The PCA Blog

Day of Action: Oakland Sport Equity and Access
Coalition (SEAC) Gathering

A foundational goal at Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA) is to advance sports equity nationally by working collaboratively with stakeholders in historically marginalized communities, developing strategies that achieve sustainable access to youth sports. Black and Brown youth in underserved communities across the country face additional barriers to accessing youth sports, and given the benefits of participation, this represents a lost opportunity to help youth build life skills that prepare them for success as adults. The reasons for the lack of sports opportunities vary by city and neighborhood. We have learned that a one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work, and that real progress happens when there is significant community involvement upfront to identify lasting solutions.

Our approach starts with the utilization of a systems change strategy where we engage with key community stakeholders locally to collectively analyze, identify, develop, and implement strategies addressing the underlying conditions that hold sports inequity in place, thereby increasing access to new and existing programs.

In 2021, Positive Coaching Alliance established its first youth sports coalition, the Oakland Sport Equity and Access Coalition (SEAC). Our approach focuses on establishing a community-specific Sports Equity Coalition – of which Positive Coaching Alliance is a member, contributor, and facilitator – to create and implement a Sports Equity Agenda specific to the local community. 

The Sports Equity Agenda outlines strategies and a roadmap to create more equitable youth sports opportunities for marginalized youth and their coaches. We aim to convene youth sports leaders from across each local community to help level the playing field so that all kids have access to a vibrant youth sports culture where participation and quality of experience aren’t limited by race, gender, identity, zip code, or ability to pay.

On Wednesday January 25th, the SEAC held a convening to continue their efforts to change the youth sport landscape in Oakland, CA. Over 40 representatives from 30 different organizations came together to finalize action plans that will be implemented this year; designed to eliminate the barriers preventing Oakland youth from equitably accessing youth sports. The SEAC has the following goals in 2023:

  • Increase youth participation rates 
  • Create 1000 new youth sports opportunities for low-income youth 
  • Increase Black and Brown coach representation through the recruitment of 500 volunteer coaches
  • Increase participation rates of low-income girls of color by 10%
  • Increase access to coach education by training 500 coaches
  • Improve the culture of youth sports as measured by surveying

Ultimately, the work this year is on track to positively impact 12,000 low-income youth of color and nearly 20,000 youth over the next three years.

PCA is committed to supporting Black and Brown Communities. Food for our Sports Equity and Access Coalition was provided by Celebrity Chef and Chopped Champion Rashad Armstead. Chef Rashad is an Oakland native and supporter of equitable access in all things for our most marginalized youth.