti-Racist Soccer Club and a bootcamp from the You Can Play Project.
“We are thrilled to be able to offer this important programming to our attendees at this year’s Winter Summit,” said USL Sr. Vice President of Strategy & Engagement, Lizzie Seedhouse. “As we continue to create safe spaces within the greater soccer community, providing our clubs with best practices is critical. We are excited to host the Anti-Racist Soccer Club and the You Can Play Project and look forward to their presentations to our club representatives from across the USL.”
Anti-Racist Soccer Club is a coalition that was created to fight racism within the American soccer landscape. ARSC's Ten Point Plan is a framework to create reform at every level of the game so that it is a more inclusive space for everyone. The coalition is dedicated to the progression of diversity, inclusion and anti-racism through action and accountability. Co-founders Kaiya McCullough, Hugh Roberts, Brandon Miller, Bilal Saeed and Dr. Anthony Weems will discuss why this coalition was created, why it makes sense in the USL ecosystem, the importance of empowering players along with steps that clubs can take right away to start their journey of becoming an anti-racist soccer club.
The You Can Play Project works to ensure the safety and inclusion for all who participate in sports, including LGBTQ+ athletes, coaches and fans. We achieve this by creating a community of allies that is able to foster a true sense of belonging. This becomes possible when sports teams sharpen the focus on the person’s skills, work ethic, and competitive spirit, not their sexual orientation, gender identity or expression. You Can Play seeks to challenge the culture of locker rooms and spectator areas by developing a culture of respect, in every player, coach and fan. Executive Director Kurt Weaver of You Can Play will run a bootcamp on best LGBTQ+ inclusion practices, with a run through of basic terminology and situational awareness to build a foundation of inclusivity at USL clubs.
This year’s USL Winter Summit will take place from December 13-15 in Tampa.