Before the Los Angeles Sparks and Seattle Storm took the court Sunday, DJ-Mal-ski hosted a Pre-game show, featuring the 2020 #WeAreWomen award ceremony.
The Los Angeles Sparks #WeAreWomen campaign began in 2015 in an effort to honor standout women and young girls in the Los Angeles community who share our goals of female empowerment.
This year, we are honoring five women who exemplify the following categories: Health & Wellness, Women & Girls Empowerment, Social Justice, Youth Sports, and Military/Veteran Affairs.
Before the 2020 Sparks Woman of the Year was announced, each finalist shared a bit about themselves and their dedication to their specific field.
Chamique Holdsclaw, former WNBA player and 1999 first-round pick in the WNBA draft, represented for health and wellness, specifically highlighting mental health. Holdsclaw opened up about her personal struggles and shared how mental illnesses impacts her immediate family. She emphasized the importance of conversations surrounding mental health and the stigma that comes along with that struggle, especially as an athlete.
Master Chief Petty Officer Luter represented for military and veteran affairs. She spoke to her experience in the Navy and shared her love for the Sparks’ year-round investment in the youth in the local community.
Kim Bearden, a Co-founder, author and teacher, spoke to women’s and girl’s empowerment. Bearden highlighted the importance of relationships through education, and emphasized why she takes pride in remaining teachable, throughout her decades of teaching herself.
LaSandra Dixon, who goes by Coach San, echoed similar ideas. San, who dedicates herself to youth sports, shed light on positive relationships, especially with the kids that she trains, and how much it impacts their life-trajectory.
Kimberle Crenshaw, a Black activist, lawyer, professor and philosopher, shared her appreciation and excitement for the generation of female athletes who are demanding social justice.
Crenshaw was announced as the winner of the We Are Women Awards and named the Sparks 2020 woman of the year. Crenshaw highlighted her dedication to social justice and passion for making a difference, especially for Black women.
Crenshaw closed her acceptance by highlighting the mothers of female victims of police brutality, saying they want to be seen and recognized. The two mothers she honored were Gina Best and Vicky McAdore, who are a part of the Say Her Name campaign.
“The fear is not what will happen if we demand our rights, but what will happen if we don’t,” Crenshaw said.