Aligning with Saints owner Gayle Benson’s constant concerns about issues that plague our community and in light of the current state of the nation, the 2020-21 New Orleans Saints season will be utilized as a platform for meaningful change by supporting Black Women in Social Justice and Racial Equality.
Goals of The #SayHerName Campaign
By working together as teammates, our goal is to raise awareness around the current state of Black women in America, uplift both leaders and the left out or alienated and disenfranchised in this space, bring about solutions that elicit systemic change both in New Orleans and across the country, and ultimately make a safer, more equitable America.
Concept: When it comes to the broader conversation of social justice, Black women are often left out. As evidenced in the Breonna Taylor case, we are failing to acknowledge the intersecting impacts of racism and sexism on Black Women. As men we feel it is time to evaluate our spaces, do our part, and use our platform to uplift the stories of our most disenfranchised.
For the 2020-21 New Orleans Saints Season we will focus on a 360° campaign that provides Black Women with the space to educate the general public on a variety of topics. This campaign will partner with local and national organizations that support the work, women leaders in and out of sports who are on the front lines of the movement, and ignite a weekly call to action for the general public.
Execution: Both online and offline activations will occur with each home game bringing awareness to a woman from the #SayHerName Initiative, supported by Kimberle’ Crenshaw and the African American Policy Forum, the originators of the hashtag. On game day, each player will wear a #SayHerName decal on their helmets as well as a t-shirt that highlights that week’s victim. These decals and shirts can be sold on the team store to continue raising funds for each cause. Otherwise, we hope to utilize the player’s Social Justice Matching fund to donate to the resulting causes. Additionally, on social media, the Saints and some player pages will feature spotlights on that week’s victim.
In continuing the conversation, on Tuesdays of home games, we will hold a roundtable discussion on weekly topics related to Black Women. This content will be repurposed throughout the week on the Saints and players’ social media accounts and used to educate the general public on issues often overlooked or misunderstood.
Advisory Board: The players who have been spearheading this effort include Malcolm Jenkins, Drew Brees, Alvin Kamara, Demario Davis, Terron Armstead, Cam Jordan, Craig Robertson, and Thomas Morstead.
Once the Saints players decided to come together as a team to raise awareness about #SayHerName and what the hashtag represents, they connected with Players Coalition to help guide the creation of the campaign.
It was also important for them to create an advisory board of Black women to help outline how we could best tell their stories. The group of Black women includes Natasha Cloud (WNBA), Maria Taylor (ESPN), MJ Acosta (NFL Network), Taylor Rooks (Bleacher Report), and Dr. Chelsea Heyward (Players Coalition).
WEEK 1 TOPIC: Overview of the Season-Long Campaign (why we are discussing this)
WEEK 3 TOPIC: Black Women and Education
PROPOSED ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION: The importance of HBCUs and safe spaces for Black women, school curriculum, hair standards, the criminalization of black girls in schools
WEEK 5 TOPIC: Black Women and Healthcare
PROPOSED ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION: The Impact of COVID-19 on Black Communities, Maternal Mortality
WEEK 7 TOPIC: Black Women and Domestic Violence
PROPOSED ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION: Sexual Harassment, Domestic Violence, Being Better as a League
WEEK 10 TOPIC: Black Women and the Isms
PROPOSED ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION: Intersectional Oppression: Racism and Sexism
WEEK 11 TOPIC: Black Women, Sports, and Media
PROPOSED ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION: Representation of Black women in the media and in music and hypersexualization, Women in Sports: the pay gap, WNBA on the front lines on social justice, Workplace Behavior: sexual harassment the glass ceiling, the pay gap, double-standards, black women in positions of power etc.
WEEK 15 TOPIC: Black Women, Social Justice, and Racial Equality
PROPOSED ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION: Social Justice, Racial Equality, Police Brutality and Criminal Justice Reform
WEEK 16 TOPIC: Black Women and Raising the Next Generation of Boys
PROPOSED ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION: How people can bring up the next generation of boys