Continuing its ongoing push for equality and social justice, the New York Liberty will host its fourth annual Unity Day game in Bradenton, Florida on Thursday, August 27 as the team takes on the Dallas Wings at 8 p.m. ET live on YES Network, CBSSN and FSGO.
The Liberty’s UNITY platform was initiated by players in 2016 in response to the killings of unarmed Black men and women such as Sandra Bland, Philando Castile, Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Alton Sterling, and countless others.
UNITY aims to ignite activism, educate fans, mobilize the local community, empower players, and amplify marginalized voices through key partnerships, social media activations and events.
In the wake of Breonna Taylor’s murder at the hands of Jonathan Mattingly, Brett Hankinson, and Myles Cosgrove of the Louisville Metro Police Department, the WNBA and WNBPA have dedicated the 2020 season to raising awareness for Breonna and the countless Black women who have been victims of police-involved killings and brutal encounters. The New York Liberty has followed suit and will dedicate its 4th Annual UNITY game to raising awareness for #SayHerName in honor of the Black women who have lost their lives to police violence.
The team will also be selling the New York Liberty Black Lives Matter and Black Trans Lives Matter shirts that coaches, players and staff have been wearing in Bradenton during this season. All of the proceeds will be donated to the Breonna Taylor Foundation.
This year’s UNITY campaign will also feature an original track created by New York Artist Akinyemi. A Queens Village-native, Akinyemi is known for getting vulnerable in his lyrics, his sound often reflects “journey”, and self-reflection, with lyrics that embody introspection and self-care. The song will be released on August 27.
Additionally, on Wednesday August 26, the Liberty will live stream a virtual panel discussion titled: “STAY LOUD: Why We #SayHerName” via YouTube. The panel will be moderated by award-winning activist, educator, and writer Brittany Packnett Cunningham, and include advocate, speaker and sister of Sandra Bland, Sharon Cooper, advocate for racial and gender justice and equity, Nakisha Lewis and social justice advocate and member of the WNBA’s social justice committee, Liberty guard Layshia Clarendon.
The purpose of “STAY LOUD: Why We #SayHerName” is to inform fans on the origins of the #SayHerName campaign, the many Black women victims who have died due to brutal law enforcement encounters, insight behind the disproportionate media coverage, and the role of sports activism and allyship in the pursuit for justice.
To register for the panel, please visit liberty.wnba.com/UNITY2020 .