FINDING OUR VOICE ECHOED IN THE WHITE HOUSE

America SCORES New York’s Grants Manager Charlyn Jordon acknowledges the 50th day of the President Joe Biden administration by applauding an executive order which rhymes perfectly with our mission


Amanda Gorman’s presidential inaugural poem reminded the world that “being American is more than a pride we inherit, it’s the past we step into and how we repair it”.


Later that cold January day, newly inaugurated President Joe Biden took a step forward in ensuring that those powerful words could begin to become actions


By signing Executive Order 13985 On Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government, this was the new administration’s signal of intent to address systematic racism, deviant social constructs, and injustices this country has yet to overcome.


It sent a clear message that perfectly aligned with our mission at America SCORES New York where we seek to create equitable opportunities for young people to experience sport, express themselves and inspire positive change.


By using a social justice youth development framework, we emphasize racial equity, fair play, teamwork, and youth voice as key drivers of building a better, more equitable New York City.


Executive Order 13985 seeks to bring racial equity and the asset of diversity to the forefront, leading with the belief that, irrespective of race, ethnicity, religion, income, geography, gender identity, sexual orientation, or disability, all Americans should not only have a seat at the table but be included in the conversation of how certain policies and programs affect their quality of life.


The Biden Administration particularly highlights “underserved communities” or communities that have historically been marginalized, and adversely affected by persistent poverty and discrimination.


As a result of this systemic inequity, young people in these communities often experience a lack of access to the arts, education, and organized sport. Organizations like America SCORES New York seek to partner with public schools to bridge that gap in opportunity.


As a nonprofit organization with a focus on social justice and racial equity, America SCORES New York provides free, high-quality afterschool programming that helps to eliminate socioeconomic barriers to participation, access, and inclusion and enables young people to express themselves through soccer, amplify their voice through poetry, and connect with their community on a deeper level through civic engagement projects.


Over the last few years, poet-athletes from all age groups have shared poems about racism, discrimination, and feeling unwelcome in their own country and community. These feelings existed well-before the last administration and are not amended by this executive order from the new one.


However, to know that there are high-ranking individuals who have made social justice a priority is a small step on the long journey towards recognition, reparations, and racial equity in this country.


As an organization, America SCORES New York has made strides in our pursuit of racial equity with the publication of our Statement on Racial Equity and Social Justice in 2019, with the formation of our Racial Equity and Social Justice Committee late last year, and with the recognition, we have received from the Beyond Sport Foundation and the Dick’s Sporting Goods Foundation as their 2020 Sport for Reduced Racial Inequality Collective Impact Award winner.


But, like our country, we still have a ways to go.


On this 50th day of the Biden administration, I hope that our commitment and work toward equity continue to be reflected in the White House


And I hope that throughout this journey, we will all remember what Amanda Gorman said just fifty days ago: “We will not march back to what was, but move to what shall be”.


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