One women’s college basketball team has its sights set on goals that aren’t just about scoring buckets this season.
The Columbia women’s basketball program announced its season-long “Support Black Women” campaign, an initiative to support Black women within the Harlem community.
According to the Columbia Lions, the team made the announcement days before the start of the 2022-2023 season, posting a video Friday that it would extend a mission it began last season.
“We thought it was important to continue our “Support Black Women” campaign,” senior Lilian Kennedy said. “Last year, we recognized that this was a mission we wanted to continue–we didn’t want to just have that stop last year.
“We think there are several more opportunities to show our support, such as inviting certain groups to our games, continuing to have Black-owned restaurants provide our pregame meals, and just championing and supporting them throughout the season.”
Head coach Megan Griffith said the campaign will now include spotlighting local Black-owned businesses during games, extending resources to local women’s shelters, and seeking out more opportunities to be active in the Harlem community.
“This team is process-oriented and our work is ongoing,” Griffith said.
“I’m proud to see that our players want to continue to use their platforms to make a sustainable impact in our greater community. The work will continue!”
The team will continue ordering home pregame meals from local Black-women-owned restaurants, in addition to connecting with local organizations to implement their SEED (Success, Envision, Empowerment, Determination) mentorship model.
The Lions have spent time volunteering at Grow Our Game, a community basketball clinic that empowers the upcoming generation of girls to become confident leaders who impact the community.
To extend their mission to the masses, the Lions’ video message will play during halftime of every home game.