CHICAGO (Oct. 20, 2023) – U.S. Soccer and Game Changers United, the organization’s external Advisory Council focused on advancing diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging (DEIB) across all areas of American soccer, are now accepting nominations for the 2023 Kim Crabbe Game Changers Award.
Created in 2022, the honor will be given to a member of the soccer community who has made a lasting impact in the areas of DEIB in a creative way while fostering long-term sustainability for the future of soccer.
Nominations are open to anyone across the U.S. Soccer ecosystem who embodies the spirit of the award and exemplifies the criteria below. Nominations can be submitted HERE until Nov. 13, 2023.
The nomination criteria focuses on four areas. The first area will look at impact relating to positive changes for individuals, communities and society by addressing one or more social challenges of the local community. The second area will assess creativity in transforming ideas and dreams into reality by innovating to make connections that aren’t traditionally related. The third area is long-term sustainability and ensuring the impact has shown to continue over time based on project findings. The final area is about soccer, and whether the nominee has positively impacted the soccer landscape to push the sport forward.
The award recipient will be selected by Game Changers United based on the nomination criteria, while the award will be presented at the U.S. Soccer Annual General Meeting dinner. The 2024 AGM is set to take place in Dallas from Feb. 8-11.
The award is named after former U.S. Women’s National Team defender Kim Crabbe, a pioneer in women’s soccer and the first African American woman to play for the USWNT in 1986. Following her two-year career with the National Team, she took up coaching and went on to serve as the Outreach Program Director for the Wilmington Hammerheads Youth Football Club, where she coaches and mentors youth players in underserved communities and has made a lasting impact on the groups she works with. She was named the 2021 Youth Coach of the Year by United Soccer Coaches, while also earning their Black Soccer Coaches Advocacy Group Award of Excellence in 2018. She also received the 2019 Centennial NAACP Youth Services Award in 2019.
Last year, Janeicia Neely won the inaugural Kim Crabbe Game Changers Award for her work as the Executive Director for The 18th Ward, where she designs and manages 12 different youth development programs and leads the organization’s efforts. In 2023, the program created over 4,000 opportunities for youth players. Neely trains over 100 high school and college students to lead each program. She was awarded the 2021 Up2Us Sports National Coach of the Year Award and was the New Orleans Pelicans 2022 Jr. NBA Coach of the Year. She’s a graduate and Hall of Fame inductee of Loyola University and a former professional basketball player in Portugal and Switzerland.