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UNITED AGAINST RACISM

"
To the entire USL community, we know commitments like these are just the initial steps. We also know that the hard work is still to come and there remains immense room for improvement. With that said, it is our hope that United Against Racism will help lay the foundation for a period of growth, action, and meaningful change across the USL ecosystem. Every year, we intend to learn, improve and get better. On behalf of everyone at USL HQ, we thank you for your time, energy, belief and support.
"
- Jake Edwards, USL President

PROJECT OVERVIEW


PROJECT PILLARS


1.
REALIZE and ACKNOWLEDGE that there is a lack of BlPOC representation within strategic decision making positions. Make a commitment to change.
2.
PROVIDE training and education for all USL players, USL HQ employees, USL club ownership, front office staff, and technical staff.
3.
PARTNER and CONSULT with other like minded organizations to continue to enhance visibility, as well as furthering educational opportunities and resources for our League, Clubs and players.
4.
IDENTIFY opportunities to promote, impact and celebrate local BIPOC-owned businesses.
5.
SERVE as a platform to help educate our community about all forms of racism and anti-racist behaviors.
6.
PROVIDE and ENCOURAGE opportunities for players to speak out against societal injustices.
7.
INVEST time, energy, and other resources into our communities with an emphasis on benefiting BIPOC communities.
8.
IDENTIFY opportunities to bring the Black community closer to the sport of soccer and highlight the intersection of soccer and Black culture.

USL INITIATIVES 


USL HQ Commitment

In February of 2021, USL HQ added the following goal to its list of key organizational objectives: Leverage the USL platform to drive social and community impact and increase representation of diverse populations throughout the USL ecosystem.

The USL will achieve this by prioritizing diverse representation, successfully launching the USL Impact Committee, sub-committees and IDEA Committee, launching league-wide social impact initiatives and increasing internal competencies. Lastly, the USL has committed to reaching an "A" grade for overall racial and gender hiring at USL HQ from The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport (TIDES) by 2026.
ISSJ Training

In collaboration with the USLBPA, USL HQ’s Internal DE&I working group, the Impact Committee and the USL Players’ Association, USL HQ has partnered with the Institute for Sport and Social Justice to conduct comprehensive sensitivity and unconscious bias training for all USL HQ and club staff, players, and other full time employees.

The ISSJ has worked previously with MLB, NBA, NASCAR, NFL, MLS and ESPN among others and continues to be an industry leader in the training and education space surrounding areas of social impact.
Vote

USL HQ and the USLBPA will continue to partner and consult with other like-minded organizations in order to enhance awareness around important areas of social impact, as well as furthering educational opportunities and resources for our League, Clubs and players.

In particular, as it did prior to the 2020 election cycle, USL HQ and the USLBPA will continue to partner with organizations and advocate for increased participation and voter registration in all local, state and national elections.
Support BIPOC-Owned Businesses

In order to better support local BIPOC-owned businesses, USL will provide select media and social assets to local BIPOC-owned businesses as identified by USL Championship and League One clubs.
Jersey Integration

To better use the USL’s platform to help educate and raise awareness about racism and anti-racist behaviors, all USL Championship and League One clubs will have “United Against Racism” placed under the league patch on the left sleeve of every jersey throughout the season.
ESPN Integration

To better use the USL’s platform to help educate and raise awareness about racism and anti-racist behaviors, the USL and USLBPA will work together to integrate the United Against Racism Project into USL Championship and League One broadcasts throughout the 2021 season. This will occur through the following:
- 30-second custom halftime ad
- In-broadcast signage
- Talent, graphic and PA reads
- LED boards in-venue
Jersey Drop

In order to help invest time, energy, and other resources into our communities, the USL, USLBPA, PUMA, the Soccer Collective on Racial Equity (SCORE) and Beautiful Struggles – a fashion and lifestyle brand founded by former U.S. Men’s National Team player Danny Williams – came together to launch the United Against Racism jersey, with 100% of the ultra limited edition shirts' profits going to the USLBPA’s Young Investor Society Scholarship Fund.
HQ Story Telling

In order to better provide and encourage opportunities for players to speak out against societal injustices, USL HQ and the USLBPA will work together identify important storytelling initiatives to be published or amplified by USL HQ and Clubs.
Partnerships

In an effort to more closely connect the Black community with the sport of soccer and to help advance an already growing authentic Black supporters' culture, USL HQ and the USLBPA will partner with Black Arrow (FC). As part of an ongoing year-round commitment to telling stories at the intersection of soccer and Black culture, the 2021 partnership will include the following:
- Studio Shows
- Short Documentaries
- Monthly Digital Content Series
- Additional Initiatives to be Determined Later