MVP Knows That Black Lives Matter

Mission statement: MVP is a nonprofit organization affording youth from all backgrounds the opportunity to build basketball and life skills in a fun-filled environment that celebrates diversity.

At MVP Basketball Camp, Black lives matter because those lives are part of our basketball community as campers and coaches.  The MVP mission evolved from the belief that in our increasingly fragmented society it is more and more difficult for children from different socioeconomic backgrounds to meet and share an experience together.  Since 1994, over 25,000 children have attended MVP Basketball Camp and close to 8,000 of them have attended because of scholarship opportunities.  We have used the phrase “blending zip codes” to describe what we do for Westchester County residents.  So much of the county is divided socioeconomically.  Children rarely have opportunities to play with children from other towns.  At MVP Basketball Camp. we bring together the youth from all different communities so that they can play basketball together for a week during the summer.  During a typical week, they learn that people who look different have the same interests.  They play basketball together; at lunch they discuss their passions like video games, favorite athletes, and music.  They find out that they have so much in common.  And when they leave camp, they have personal experiences that are fruitful to help to grow tolerance and understanding.  We hope that these interactions also help to break down stereotypes that might be perpetuated through adults in our society and we support everyone who is fighting against racial injustice and promoting equity for all.

Hope is a good start, but we also must ask ourselves how can we not just be reactive to current events but be more supportive to our communities of color?   At MVP Basketball Camp, besides the commonalities of basketball, we bring together different ethnicities, socioeconomic backgrounds, and genders.  Additionally, we attempt educate our campers through our guest speakers. These carefully chosen individuals / groups, which include the police department, fire department, doctors, nutritionists, athletic trainers, and physical therapists, share their knowledge and experience incorporating those life skills that they learned through their careers. By educating our campers through shared experiences, we must make them aware of their similarities and teach them to respect and value their differences.  Ultimately the goal is to help all our youth to understand the humanity of our neighbors.

We value our Black community because they enrich our whole community.  We will continue our mission and work toward providing opportunities for children to play across town lines, to learn from each other and about each other.  We hope our efforts will help to open ALL doors of opportunity for Black lives.  Please join us to make our community better.

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