Jumpstarting Unity Hoops

Three and a half years ago I had an idea - to use the wildly popular game of basketball as a tool to empower disenfranchised Crow Native American youth to become the agents of change in their community to alter the course of what has for centuries been a history of violence toward their people, their land, and their culture.

I connected with an interested group of friends and a wonderful Crow community organization, and together we developed a youth empowerment program called Unity Hoops. In the summers since, we have worked with over 200 young people and provided them with a curriculum that integrates the sport they love with a social justice-centered education that is relevant to their lives. 

It is our hope to build deep, healing relationships with our students over multiple years, helping them walk forward on a road to and through college, and most importantly, toward a lifetime of investment in their community. Thus far we have never earned a penny from this work and have often had to spend our own money to cover program expenses. To reach our goals we must build the organizational infrastructure to sustain and strengthen this effort. And this requires one thing: time. 

For much of this year I will be taking time away from paid employment to commit myself to this purpose - to develop the innovative curriculum, funding base, and key connections to launch Unity Hoops into a thriving future.

With this fundraiser, I am seeking financial support to help me sustain myself during the coming months while I do this work. I will be living lightly and working to cut expenses at every opportunity. Yet even with savings from the past, I will need to raise $8000 in order to put the needed amount of time and energy into this project.  

It is difficult for me to ask for this help, but more bearable than letting go of this dream that has shown so much potential. 

In our vision we see our students free from vicious cycles of poverty and despair and as leaders of a movement toward a just future for their people and our world. I humbly ask you to help us make this vision a reality by assisting me in jumpstarting this movement for change.

Thank you.

To learn more about our work visit unityhoopsbasketball.org
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David Dean 
Oakland, CA
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