FOUNDRIE. a three part series  the powers that actually be
Football star Marcus Rashford is a stellar forward for Premier League club Manchester United and the England national team. In 2020, he made his presence known beyond the world of drills, goals, and wins, as he responded to child hunger - a growing national crisis in the UK resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sadly, of course, and for whatever reason, this made some of the ‘powers’ that be across the pond pretty upset. At this time, despite the hell COVID was putting many families through, the Boris Johnson-led government decided to cut funding for government-subsidized school meals. Out of school and on lockdown, almost 2 million children in the UK would go hungry.
The story fortunately continues as you’d hope - local food banks and charities joined Marcus in feeding the children themselves. He also used his platform to bring global attention and pressure to the matter. The power of the people caused the British government to reverse its policies. Funding continued.
I learned about this story while listening to an episode of the podcast This Matters. Click here to listen to this succinct conversation between guest Shireen Ahmed, writer, sports activist, and co-host of the ‘Burn It All Down’ podcast, and host Adrian Cheung about Marcus and other athletes refusing to ‘shut up and dribble’.
Professionals in the fields of sport, exercise and performance psychology support the growing rebellion against this absurd expectation:
“To disregard the holistic experience of sport, exercise & performance clientele is to operate in a reckless manner. Neglecting to create/provide a space that encourages clients to align with their authentic selves not only undermines the effectiveness of supporting optimal performance, it also violates a number of ethical guidelines across the spectrum of human service delivery.”
- Dr. Angel Brutus Clinical, Sport & Performance Consultant
The interesting thing with rebellions is you get faster results when fame and/or fortune are involved. Money talks. And especially now a days, platforms used strategically can spread impactful messages like wildfire world wide [thanks interwebs!].
This is our sweet spot.
You... me... WE are Foundrie, a private activewear label and community inspired by narratives from across the African Diaspora.
Small business trainers, fitness influencers, coaches, and instructors. Local and regional athletes. Athletes in training. Competitors. National champions...
We all exist within a spotlight. And the obvious answer to our social justice endeavors is to use that platform to speak out against social injustices. Well, if what we said could be packaged in the most impactful method of communication, what would it be?
If you’ve read our last article you know where I’m going with this.
A press conference; client sessions; practice; an instagram post; wherever and whatever to be honest.
Statement fashion [inevitably] becomes a conversation starter.
Someone comments on that day’s outfit and boom,
That story alone has the power to subconsciously shift mindsets. Last week we discussed the magic of storytelling. We saw how positive stories about Blackness could shift a person’s implicit biases so much that they’d subsequently be less likely to subconsciously associate it to “badness”. We discussed the ways our brains are wired for storytelling, and retelling [see Domino Effect.
But that’s not all. With the oxytocin and other empathetic and happy hormones now flowing, the entirety our social justice messages are more likely to be truly heard. We could reach more people; exponentially more people [again, Domino Effect].
And ultimately, where there’s a whole lotta people, there’s a whole lotta power.
“I always said that if I was ever in a position to make a difference, then I would.”
- Marcus Rashford