A Letter from James Kennedy: “Champion of Equality”
I’m proud to announce that I, and by extension Rugby United New York, have been designated a “Champion of Equality” for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) as part of our partnership with the organization.
What does this mean? What can we do? Why?
As a Champion of Equality, Rugby United New York and I align with the UNFPA’s values of gender equality, inclusion and respect. To me, the rugby community has always been so welcoming to all people and through this partnership, I hope to continue promoting these values in the Tri-State area and eventually, worldwide.
With this designation, we will enforce the UNFPA’s values of inclusion and equality in our everyday lives, whether the team is playing a match, our Community Outreach program is visiting local schools and rugby clubs or through our 2020 Season event activations. Specifically, I want to use the teachings of the UNFPA to encourage young girls and boys in the local communities that playing rugby can be a vehicle for personal and athletic success.
As a member of our great rugby family, I feel it is our duty to use our influence and platform at Rugby United New York to encourage men and boys to abandon harmful stereotypes and embrace respectful, healthy relationships, overall supporting human rights of people everywhere.
I want people to look beyond labels and archetypes to see that all people are equal and need access to health, education and opportunities to succeed. As a father to 2 daughters and a brother to 3 sisters, I especially want to champion for better access to family planning for women and girls worldwide.
This designation reflects our core values at Rugby United New York and those of the broader rugby community. It pushes us to do more in terms of equality and empowerment of women, girls, the disabled, the LGBTQ community, minorities, and the poor. We must end violence and discrimination against all communities.
We will proudly wear the UNFPA logo on our jerseys this upcoming season. We will honor their logo as we will honor its mandate by championing the rights of women, children and all marginalized communities and individuals.
Our work is just beginning.
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