Communities Come Together in Baltimore, Brooklyn, and Detroit as Part of Nike, PeacePlayers Partnership

Communities Come Together in Baltimore, Brooklyn, and Detroit as Part of Nike, PeacePlayers Partnership
Events on Saturday, January 13 honor MLK’s legacy by promoting equality through sport  

Washington, DC – As part of year-round programming focused on bringing communities together, PeacePlayers International and Nike will partner with local communities on an equality initiative on Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend by hosting basketball events in three major U.S. cities to celebrate a year of bridging divides through sports.

In 2017, PeacePlayers launched a partnership with Nike to promote equality in the United States with a focus on changing perceptions and building youth leaders. PeacePlayers has partnered with Nike to expand opportunities and support for youth and their communities, and is currently operating year-round programs in Baltimore, Brooklyn, and Detroit.

On Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend in 2018, PeacePlayers will work with local communities to host basketball tournaments, paired with PeacePlayers’ award-winning peacebuilding and education activities, to celebrate the progress being made in these communities.

PeacePlayers programs now operate daily in Baltimore, Brooklyn, and Detroit in collaboration with local community partners, law enforcement and schools. Later this year, similar projects will launch in Chicago, Los Angeles, and Memphis.

Through an innovative program guided by core peacemaking principles, PeacePlayers has seen success bridging divides in the Middle East, South Africa, Northern Ireland, Cyprus, and other countries across the globe, and is now implementing their unique methods in the U.S. Each of these communities faces unique challenges, and PeacePlayers works with local partners to break down barriers, empower young people, and create more space for understanding.

  • Baltimore: In Baltimore’s Park Heights neighborhood, over half of children live below the poverty line, and the neighborhood has seen flashpoints with police. By engaging police officers as basketball coaches, PeacePlayers is working with local community organizations to change perceptions and foster positive relationships between young people and law enforcement officers from the Baltimore City Police Department. 
  • Detroit: Young people from the predominantly African-American Cody Rouge and predominantly Latino Southwest Detroit neighborhoods have limited opportunities to engage with each other. Through basketball and programming, PeacePlayers is strengthening cross-cultural relationships alongside the Detroit Police Department. 
  • Brooklyn: Brownsville has the largest concentration of public housing in the U.S., and housing block rivalries have created deep divides. By getting young people from different housing blocks to play basketball with each other, PeacePlayers is helping build trust and break down barriers.

“We have been joining communities in conflict through sport for over 15 years in some of the world’s toughest areas,” said Brendan Tuohey, Co-Founder and Executive Director of PeacePlayers International. “Now, we’re using that wealth of experience to build programs right here at home that are needed now more than ever. Sport provides a powerful platform for unifying communities and we hope to foster a generation of young people who together will demonstrate that a shared future for all of us is possible. We truly believe that if we can learn to play together, we can learn to live together.”

“Nike believes in the power of sport to move the world forward and bring communities together,” said Caitlin Morris, General Manager of Nike Community Impact. “We stand for helping all people reach their greatest potential and we’re proud to support PeacePlayers advance equality through their innovative work using sport and education to unite young people and communities.”

For more information about PeacePlayers International, these events on Saturday, January 13, 2018, or to connect with young people, coaches, and community leaders who have participated in PeacePlayers programming, please contact Zoe Sheppard at zoe.sheppard@berlinrosen.com or 202-800-8167.




About PeacePlayers International:

PeacePlayers is globally recognized for uniting divided communities through basketball. PeacePlayers offers sport programming, peace education, and leadership development to those living in communities in conflict. Founded in 2001, PeacePlayers has evolved into an award-winning organization that has worked with more than 75,000 young people in 22 countries, and operates year-round local programs in Northern Ireland, the Middle East, Cyprus, South Africa, and most recently, the United States. PeacePlayers provides youth with the skills to confront conflict with empathy as they grow into ambassadors for peace in their communities to show that if you can play together, you can learn to live together.  To learn more, please visit www.peaceplayers.org.


About Nike’s EQUALITY initiative:

Nike’s EQUALITY initiative is centered on using Nike’s voice and the power of sport to inspire people to take action in their communities, with Nike leading by example with its partnership with world-class organizations dedicated to advancing this work. In January 2017, Nike announced its support for PeacePlayers and MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership, to expand opportunities and support for youth and their communities, continuing Nike’s strong belief in using the power of sport to promote diversity, inclusion, and equality.

About Nike Community Impact:

Nike believes in the power of sport to unleash human potential and build community. We fuel this belief through Made to Play, our commitment to getting kids moving through play and sport so that they can lead healthier, happier, and more successful lives. Together with community partners and our employees around the world, we’re designing innovative solutions to get more than 14 million kids playing, running and jumping their way to a brighter future. Find out more about Nike’s commitment to getting kids moving and providing opportunities for equal playing fields for all at communityimpact.nike.com.

Contact: Zoe Sheppard, zoe.sheppard@berlinrosen.com, 202-800-8167

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