Advocating Against Inequalities Girls Face in Sports
Despite Title IX legislation, many inequalities remain in girls’ sports journeys. It is critical we advocate for girls and women in sport. The VISF x Los Angeles MicroGrant program empowers girls to identify these inequities and seek funding from the Voice in Sport Foundation to address them. Girls are trained on Title IX in their communities so they can continue to advocate and be leaders. VISF aspires for the Los Angeles community to support the Microgrant Program and initiatives to close the gap for girls and women in sport.
What is the primary issue area that your application will impact?
In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?
City of Los Angeles
In what stage of innovation is this project, program, or initiative?
Pilot or new project, program, or initiative
What is your understanding of the issue that you are seeking to address?
On June 23, 2022, individuals across the United States will have celebrated the 50th anniversary of Title IX being passed as an amendment to the U.S. Civil Rights Act. Title IX requires schools to allocate resources to men and women in proportion to their interest and enrollment. However, it has been found that boys still get 1.13 million more sport opportunities than girls despite changes in legislation and funding allocation (National Federation of State High School Associations, 2018-2019). Additionally, 42% of families state cost as the leading reason their child cannot participate in sports (Whitaker, et al., 2019). Through the VISF x Los Angeles Microgrant Program, we can bridge the inequality gaps present in youth girls’ sports. We train girls in Title IX and educate them on identifying inequalities in their communities. Without VISF in the community, girls may not know where to go and how to find help when they face barriers to sport.
Describe the project, program, or initiative this grant will support to address the issue.
The VISF Microgrant Program allows for girls to submit inequalities they experience among their teams, schools, or athletic departments. After carefully evaluating the submission and funding request within 60 days, VISF works with these individuals to provide a grant that directly addresses the inequality present. There is no inequality too small. Examples of inequities include a need for new equipment, registration fees, facility rentals, unfair practice times compared to male counterparts, and more. We want to support and enable girls across every community. Upon Microgrant allocation, VISF also trains recipients in Title IX so that they can continue to lead and advocate in their communities. VISF administers a pre-analysis on measurable items regarding fund usage, Title IX inequalities, sport environment, etc. to Microgrant recipient(s) before working with recipient(s) to finalize payment, whether monetary or providing materials support (e.g. new jerseys). VISF will check in with the recipient(s) on a predetermined schedule (ex: bi-weekly, monthly, etc.) to monitor allocation of funds. Once the microgrant funding period closes, VISF administers a post-analysis to Microgrant recipient(s) in order to generate an impact summary for brand donors and investors. Lastly, VISF provides next steps for recipient(s) to renew their microgrant if needed.
Describe how Los Angeles County will be different if your work is successful.
VISF seeks to create change that lasts; the Microgrant Program aims to successfully address inequities and advocate to prevent further inequities. Using a summative evaluation, VISF would evaluate the LA2050 grant’s impact at the end of the term and use findings to inform decisions on Microgrant allocation, renewing Microgrants, and how to improve the Program to maximize impact. We would work collaboratively with Microgrant recipients to ensure funds are being used as intended to tackle inequalities. An impact summary would be generated for LA2050 including where the grant’s funds have positively affected girls in sport, pre/post analysis results measuring differences in recipients’ communities after receiving Microgrants, and concrete numbers (number of people benefitting, Microgrants awarded, etc.) for LA2050 to utilize internally if requested. The VISF Los Angeles Microgrant Program would last as long as there is available funding, whether from LA2050 or other donors.
What evidence do you have that this project, program, or initiative is or will be successful, and how will you define and measure success?
The number of people benefiting directly from the grant depends on the girl-identified Microgrant requests. The number of people indirectly benefiting from this grant exponentially grows as Microgrants continually benefit individuals, teams, and athletic departments. Microgrants can also minimize the financial burden on families who may not have excess funds to initiate or extend a child’s sport participation. VISF will track allocation of funds in determining impact. Prior to funding, we will work closely with accepted grant recipients to outline expected impact and later compare it to actual reach and objectives met. This also instills an internal feedback loop for VISF on ways to improve the Microgrant process and maximize long-term impact amongst communities. Microgrants ultimately support VISF’s goal of keeping girls in sport, especially in urban and rural areas where girls are two times more likely to drop out of sport than those in suburban areas.
Approximately how many people will be impacted by this project, program, or initiative?
Direct Impact: 500
Indirect Impact: 10,000