Pride

Sounders FC celebrates diversity and inclusion this Pride Week, with special focus on intersection with racial justice

Seattle Sounders FC celebrates Pride this week, leading up to the city’s Together For Pride weekend – three days of speakers, performances and activities being hosted virtually by Gender Justice League, Seattle PrideFest and Seattle Pride this Friday through Sunday. The Rave Green join in this recognition of diversity and inclusion with several club events throughout the week, beginning with a Pride flag raising at CenturyLink Field later this afternoon.

The club also wishes to express that in its support for Pride, the ongoing cause of racial justice is not set aside, stating the following:

Sounders FC believes in equality, inclusion and the inherent value of every individual. As we hoist the Pride flag above CenturyLink Field again, we celebrate the diversity that makes our community so beautiful. We also know that for some in our community, this year and the last four weeks in particular have been especially painful. This year, we stand with our friends at Seattle Pride in dedicating our voice and our platform to not only those in the LGBTQIA+ community, but also to those who are Black, Indigenous and People of Color. We are all part of this community. All are welcome in our club; our humanity links us and we are stronger together.

Later this afternoon, Sounders FC’s Brad Evans is raising the Pride flag at CenturyLink Field. Despite the lack of games currently being played in the stadium, the Rave Green are proud to mark their home as a place where all are welcome.

Tomorrow, the club is releasing a variety of Pride-themed Zoom backgrounds for fans to incorporate into their virtual meetings.

Parents with younger children can look forward to Wednesday’s “Art at Home Together” program which is hosted by the club’s charitable arm, RAVE Foundation, and the Sounders FC Forever Green Kids Club presented by Delta Dental. This 45-minute pre-recorded art class – led by Marianne Schneeman, certificated teacher for Highline Public Schools, with participation from Brad Evans, Bheem Goyal and kids from RAVE target communities – is tailored toward an elementary school-aged audience, and focuses on the theme of togetherness, belonging and inclusion. Young fans can follow along with the class, which walks them through a simple art project while encouraging them to express their feelings in their art.  “Art at Home Together” is available on SoundersFC.com and, additionally, is being featured in Seattle Pride’s collection of kids activities on Sunday, June 28 as part of the virtual Pride celebrations. Children who complete the art lesson can send photos of their art to RAVE, which will display it in an online “Art at Home Together” art gallery.

On Thursday, June 25, Sounders FC collaborates with Trans Pride, Northwest Film Forum and Three Dollar Bill Cinema to present a free virtual screening of award-winning documentary “The Most Dangerous Year,” which follows a small group of families in their battle against the wave of discriminatory anti-transgender legislation that swept through the nation in 2016, prompting the Human Rights Campaign to call 2016 “the most dangerous year for transgender Americans.”

Filmmaker and Sounders FC season ticket member, Vlada Knowlton captured the ensuing civil rights battle from the perspective of a group of parents – including herself and her husband, parents of a young trans girl – fighting to protect their children from discriminatory laws in their home state. While Knowlton passionately follows the story of anti-transgender legislation, the heart of the film lies in the stories of the families who accept and support their children for exactly who they are.

Following the documentary, Sounders FC Senior Vice President of Legal and External Affairs Maya Mendoza-Exstrom is moderating a 45-minute pre-recorded panel discussion with some of the documentary’s cast members, including: Vlada Knowlton, director/writer/producer; Aidan Key, cast member and associate producer and founder of Gender Diversity and Gender Odyssey; Laurie Jinkins, cast member and Speaker of the Washington House of Representatives; Ve’ondre Mitchell, cast member and Tik Tok influencer; and Asaf Orr, cast member and Senior Staff Attorney/Transgender Youth Project Director at the National Center for Lesbian Rights.

The screening of the film begins at 7:00 p.m. PT on Thursday, June 25. Those interested in viewing the film and panel discussion must sign up for a ticket at the following link: https://sndrs.com/uqv3c.

Tickets are available on a sliding scale from $0-$25, with any proceeds being split between nonprofit charitable organizations Trans Pride (Gender Justice League), Three Dollar Bill Cinema and NWFF's split of proceeds, which is benefitting WA Black Trans Task Force. 

On Friday, June 27, join Brad Evans on Instagram Live at 12:00 p.m. PT as he talks to Laura Clise, the local founder and CEO of Intentionalist. Intentionalist is an online guide to intentional spending that supports small businesses and diverse local communities by making it easier to find and support local businesses owned by women, people of color, veterans, members of the LGBTQIA+ community, families and people with disabilities. Intentionalist is rooted in the belief that diverse small businesses make our communities better, and that we can make a difference through everyday decisions about where we eat, drink, and shop. Evans and Clise will discuss the business and the drive to catalyze a global #SpendLikeItMatters movement.

On Sunday, June 28, as Seattle Pride wraps up the Together With Pride weekend with its lineup of activities, tune in to listen to Sounders FC’s band, Sound Wave’s virtual performance encouraging attendees to get up and move, while the previously mentioned “Art Together at Home” programming is available for children on Seattle Pride’s channel for kids activities.

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