OWLS was founded to respond to and redress the systemic inequities and generational racism that profoundly and negatively impact black and brown communities in Chicago. We do this by offering Chicago’s most underserved youth a lacrosse-based program that combines sport with academic intervention, mentoring and social enrichment. But more generally, we offer these young people a safe environment to explore new educational and social opportunities.
Today, as the world navigates challenges resulting from the abhorrent and dangerous actions that continue to destroy the lives of Black Americans, our students need us to provide this environment now more than ever.
As an organization, we will persistently cultivate the positive development of our young people through the presence of nurturing adults, academic intervention, and the power of sport. We will strengthen our trauma-sensitive program design through a restorative justice lens and actively address issues of race within our game. Our ecosystem will always be inclusive, but it will not diminish the experiences of its members under the guise of increased access or relative equality.
As we move forward we will continue to seek creative ways that support the specific needs of our students, families and communities we serve. This Thursday 6/4 at 4pm CST we will hold a Community Vigil and Town Hall on Zoom (details to follow). Jitim Young, former Northwestern Athlete of the Year, and current OWLS League Volunteer will be our keynote speaker and moderate a discussion with our students. All members of the OWLS Community are invited to participate, and we encourage you to join us. In the weeks that follow there will be numerous ways to engage with our mission, so please stay tuned for important details on upcoming events.
OWLS is proud to be an advocate for change in underserved communities and we are grateful for your continued support. Please join us as we navigate a very challenging road toward a brighter future.
#BlackLivesMatter: Observance + Dialogue
On June 4th we hosted a virtual dialogue specifically intended for black students, their families and other members of the OWLS community to share and reflect during this amplified moment in our world. Please stay tuned to the OWLS Newsletter for information on the next discussion open to the public.