PLAY LIKE A GIRL HONORED AS U.S. SOCCER 2022 SHEBELIEVES AMBASSADOR

Play Like a Girl Joins Network of Nonprofit Organizations Working Across Sectors and The Nation To Positively Impact Girls & Women

NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE (Feb. 23, 2022) – Play Like a Girl has been selected by the U.S. Soccer Federation as a 2022 SheBelieves Ambassador. This special program unites and elevates nonprofit organizations embodying the SheBelieves mission of inspiring and empowering girls and young women.  

U.S. Soccer is the governing body of the sport of soccer in the United States and oversees 24 National Teams, including the four-time FIFA Women’s World Cup Champions, the U.S. Women’s National Team.

Play Like a Girl leverages sport to build a diverse pipeline of young women in competitive, male-dominated fields including science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) by helping more than 1,250 girls annually to build confidence and leadership skills during their critical middle school years.

Through the SheBelieves Ambassadors program, Play Like a Girl will work directly with the Federation to showcase each other’s mission, people, initiatives, and resources, to positively impact girls and women.

“We enjoyed being a member of the inaugural class of SheBelieves Ambassadors and are excited to continue our work to level the playing field for girls and women in soccer,” said Dr. Kimberly Clay, founder and Chief Executive Officer of Play Like a Girl. “Together, we will ensure that underserved girls and girls of color have equal access and opportunity to reach their full potential.”

Play Like a Girl was part of the inaugural class of SheBelieves Ambassadors in 2021 and returns again this year. SheBelieves Ambassadors operate across a variety of sectors including the arts, STEM, education, community development, and professional development. Together, they support girls and women from diverse or underserved communities.

The shared theme reflects U.S. Soccer’s commitment to championing diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) and using its platforms to amplify national conversations fostering DEIB.

“SheBelieves Ambassadors are doing extraordinary work for girls and women who are too often overlooked, underrepresented, or underserved,” said U.S. Soccer President, Cindy Parlow Cone. “We are honored to welcome and celebrate this year’s class of SheBelieves Ambassadors, who align with both our SheBelieves mission to empower girls and young women and U.S. Soccer’s core principles of advancing diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging. Where our U.S. Women’s National Team inspire us on the field, these organizations inspire us off of it.”

As part of the SheBelieves Ambassadors program, Play Like a Girl will connect with fellow Ambassadors, be promoted across U.S. Soccer’s extensive social media network – including a spotlight feature on a female staff member or beneficiary – and will be featured on scoreboards and in-venue announcements at the final match of the 2022 SheBelieves Cup, presented by Visa. Ambassadors will also enjoy complimentary access to the SheBelieves Summit, presented by Deloitte, and creatively work with U.S. Soccer and Federation staff on bespoke collaborations meeting the nonprofits’ current needs. This year’s class will also participate in a three-part capacity-building series focused on organizational and professional development topics of their choosing.

The SheBelieves Ambassadors program recognizes the critical role nonprofits and their staffs have in impacting lives and affect positive cultural change. Ambassadors are announced each year around U.S. Soccer’s SheBelieves Cup, one of the world’s premier annual international women’s soccer tournaments.

IN ADDITION TO PLAY LIKE A GIRL, THE 2022 SHEBELIEVES AMBASSADORS INCLUDE:

  • Black Girls Code – Building pathways for young women of color to embrace the current tech marketplace as builders and creators by introducing them to skills in computer programming and technology.
  • Brown Girls Do Ballet – Promoting diversity in the arts through annual scholarships, a mentor network, and community programs to empower young girls, and increasing participation of underrepresented populations in ballet programs through ballet performances, photo exhibitions, and resources.
  • Esperanza UnitedMobilizing Latinas and [email protected] communities to end gender-based violence through supporting [email protected] survivors, families, and communities to gain greater safety, connectedness, and self-sufficiency.
  • National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA) – Empowering LGBTQ Asians and Pacific Islanders through capacity building, policy and advocacy advancing intersectional justice and equity, ensuring LGBTQ API representation in research and resources, and supporting a federation of grassroots community organizations.
  • PowerPlay – Advancing the lives of girls through sports and helping them grow physically, emotionally, and academically stronger through confidence-building athletics and play.
  • She’s The First (STF) – Fighting for a world where every girl chooses her own future, by teaming up with grassroots organizations across the globe to make sure girls everywhere are educated, respected, and heard.
  • U.S. Soccer Foundation – Providing underserved communities access to innovative play spaces and programs that instill hope and foster well-being, while increasing girls’ and women’s participation through the Foundation’s United for Girls initiative.

ABOUT SHEBELIEVES

SheBelieves is a platform that encourages girls and women of all ages to accomplish their goals and dreams, in sports and beyond. SheBelieves was originally launched in the run-up to the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup and has since evolved into a special series of events and programming that bring a powerful message of empowerment and that of believing in yourself into communities across the nation.

ABOUT PLAY LIKE A GIRL

Play Like a Girl!® is a 501(c)3 charitable organization founded on the belief that girls given the opportunity to play on a team become women with the confidence to stand on their own. We envision a world where the playing field is level and every girl reaches her full potential. An organization for girls by girls, Play Like a Girl is on a mission to leverage the skills girls gain from sport to build a diverse pipeline of young women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). To accomplish this, we collaborate with schools, corporations and other partner organizations to deliver a coordinated, multi-year program model through which middle school girls experience practical lessons in leadership and engage in hands-on STEM education through the lens of a confidence-building curriculum, while being exposed to inspiring women role models and mentors. Play Like a Girl is a Black, woman-founded and led organization governed by an active volunteer Board of Directors  – because we know real change is a team sport. Since inception in 2004, the Nashville-based organization has benefited more than 50,000 girls and women in the United States and across the world. To join our squad, visit iplaylikeagirl.org, and follow @iplaylikeagirl on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.