Players, front office, ownership and partners unite in effort to support voter registration and amplify local Black leaders and nonprofits serving Black communities
SEATTLE –The Seattle Storm today announced the creation of Force4Change, a comprehensive social justice platform that will allow the Storm to be a force to effect meaningful change in Seattle throughout the 2020 WNBA season and beyond. Bringing together players, the front office, ownership and partners, Force4Change will focus on four key areas related to voter registration and the amplification of Black women, LGBTQ+ leaders of color and organizations serving Black communities.
Beginning tomorrow with Opening Day Presented by Swedish, Storm will join the WNBA in a season championing the Black Lives Matter and Say Her Name movements. This will extend beyond words on the court and placards on jerseys into fundraising and education aimed at voter registration. Recognizing that voter suppression disproportionately affects Black people in the United States, education on voter engagement will be a key aspect of the campaign. Washington State’s deadline to receive new registrations and voter updates online and by mail for the November General Election is Oct. 26.
Storm players will team up with LCKR ROOM, a design company in Atlanta founded in 2020 by Britt Davis and Kaila Pettis. Through one-on-one conversations, Davis and Pettis and Storm players will collaborate to produce custom shoes that the team will wear in honor of the Storm’s Kicks for Equality game on Aug. 22 against the Las Vegas Aces. The customized sneakers, along with game-worn jerseys, will be auctioned off to raise funds for the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, one of America’s premier legal organization fighting for racial justice. The Force4Change online auction will launch postgame on Aug. 22 and will close on Sept. 4.
“As a team, we recently discussed with our organization ways to create real change. This social justice platform does that in such an impactful way,” said veteran Storm center Crystal Langhorne. “It gives us the opportunity to make real change, not just for our community, but for our country as well. Black communities have been discriminated against for far too long and it’s time for us to be forces for change.”
Throughout the season, the Storm and its partners will amplify Black voices in the following ways:
Beginning July 29, Swedish, the healthcare partner of the Seattle Storm, will assist the Storm in highlighting Community Champions – businesses and organizations serving Black communities and others disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Throughout the season, the Storm will share the stories of these Community Champions and present each with a $2,000 check. Further financial assistance for these organizations will be made possible through the proceeds generated through the sale of the Storm’s “Equality” t-shirts. This collaboration is a direct and tangible way as community partners to make a real difference.
On Sept. 2 against the Washington Mystics, the Storm and AT&T will join forces to present Pride Night. Though the Storm’s annual Pride celebration in June was postponed, the new date will place special focus on recognizing LGBTQ+ leaders of color in the Seattle community.
From left to right: Crystal Langhorne, Breanna Stewart and Alysha Clark (Ned Dishman/NBAE).
The Storm will also band together with Symetra to host the Believe in Women Night on Sept. 9 against the Dallas Wings. Force 10 Hoops, the all-women, independent ownership group of the Seattle Storm, will honor Black women leaders from across the Greater Puget Sound region. All proceeds from Storm’s “Believe in Women” t-shirts will also go to the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund.
“Voting is one of our most sacred duties as a citizen and has never been more important than now. With COVID-19 we are witnessing firsthand how racial inequities are woven into every thread of our society,” said Force 10 Enterprises co-owner Dawn Trudeau. “It is essential that we elect officials who are dedicated to changing the systems that have historically been designed to disadvantage Black Americans. Our Force4Change campaign to recognize and support local Black community leaders and organizations serving the Black community will help to heighten awareness of the significant contribution they make to our region every day.”
—— StormBasketball.com ——