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PCA Partners With Minneapolis Public Schools on Sports Can Battle Racism Curriculum for Coaches and Athletes

05.11.2021


Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA) announced it has partnered with Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) on its Sports Can Battle Racism initiative. This work will be funded thanks to a generous gift of $50,000 from Salesforce, the global leader in CRM (Customer Relationship Management), to support PCA’s character-building through sports curriculum with an emphasis on its “Sports Can Battle Racism” workshop for youth and high school coaches and student-athletes at schools located in the Minneapolis – Saint Paul metropolitan area.

On the heels of George Floyd’s murder last May, Minneapolis Public School’s District Director of Athletics, Antony Fisher, was asked by the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (NIAAA) to serve on a diversity ad hoc committee. Through this appointment, Fisher, also a Co-Founding member of the National Organization of Minority Athletic Directors (NOMAD), wanted to provide additional resources and tools to equip coaches and athletes to have conversations around racism. It was at this time that Fisher learned about PCA’s Sports Can Battle Racism curriculum from longtime friend and mentor Lanness Robinson, Hillsborough County Public Schools (Tampa, FL) Director of Athletics, a longtime partner of PCA.

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PCA’s “Sports Can Battle Racism” curriculum is intended for coaches and student-athletes to have an interactive discussion on how to combat racial discrimination, champion moral courage and empower their programs to create positive change in their communities. This workshop explores ways to create an inclusive environment through defining the “we” and provides historical context to how sports have been used to battle racism. Participants will walk away with specific tools for developing a caring climate, stretching moral courage, and action steps to do more in their programs to combat racism.

Programming at Minneapolis Public Schools includes interactive sessions for student-athletes and coaches. The series will conclude with a workshop designed to bring coaches and athletes together on the evening of Monday, May 24th, the eve of the one-year anniversary of George Floyd’s murder, for a conversation on creating more inclusive team environments.

MPS District Director of Athletics, Antony Fisher shared, “I am excited to utilize our partnership with Positive Coaching Alliance to further educate our student-athletes and our coaches on social justice issues and incorporate PCA’s messaging into our athletic culture over the upcoming months.”  “Battling racism is about educating yourself and having tough conversations. Student-athletes and coaches are leaders in our community, and we are looking forward to our student-athletes and our coaches being seeds in the community to educate and have tough conversations about how sports can battle racism.”

Rob Dauphinais, Midwest Regional Director for PCA added, “We wish to thank Salesforce for making PCA’s “Sports Can Battle Racism” and SEL training available to Minneapolis Public Schools, as well as other schools in the Twin Cities area.” Salesforce’s gift is a catalyst to help us bring more resources to coaches to lead powerful conversations with their young athletes, to create inclusive and caring cultures and provide student-athletes with foundational principles to guide them on and off the field of play.  


“I've been a PCA Board member for four plus years and a Minnesota Co-Chair in FY21.  I only wish I could have been involved when my kids were playing youth sports. It is truly a special organization. Salesforce is an extremely focused company including "giving back" to the community.  "Doing well & doing good" is our tagline.  This is a great program for Minneapolis Public Schools and will have an amazing impact,”
said Kevin Flynn, VP North America Partner Recruiting & Growth at Salesforce. 

About Positive Coaching Alliance

As a catalyst for a positive youth sports culture, Positive Coaching Alliance provides research-based training and resources for coaches, parents, athletes, and leaders to ensure a positive youth development experience for ALL kids, in all communities across the U.S., through sports. PCA ensures sports are ‘done right’ with programming that is research-based and designed to have impact at three levels in a youth sports organization or school:

  • YOUTH experience improved life skills and character development.
  • COACHES become more positive and increase their focus on using sports to teach life lessons.
  • YOUTH SPORTS ORGANIZATIONS AND SCHOOLS see their cultures become more positive and everyone involved has more fun.

PCA believes that all youth can benefit from a positive, inclusive sports culture that develops social and emotional skills, molds character, and prepares them for competition and life. In more than two decades of work, PCA expanded from a small local nonprofit to a strong, nationwide organization that provides programming in all 50 states, reaching thousands of organizations around the country and positively impacting millions of youth athletes every year. PCA has now partnered with roughly 3,500 schools and youth sports organizations nationwide to deliver more than 20,000 live group workshops, reaching over 20 million youth.

About Salesforce

Salesforce, the global CRM leader, empowers companies of every size and industry to digitally transform and create a 360° view of their customers. For more information about Salesforce (NYSE: CRM), visit: www.salesforce.com.

Coach Charles Adams, Minneapolis North High School Football Coach, was named PCA's 2021 Coach of the Year. Click below to learn more about Coach Adams!

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