Minneapolis-St. Paul – The Minnesota Timberwolves and Lynx announced the first of many steps the organization will take to fight racism and help unite its communities following the murder of George Floyd by law enforcement. The organization will enter a multi-year partnership with The Minneapolis Foundation to address systemic inequities and translate community anger into actions.
The partnership will include civic leadership duties with Timberwolves Head Coach Ryan Saunders and Lynx Head Coach and General Manager Cheryl Reeve to serve as leaders on one of two advisory committees that will oversee the disbursement of the Fund for Safe Communities, a fund that will champion the prevention of further violence, address systemic inequities, reform the criminal justice system and heal communities affected by this tragedy. The second advisory committee will be compiled of diverse youth from Minneapolis. The two committees will work collectively to disburse funds from the Fund for Safe Communities as early as next week.
“I am proud of the ways in which the Minnesota Lynx have used our voices to stand up for social justice. The senseless murder of George Floyd has strengthened our resolve to bring about change in the inequities that face our black and brown communities,” said Lynx Head Coach and General Manager Cheryl Reeve. “This alignment with The Minneapolis Foundation will allow us to directly impact these inequities as well as be active participants in the healing of our communities.”
“Minneapolis is a special place,” said Timberwolves Head Coach Ryan Saunders. “I want all people of color to experience this amazing city without fear. We talk a lot about actions over words; we need to make meaningful change and that starts with partnering with The Minneapolis Foundation. As leaders on this Advisory Committee – we will work diligently with our youth counterparts to listen to what needs to change, raise awareness, and partner with informed leaders who can help bring meaningful impact to our cities.”
“This is a moment where we all need to step into some bigger, bolder leadership,” said Chanda Smith Baker, Senior Vice President of Impact at The Minneapolis Foundation. “We need allies in this work and we are excited the Timberwolves and Lynx have decided to step into this partnership, dig deep into understanding the complexity of the inequities, and to help us drive toward solutions that ensure senseless tragedies rooted in racism never happen again.”
The Timberwolves and Lynx organization will announce additional programming and initiatives pertaining to ending systemic racism and the need for community conversations. Its players, some of whom are the most visible young black men and women in America, will be part of these initiatives that will bring healing and change in Minneapolis. Donations can be made by texting SAFEMPLS to 243725.