Major League Soccer, MLS WORKS, and league partners are uniting to make a lasting impact in the local Los Angeles area. The league will harness the power of our soccer community to support the local LA area by providing meals to those experiencing food insecurity, unveiling a new soccer mini-pitch for youth, hosting a candid conversation on building wealth equity within the Black community, donating to after school programs and more.
Barbershop Forum - "Wealth Equity: Building Bridges to Prosperity"
Moderated by TV personality DeMarco Morgan and with opening remarks from MLS Commissioner Don Garber, featured panelists will include:
- Thomas W. Dortch Jr., Chairman 100 Black Men of America, Inc - Thomas W. Dortch, Jr., is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of TWD, Inc. and Chairman of 100 Black Men of America, Inc. In 1990, he became the State Director and served as Chief Administrator for United States Senator, Sam Nunn. He is a member of Operation Hope Board of Trustees, Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University Board of Trustees, Clark Atlanta University Board of Trustees and is Chairman of The Board, National Coalition on Black Civic Participation. Mr. Dortch has had guest appearances on the Oprah Winfrey Show, Fox News Channel the O’Reilly Factor, C-SPAN, Talk Back Atlanta, National Press Club, CNN, Good Day Atlanta, and MBC Town Hall Meeting. Mr. Dortch is a much sought-after speaker on an international, national level to governmental entities, corporations and educational institutions.
- Quincy Amarikwa, MLS Great and Founder Black Players for Change - Quincy Obina Amarikwa, is Founder and Director of Strategic Partnerships of Black Players For Change (BPC), CEO of Perfect Soccer, Evolve NFTs and Co-Managing Partner Leverage Investment Group (LIG). He serves as advisor to the BPC Executive Board, fundraising and securing partnerships. Most notably: Players Coalition, U.S. Soccer Foundation, Musco Lighting, Adidas, New York Red Bulls, Black Women's Player Collective, New York City FC, MLSPA, Independent Supporters Council, Etihad Airways and Mayor’s Fund. When not on the soccer field, UC Davis Hall Of Fame member Amarikwa invests in furthering his philanthropic, educational and entrepreneurial ventures. Amarikwa’s mission is to use soccer as a vehicle to create over a billion self-disciplined, self-sufficient, focused, goal-oriented individuals. Through his mentality coaching and hosting the #AskASoccerPro Show, Amarikwa is creating a new generation of soccerpreneurs.
- Ashley Bell, Co-founder, National Black Bank Foundation - Ashley Daniel Bell is a partner at Dentons LLP, the world’s largest law firm. Leveraging his extensive experience with both the public and private sectors, Ashley develops solutions to effectively bridge the intersection of business, law and government. Ashley serves as the General Counsel for the National Black Bank Foundation and the $250 million Black Bank Fund, and in this role, facilitated the refinance of the construction loan for the Emory Sports Medicine Complex with a syndicate of Black-owned banks. The $35 million loan marks the first time a professional sports franchise has had a significant loan underwritten exclusively by Black banks.
- Sola Winley, MLS EVP & Chief Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Officer - Sola’s 27-year career includes tenures with the National Football League, A+E Television Networks and leading his own strategic and management consulting firm. As the founder and principal of Brown Angel Advisors and ProVision Consulting, Inc., he partnered with CEOs and advised management on leadership and organizational development, executive coaching, diversity and inclusion and corporate communications across a range of industries.
- Derrick Heggans, CEO, Global Sports Business Academy and Sr. Advisor to the President, Washington Football Team - In the Fall of 2020, Derrick was asked to serve as advisor to the first black NFL Team President Jason Wright as he began efforts to create a new path for the franchise. After serving as the Sports segment lead for President Obama's My Brother's Keeper Initiative from its inception in 2014 until President Obama's departure from office, Derrick founded Global Sports Business Academy, an education delivery unit designed to create pathways for kids of color to break into and succeed as leaders in the sports and entertainment business. Derrick serves as faculty for Georgetown University's Sports Industry management Program, along with holding an Instructor role at Stanford University, while advising a number of start-ups in the sports media space. Previously, Derrick served as in-house business affairs counsel for the National Football League, served as General Manager of AOL's Sports Channel and served as Managing Director for The Wharton School's Wharton Sports Business Initiative.
MLS WORKS Day of Service Presented by Wells Fargo
- Participants packed 1,500 fresh lunches for individuals experiencing food insecurity in the LA area.
- The event will also assemble and pack 2,500 backpacks with school supplies which will be distributed to youth in schools throughout the Los Angeles Unified School District.
- MLS Greats Cobi Jones and Nick Rimando attend as well as, and Liga MX Greats, Luis Hernández and Pavel Pardo
MLS WORKS All-Star Community Day presented by Target
- August 23
- Charles R. Drew Middle School
MLS, LAFC, the U.S. Soccer Foundation, the Los Angeles Unified School District and Thinkwatts Foundation will unveil a new soccer mini-pitch at Charles R. Drew Middle School. Festivities will also showcase windscreen artwork designed by local Watt’s youth in collaboration with Design FC.
The soccer mini-pitch system is an innovative, all-in-one solution designed to help communities create fun, active and safer play spaces. The modular system is complete with lighting, fencing, goals, benches, ADA-accessible gates, and lockable storage. The new mini-pitch will provide an inclusive place for local community members to play, while also supporting local youth programming,
As part of the mini-pitch unveiling, MLS and Target will announce a commitment to provide year-long soccer programming for the Watts community. In collaboration with the ThinkWatts Foundation, up to 500 local youth will have an opportunity to participate in Soccer for Success, the U.S. Soccer Foundation’s free after-school program. The introduction of soccer and community programming will help set the groundwork for LAFC and the LAFC Foundation’s long-term commitment to enabling access and growing the game amongst Black and Brown youth, while building a soccer culture to ensure the sustainability and cementing of the sport among youth, families, and members of the Watts community.