Southeast San Diego: From Barriers To Belief

This past week the Racial Equity and Access in Youth Sports Task Force established first contact with local stakeholders in Southeast San Diego as we expand this work to another iconic community. This was an opportunity to walk the neighborhoods with local community leaders to learn more about the specific barriers to sports equity that exist East of the 805 and get the full measure of these incredibly inspiring local game changers that make up the very foundation of the new Task Force’s efforts locally. Our work has always been about collaboration, activation, and eliminating the underlying conditions in low-income communities of color that lead to inequities in youth sports.

Part of this ongoing effort, beyond even this month, is to use these conversations to build a dynamic knowledge repository that other community leaders can draw upon for potential solutions to address the complex problem of youth sports inequity in low-income communities of color. Below are just two of the many exchanges that really represent the soul of this effort.

Rob Marcus, Director of Government and Community Engagement, spent the day with Jeff Harper Harris, founder of the San Diego Cougars Basketball Club, Coaches for Racial Equality, Head Basketball Coach at Lincoln High School, a 32-year veteran coach and youth leader, and pillar of the community East of the 805. Together they discussed the challenges to youth sport equity in Southeast San Diego, the impact of sports on youth in the community, and their collective ambitions for launching the Task Force locally.

Rob also caught up with Armon Harvey, Founder & CEO of the Harvey Family Foundation and a Lincoln High School Coach to walk the grounds of the Willie Henderson Sports Complex and discuss his efforts to revitalize the facility he grew up playing in so that the next generation of youth have a safe place to experience sports and physical activity in their own neighborhood. A lifelong resident of the community, Armon’s experience building coalitions among the various stakeholders and thought leaders locally will be critical to the success of the Task Force’s efforts in Southeast San Diego.

Positive Coaching Alliance and Coaching Corps are joining forces to become a powerhouse organization dedicated to optimizing the positive impact of youth coaches on kids. Because when every child has access to a game-changing coach trained in youth development, s/he is able to gain life skills through sport, build healthy habits, and become beacons for positive change in their communities.

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