Los Angeles Sparks guard Chelsea Gray announced on Friday her initiative called the “Chelsea Gray Assist For Equality.” Gray partnered with the L.A. Sparks, Rock the Vote, and Equality California to launch the initiative.
During this season, Gray will donate $50 for every assist she makes and the Sparks will match the donation. The money will be split evenly among Rock the Vote and Equality California. The three-time WNBA All-Star wants to help people in marginalized communities to understand the importance of voting.
“I’m excited with this partnership to help push along things in California and all over the United States,” Gray said.
Gray will now be an ambassador of Equality California—the nation’s largest statewide LGBTQ+ civil rights organization—and Rock the Vote’s “Hooper’s Vote” initiative. With Equality California, Gray will host a discussion on the 2020 election called “Power Hour” and be involved with other campaigns.
“With so much at stake for the LGBTQ+ community this November, Chelsea Gray knows the importance of making each of our voices heard — on the court and at the ballot box,” said Equality California Executive Director Rick Chavez Zbur. “We are so inspired by Chelsea’s commitment to the fight for full, lived LGBTQ+ equality, and we’re excited to team up with her and the LA Sparks this year.”
During her time in the WNBA Wubble, Gray has been looking for ways to fight social injustices. While educating herself on voting, she learned the importance of voting on the local and state level.
“Throughout school, throughout education, I didn’t really know the importance,” she said. “Voting on those types of things actually impacts you.”
The main focus of her effort for “Assist For Equality” is to empower youth to vote and help them understand what they are voting for.
“Chelsea Gray knows how important it is for young people to make their voices heard in this election and the impact they can have on charting the direction of our Democracy,” said Rock the Vote President, Carolyn DeWitt. “We’re thrilled to be teaming up with Chelsea to make sure that fans, especially young fans who watch her on the court and look up to her everyday have the resources they need to cast a ballot in November.”
Last week, the WNBA boycotted games to show solidarity for the NBA as they boycotted in honor of Jacob Blake. The WNBA players also protested by linking arms as a league.
“I think it was super powerful to be able to see,”Gray said. “You scan the arena and we’re all on the same page and supporting our executive committee, answering those tough questions.”
Gray’s advice for people who want to battle against social injustices is to educate themselves and find a cause to advocate for.
“Educating yourself, figuring out what it means, the history of it,” Gray said. “Then going out and asking questions, don’t be ashamed to ask questions to further your knowledge.”
To donate to Gray’s initiative, visit assistforequality.org.