Former Columbus Crew Players Team Up to Become Playmakers in Fight for Equality

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COLUMBUS, OH (November 2)  Goalkeeper for Manchester City, USMNT Zack Steffen and Birmingham Legion FC professional soccer player Alex Crognale launch the VOYCNEOW Foundation, an organization uniting athletes and their fans to support and celebrate diversity.

“In the days following George Floyd’s death, Zack came to me with feelings of anger and frustration. We asked ourselves, ‘why does this keep happening to people of color?’ While we may not have the answer, we decided we wanted to be part of the solution,” Crognale said.

VOYCENOW is partnering with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America to create the Minority Education Fund in support of youth across the country. The shift to remote learning impacts all students, but students from disadvantaged communities feel the weight of this impact the most. As minority youth make up the largest percentage of children living in poverty, distance learning is expected to aggravate racial inequalities in education.

“Growing up, my mom always pushed us to succeed in the classroom. I carry that same passion now; education is critical. My platform and profession give me the opportunity to give back in a big way,” Steffen said. “As COVID-19 has made it even harder for disadvantaged families and communities to get quality schooling from home, my partners and I thought it would be best to start in this area.”

VOYCENOW and the Boys & Girls Clubs of America are teaming up to bring awareness to digital equity issues, and ensure that every student, regardless of race, is provided with equal access to academic resources. The Minority Education Fund uses 100% of donations raised to provide computer labs, scholarship money and mentorship for minority students from the highest-need Clubs across the country. With more than 60% of students attending school remotely, VOYCENOW aims to help close the equity gap in education and support minority youth through this unprecedented time and beyond.

Photo Credit: Boys and Girls Clubs of Boston

“Kids and teens, especially kids of color, need Boys & Girls Clubs to support them during this challenging time in our history,” said Jim Clark, president and CEO, Boys & Girls Clubs of America. “I want to thank the VOYCNEOW Foundation for their partnership. With their support, we can continue to help level the playing field so that every young person has equal access to opportunities and experiences that give them every opportunity to be successful in life.”

With the help of Boys and Girls Clubs of America and through a partnership with Dell, VOYCENOW outfitted computer and technology labs at clubs in six major cities: BOSTON, CHICAGO, COLUMBUS, DC AREA, LOS ANGELES, PHILADELPHIA. For more on how you can get involved, visit voycenowfoundation.org or follow @voycenow on Instagram.

About VOYCENOW:

VOYCENOW is a global community of professional athletes and fans fighting for equality and justice, with a focus on Black youth from disadvantaged communities. The time to use our voices for change is NOW.

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NEWS PROVIDED BY VOYCENOW Foundation