June 19, 2019–The Connecticut Sun today announced the formation of “Change Can’t Wait,” the team’s social reform platform. The mission is to create year-round programming, messaging and activation via team and player outlets to eradicate racism and reverse systemic oppression in Black and Brown communities in Connecticut and throughout New England.
“What’s happening in our country right now is not a moment. This is a movement. We need sustained action to eliminate racism once and for all. I heard that loud and clear from our players. This is going to require uncomfortable conversations and challenging the status quo in everything we do and say. Our organization is ready to take a leadership role in this effort,” said Vice President Amber Cox.
“As the leader of the Sun, it is my job to provide platforms to amplify the voices and actions of our players on topics they are passionate about. WNBA players – 80 percent of which are Black women – have always been leaders in social change, including in the fight against racism. Quite frankly, the formation of this platform is long overdue.”
“Change Can’t Wait” will focus on four pillars, including education, voting resources, community engagement and amplification.
A resource page has been launched on the Connecticut Sun website (connecticutsun.com/change) to provide recommended reading, listening and viewing for adults and children on topics related to race, advocacy and ways to support the movement. The page will also highlight community organizations and Black-owned businesses.
The Sun will also identify leaders and organizations to assist in educating fans and followers on polling locations, upcoming local, state and national elections, as well as look for opportunities to activate on election days to ensure every citizen has an opportunity to cast his or her vote.
Outreach to local schools and youth organizations will be a mainstay as well. Utilizing Sun players, coaches and staff, the team will look to deliver first-hand accounts, resources and assistance to kids of all ages and backgrounds. In underserved Black and Brown communities, the organization will look to expand its volunteer, mentoring and fundraising efforts.
The Sun will also create an advisory board composed of Black leaders, educators and business owners in Connecticut to help shape the organization’s outreach and action items. In addition, Sun players, coaches and select staff from Mohegan Sun will be asked to join in the development of the programming and activation.
Finally, the Sun will utilize game nights and digital channels to share unique and poignant content. Beginning in 2021, the team will hold a “Change Can’t Wait” game with the goal of sharing stories of social injustice, providing action items for fans, along with promotion of local Black-owned businesses and organizations.
“We felt today – Juneteenth – a day with so much meaning for the Black community, was the right day to debut our plan forward,” said Cox. “We have a lot of work to do to develop each area of focus, but action is key and this announcement is the first step. Now we get to work and we don’t stop until racism is no longer something we need to talk about.”