Team USA union commits $2.5 million for loans to benefit women
As the national team players’ union hammers out the details of a landmark fair compensation deal with US Soccer, players are looking to expand their influence in programs that benefit other women.
The United States Women’s National Team Players Association on Thursday announced a new initiative with the nonprofit Kiva, committing $2.5 million in cost-free, interest-free loan capital to more than 400 small businesses – with a focus on women and underserved communities.
“The United States Women’s National Team is about more than just the fact that we are soccer players and it’s time to really look at our fight for pay equity, and economic justice is part of that. extension,” defender Crystal Dunn said. .
San Francisco-based Kiva funds equity loans to entrepreneurs in underserved communities around the world who may not have access to traditional loans. Some 81% of Kiva borrowers are women.
The four-year partnership was announced ahead of International Women’s Day on March 8. For every $25 loaned to businesses highlighted on Kiva’s USWNTPA website, the union will match the contribution.
As the players fight for economic fairness, they’re also negotiating a new collective bargaining agreement with US Soccer.
The two sides announced a breakthrough last week, with US Soccer pledging to equalize salaries between the men’s and women’s national teams. The federation also agreed to pay $24 million to settle a gender discrimination lawsuit filed by some of the women’s team players in 2019.
But the settlement depends on the two parties coming together to reach a new collective agreement. The deadline is March 31.
Dunn, as union secretary, was active in negotiations with US Soccer. At the same time her teammates held a virtual press conference to tout the deal last week, Dunn was at the negotiating table.
“I feel like it’s going in the right direction. And yes, the deadline is approaching, but we have increased our sessions, we meet constantly throughout the week, and I am very hopeful that we will achieve to a deal,” Dunn said. “I think the relationship is building, I think both parties want this federation to be as successful as possible, and now it’s just about agreeing to terms that we both feel comfortable with. accept and move in the right direction.
Dunn, who was part of the USA team that won the World Cup in 2019, is pregnant with her first child, so she currently does not play for either the national team or her club, the Portland Thorns. The union gives him a new platform to make his voice heard.
“I would say I feel like I have this incredible perspective where, I’m still with a lot of football players on a daily basis, but I can step back and really see what changes and what impact I want to help make, Dunn said “I can really dive into such a new journey, and I’m so excited about it.”
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