Equity and Inclusion

As the first indoor non-profit U.S. tennis club built by and for African Americans, Sportsmen’s has always been committed to equity and inclusion. We incorporate social justice and racial equity into our School To Sportsmen’s curriculum, tying it to social emotional learning (SEL) lessons on identity, empathy, and community. We also include cultural exploration, beginning with the array of diverse cultures within our Sportsmen’s community. The children we serve in The Learning Center are approximately 75% African American and 25% Latino/a, and representation matters. It’s critical for our young people to see heroes and champions of color from the not-so-distant past.

Sportsmen’s coaches and staff reflect the diversity of the youth we serve, and many currently live in or grew up within the surrounding community, allowing them to easily connect and relate to our children and families. We’re thrilled that our future facility will feature halls of history, educating visitors on lesser-known triumphs that paved the way for tennis today.

Investing in the Equity and Inclusion pillar of our capital campaign will allow Sportsmen’s to fund critical initiatives, such as the Breaking the Barriers Exhibit, increasing Historic Memorabilia throughout the building, and reviving key Mentorship Programming.

Breaking The Barriers and Mentoring Programs: $2M

Sportsmen’s is thrilled to become the new permanent home for Breaking The Barriers, a nationally renowned pictorial history exhibit, which tells the story of Black tennis in the United States from the early 1900s to the present.

Curated by Dale Caldwell and Art Carrington, and originally sponsored by the International Tennis Hall of Fame, it’s a story of American persistence, resistance, and excellence – a rich history in which Sportsmen’s has featured prominently since 1961.

Black History | Women’s History | Sports History | American History
Beckoning the world to our Blue Hill Avenue facility.

Plans include incorporating additional historic imagery, artifacts, and memorabilia of Black tennis throughout the renovated facility. The daily reminder of our historic origins will be tremendously inspirational to staff, members, visitors, and friends – including the more than 1,000 students who participate in Boston Public Schools’ Annual Tennis Week, coming to our facility for an hour of free tennis during a single week in June.

New funding will also allow Sportsmen’s to revive DEUCE and Hey Sister, Sportsmen’s COVID-impacted youth Mentorship Programming for boys and girls aged 7-17, and to hire more BIPOC staff and coaches to model continued excellence for our young people.

Equity and Inclusion is one of six pillars of Phase II of our Capital Campaign. Learn more about the others here.