The mini-pitches in Newark, N.J.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Black Women’s Player Collective announced Tuesday that it has joined forces with Black Players for Change to create 12 new mini-pitches in communities nationwide.

The 12 mini-pitches are part of a partnership between the two organizations, adidas, Musco Lighting, and the U.S. Soccer Foundation. They are aimed at providing greater access and opportunity for children of color to play soccer.

“These mini-pitches are the BWPC’s first tangible product of all the work we have been doing behind the scenes and we are thrilled for them to come to fruition so soon,” Margaret Purce, executive director of BWPC, said in a statement. “These spaces will be critical to our mission of empowering young Black girls and increasing lasting opportunity for sport and community fostered through play. We hope children of all ages enjoy these pitches and create longstanding, memorable experiences for their communities.”

Added co-founder and BPC executive director Justin Morrow: “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. That’s why we are thrilled that BWPC has joined this effort, because our collective voice and support will go a lot further in making strides toward a more just society and equitable representation at all levels of the sport.”

The group of partners also announced today that the first two mini-pitches were recently completed at RH Dana Middle School in Hawthorne, Calif. and the Clairemont Branch of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater San Diego. BPC executive board member Kei Kamara and BWPC executive board members Jamia Fields and Ifeoma Onumonu are from Los Angeles and the surrounding area. San Diego is home to BPC executive board member Earl Edwards Jr.

Ten more mini-pitches are planned to be installed throughout 2021. In October 2020, adidas, BPC, Musco, the Red Bulls, and the U.S. Soccer Foundation celebrated the opening of a double pitch honoring BPC at West Side High School in Newark, N.J. It was the first mini-pitch and project in which the U.S. Soccer Foundation – along with the Red Bulls and Musco – collaborated with BPC.

“I am so excited the BWPC is partnering with the BPC and U.S. Soccer Foundation to bring mini-pitches to Black communities across the country,” said Imani Dorsey, Executive Board Member of the BWPC. “So much of my passion for soccer continues to come from the casual yet competitive pickup games I have partaken in since a young girl. I hope young players view these pitches as a haven to play, compete, and be carefree. Everyone is welcome, and I hope the joint involvement of the BWPC and BPC inspires and encourages kids to believe in their own potential and dream big.”