Proceeds go to the African American Center of Academic Excellence
The Humboldt State University women’s soccer team started a bracelets for change movement to show their support for the Black Lives Matter movement.
Mary Swisher, a senior at HSU and soccer player throughout college, stated that the social injustice present within our country was infuriating and motivated the team to combat the issue.
“While I cannot speak on the racist experiences that African Americans face, it hurts me to hear, see and learn about the effect that racism has on my peers in athletics, at school and the border community of color,” Swisher said. “My teammates and I have decided that we will continue to educate, advocate and work to support people of color in our community and our country.”
Athletes are asking for donations for HSU’s African American Center of Academic Excellence. The team has handmade 30 bracelets out of the 70 that were ordered by friends, family and the community, totaling more than $700 dollars to the AACAE so far.
The AACAE is a cultural and social hub on campus to support identifiable Black students and offer them a higher education. Douglas Smith the Organizer for HSU’s AACAE said he was shocked by the compassion demonstrated by the women’s soccer team.
“Very grateful for multiple reasons. We didn’t reach out to them or ask to fundraise,” Smith said. “They did it on their own ambitions. I was grateful.”
COVID-19 and budget cuts hit the AACAE hard. With the money being donated, they feel extremely grateful and thankful. Smith believes it’s time to confront racial injustices head on and create dialogue.
“Times up. Honestly the time for conversation and talking about it and educating people about it, it’s kinda over,” Smith said. “If there isn’t action being taken place right now then move out of the way. My mood for your question is it’s time for action and talk is rhetoric.”
Coach Grant Landy of the women’s basketball team stated that the athletes came up with the bracelet idea completely on their own and had the AACAE in mind.
“I challenged the team to continue the conversation about racial injustice and they came up with the bracelet idea,” Landy said. “They wanted to help our campus community and chose the AACAE to help support.”
The women’s basketball team choose to help support HSU’s own clubs and organizations. Landy applauds the team’s spirit and dedication to raising awareness for racial injustice.
The Women’s Soccer Team is still accepting bracelet orders and is still taking donations to support HSU’s AACAE.
Swisher stated that the women’s basketball team felt they needed to contribute more than conversation to the racial injustice movement.
“As a team we were having conversations about the injustice against African Americans in our country,” Swisher said. “The conversations were productive and we were educating ourselves but we decided that talking about that problem was not enough.”
The co-captain from the women’s soccer team, Sabine Postma, has experience doing similar fundraisers in her hometown in Washington. The team decided their impact would be most effective if they donated their proceeds to a local organization, like AACAE.
“It’s an admirable organization on our Humboldt State campus that empowers, supports, and celebrates the Black lives in our community,” Postma said.