Los Angeles, CA – Black People Forward is gearing up for a newly-launched campaign titled, “Checking In, You Good Bro? You Good Sis?” where they will be checking in on the mental health headspace of Black student athletes. BPF provides Wellness programs to help Black Millennials and Gen Zs navigate the choices, challenges and changes they face in today’s world and are seeking donations and partners to launch their programs.
Suicide has become the second leading cause of death among student-athletes. A study carried out by The NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) stated that within this group, black student-athletes have a higher chance of committing suicide. That’s because they face separate issues such as racism, inequality, instability at home, economical burdens, and more. Moreover, they are also less likely to seek mental support, further reinforcing this menace.
The Checking In campaign aims to reduce the rising suicide rates among black youth and comes at a critical time. Just in the first half of 2022, Five NCAA student-athletes in less than two months died by suicide. Black student athletes face their own unique set of challenges, from community trauma and pressure to make it to the league, to ongoing effects of racism.
In 2020/2021, several black student athletes launched a Black Student Athlete Alliance on Predominately White Institutions (PWI) across the country to create a safe space and support one another with the challenges they face that are unique to Black athletes. Each of these alliances is working independently in silos. BPF’s goal is to bring all of the Black college athlete alliances together under one umbrella as well as invite young Black athletes from middle, high schools and travel clubs to join the newly forming National Black Student Athlete Alliance.
Lisa C. Williams, the founder of Black People Forward, said, “We have culturally designed wellness programs for Black student-athletes aimed to heal their heads and hearts, and help them hone in their hustle. We will be pairing the young athletes with their professional athlete heroes through our Dope Wellness Experiences. It’s time for Black people to move forward together.”
Each year, October 6 is celebrated as National Coaches Day along with World Mental Health Day. This year, beginning on National Coaches Day, BPF is asking organizations affiliated with sports or other physical activities to partake in the fundraising campaign with them. BPF is reaching out to coaching associations, athletic directors, professional athletes, gym trainers, and ancillaries to raise money for the new alliance and programs for Black student-athletes.
There are several ways associations and individuals can get involved.
BPF is looking for:
- Coaching and athletic director associations to have their members purchase one of the newly designed coaches Shaper t-shirts or a Black Student Athlete Ambassador t-shirt
- Professional athletes to purchase and wear the Black Student Athlete Ambassador t-shirts
- Sponsor-partners and sports professionals to lead a fundraising team
BPF recognizes coaches and sports instructors as highly qualified teachers and mentors. They help students achieve a better future through their ongoing mentorship of students and athletes. These coaches act as counsellors, mentors, and someone who they can look up to.
“We salute coaches for the positive mentorship of athletes of all ages receive from them. At BPF, we refer to coaches as Shapers. A shaper is an individual who has an impact on who an athlete will become. Coaches and all ancillary professionals involved in a young athlete’s life also have an influence in shaping who they will become. Thank you for being a positive Shaper in student-athletes’ lives. Coaches of all races are welcomed and invited to join the fundraising efforts,” said Williams.
Two prominent coaches have already stepped up to join the cause raised by BPF to Check-In on Black student-athletes.
Coaches so far include:
Andre Chevalier, head coach of Sierra Canyon High School boys’ basketball team, and coach of Brony James, Lebron James’ son
Dahntay Jones, former professional basketball player, now the assistant coach for the Los Angeles Clippers.
Contributions will be used to fund efforts to provide mental health programs, empowerment, and support to Black youth and young adults.
Coaching associations and professional athletes are encouraged to support the project.
Supporters can donate to Black People Forward by visiting https://bit.ly/BYlostparent.
For partnership and sponsorship inquiries contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Black People Forward (BPF)
Black People Forward (BPF) aims to restore racial identity, rebuild emotional wellness, and show Black youth and young adults’ new ways to earn a living (get the bag). We provide culturally focused and evidence-based experiences to help Black youth achieve better outcomes as adults. BPF is a new project, fiscally sponsored by F.L.O.S.S. – F & L Support Services. Donations are tax deductible.