Every day, Coaching Corps coaches around the nation are improving the health of kids from struggling communities. In order to help our coaches better understand the social circumstances facing the young people they coach, we have created the Building the Movement conference.
On February 23rd, 2013, Building the Movement took place at the University of California, Los Angeles. Coaching Corps chapter leaders, AmeriCorps coaches, VISTAS, and staff gathered from all over the nation at the Sunset Canyon Recreation Center for a day of inspiration, encouragement, and change.
Community Coalition’s CEO, Marqueece Harris-Dawson, was the keynote speaker and led a discussion on how capitalism, racism, and sexism create many of the conditions the youth we coach are facing. Harris-Dawson was followed by Coaching Corps staff member Sheilagh Polk who led the group through a reflection session where they shared ideas that were provocative and solution-based. During this time, attendees identified the challenges, and obstacles as well as solutions for building capacity, mobilizing community members, and ensuring community stability.
Following the morning session, Chapter President Cameron Hajialiakbar of UCLA, Maddie Lenard of University of San Diego State University, and Sahar Osami of the University of San Diego State sat on a panel for new chapter members and leaders to share their experience, strength, and hope of building the movement on their campuses.
“The Building the Movement conference really stressed the importance of Coaching Corps and our role within a greater social justice movement,” said Osami. “I am proud to be a part of Coaching Corps, to be able to make a difference in this world, whether it be coaching a team and keeping these kids off the streets and away from dangerous situations, or being able to provide a safe, judgment-free environment for a child to reach out and ask for help. Being a part of Coaching Corps means I have the ability to better our communities, I can help someone in their life, and I can inspire and influence others to do the same.”