FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Ahead of the club’s annual Juneteenth match on Saturday, June 17, the New England Revolution Players Collaborative Fund has donated $10,000 each to Follow My Steps Foundation and the National Black Doll Museum of History & Culture. With these latest grants, the coalition of Revolution players has granted $200,000 to grassroots organizations in New England that are leaders in the ongoing effort to promote social equity and fight systemic racism.
“We’re incredibly excited to partner with Follow My Steps Foundation and the National Black Doll Museum as both of these organizations bridge the gap between preserving history, sharing important stories, and building towards the future,” said Revolution goalkeeper and Black Players for Change President and Co-Founder Earl Edwards Jr. “I’m very proud of our Players Collaborative Fund for reaching the $200,000 donation mark as we continue to bring attention to organizations that match our mission.”
After evaluating the pipeline of success for individuals in under-resourced communities, Follow My Steps Foundation was founded to create mentorship opportunities, career development, and financial resources for young people. Recruiting talented mentors from a variety of career paths, Follow My Steps aims to decrease their youth’s transition time and increase growth from high school to trade or college.
“This donation holds profound significance to the Follow My Steps Foundation team, transcending mere monetary value. It symbolizes the transformative opportunities it will unlock for the youth in our program and generations to come. Moreover, it serves as a resounding validation of our visionary mission, underscoring the power that emanates from a united community rallying together towards a shared purpose—to ignite a wave of impactful change,” said Kashawn Sanders, President and CEO of Follow My Steps. “Additionally, this donation reflects the Black Players for Change and Kraft Family Foundation's heartfelt dedication to making a difference, nurturing hope, and uplifting those youth who need it most. It embodies the essence of empathy and serves as a reminder that each contribution, no matter how small, holds the potential to shape a brighter future for future generations.”
The mission of the National Black Doll Museum of History & Culture is to nurture self-esteem, promote culture diversity and to preserve the history of black dolls by educating the public on their significance. Following the launch of the Doll E Daze project, four years of fundraising began for the museum’s opening in May 2012. Through the pandemic, NBDMHC continued to provide live workshops, virtual tours, and hosting live events with special guests.
“I am still reeling over the generosity of the organization. You do the work because you feel something inside, it’s your purpose. No expectations. However, when you receive a gift and realize someone believes in you that is truly humbling. The impact of this donation is major,” said Debra Britt, Executive Director of the NBMHC. “Due to Covid we’ve had to close our brick-and-mortar door and pivot to online exhibits. As we continue to look for our new home there has been more traveling and collaboration with other museums, schools and organizations for workshops and programs. However, this donation will allow us to create three traveling exhibits ensuring history is preserved and our mission continues.”
Each beneficiary of the Revolution Players Collaborative Fund, which is funded by the Kraft family, is selected by a coalition of Revolution players including several members of Black Players for Change, an independent organization consisting of over 170 Black players, coaches, and staff of MLS, working to bridge the racial equality gap that exists in society. Follow My Steps Foundation and the NBMHC join previous beneficiaries Get Girls Going, Resilient Sisterhood Project, Dress for Success Providence, Bottom Line Boston, Inner City Weightlifting, the Center for Health & Justice Transformation, New England Culinary Arts Training (NECAT), the Emerging Adult Court of Hope (EACH), The Theater Offensive, the North Shore Juneteenth Association, Breakthrough Greater Boston, Chica Project, and Women of Color Entrepreneurs.
ABOUT BLACK PLAYERS FOR CHANGE:
Black Players for Change (BPC) is an independent 501(c)(3) organization consisting of over 170+ Black players, coaches and staff of MLS, working to bridge the racial equality gap that exists in society. BPC is committed to tackling the racial injustices that have limited Black people from having an equitable stake in the game of soccer and society. Among the many goals the organization strives to advance the attention on human rights inequalities from protest to programs, partnerships and policies that address systemic discrimination. For more information visit www.BlackPlayersForChange.org or follow us on Twitter and Instagram. #TogetherThereWillBeChange.