Sparks Partner with California State and County Agencies in Largest Community-Based Campaign for Military Women and Veterans in WNBA History


LOS ANGELES The Los Angeles Sparks are excited to announce a historic partnership with the Los Angeles County Department of Military and Veteran Affairs (MVA) and the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health (DMH), the largest in WNBA history of its kind.

The year-long campaign, titled Spark the True You, casts a spotlight on women in active duty, women veterans and their families in an effort to normalize the experience of mental illness and health issues, and break through barriers that hold them back from achieving their dreams.

Spark the True You will educate, assist and activate a growing community of support across Southern California for military women and their families through empowerment programming including advocacy workshops, self-care and healthy lifestyle seminars, empowerment retreats, youth assemblies, sports clinics and athlete mentorship.

“Military women face hurdles in obtaining mental health services, medical services and support for traumatic experiences,” Sparks President and COO Danita Johnson said. “I’m honored the Sparks will have the opportunity to work with LA County to play a role in normalizing the stigma around mental health issues and ensure military women and their families have better access to the resources they need to be successful and achieve their goals.”

Ruth A. Wong, Brigadier General, USAF (ret), MVA Director said, “LA County is home to the largest concentration of female veterans–over 30,000 women are subject to barriers in transition, suicide, military sexual trauma, employment, family and general well-being. The Spark the True You campaign and partnership will build our female military community, turning adversity to advantage, by enhancing the physical, mental and spiritual capacity of women veterans and their families.

DMH Director Dr. Jonathan Sherin said, “We are honored to support our women veterans whose growing roles as servant leaders defending and promoting our nation are critical to the future of America. Like the LA Sparks, LA County is upping its game by investing deeply in the collective wellbeing of this most noble and deserving population.”

A partnership launch event will take place on March 22 at the Bob Hope Patriotic Hall from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. PT and is open to media. Attendees will include Sparks head coach Derek Fisher, Sparks guard Karlie Samuelson and Sparks President and COO Danita Johnson.


The Sparks 2019 home opener is on May 31 against the Connecticut Sun. For single game, group or season tickets, visit or call 1.844.GO.SPARKS. Founded in 1996, the Los Angeles Sparks play in the Western Conference of the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA). The Sparks have won three WNBA Championships (2001, 2002, 2016), have qualified for the playoffs in 18 of their 22 seasons and remain the only active team in

the league to win back-to-back titles. The Los Angeles Sparks are dedicated to ensuring each home game at Staples Center has a championship level entertainment experience, while showcasing the best female athletes from around the world.


LA County Department of Mental Health is the largest public mental health department in the United States. DMH provides services that promote hope, recovery and wellbeing, including case management, crisis intervention, medication support, peer support, psychotherapy and other rehabilitative services to the County’s most vulnerable residents.

ABOUT THE LA COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF MILITARY AND VETERAN AFFAIRS The LA County Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA) provides assistance to LA County veterans, active service members and their families with resources, programs, services and state and federal benefits, including: compensation and pension claims, burial benefits and services, medical and mental health referral, education and vocational rehabilitation, home loans and grants applications, employment and job placement assistance, DMV veteran designation, legal service referrals, appeal processes, incarcerated veterans and aid and attendance.