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In honour of Black History Month and Adidas’ year-long commitment to sustain its Honouring Black Excellence platform, the sporting goods brand teams up with MLSE Foundation and its Community Partners to spotlight five youth leadership programs.

The five partners— Alicia Hall, Setiz Taheri, Monica Samuel, Orlando Bowen, and Justin Alliman—will lead the chosen youth programs. These programs aim to uplift young voices in sport, arts, culture, and health and wellness. 

Adidas, Community Partners and MLSE Foundation Fight to Empower Youth

Pictured: (L) Alicia Hall, (R) Monica Samuels. Photo Credit: Adidas Canada

Meet The Community Partners

Nia Centre – Take Three 

Take Three is a photography program for beginners to highlight Black storytelling traditions. The program will be mentored by Nia Centre’s Executive Director, Alicia Hall. Nia Centre for the Arts is a Toronto-based charitable organization that is committed to showcasing arts across the Afro-Diaspora. Hall is known for her achievements in art, communications and community development. With the help of Alicia Hall and the Nia Centre, Take Three will provide participants with the opportunity to develop their technical skills in photography and the chance to showcase their work in the art space. 

La Rue Inspire – Health Our Way (H.O.W.)

Setiz Taheri founded La Rue Inspire (LRI) as an instrument to inspire youth through community building and tapping into creativity as a means to raise social awareness. Taheri started the movement Health Our Way (H.OW.) that “promotes making healthier life choices, even when the environment we are in makes it challenging to do so.” Adidas and Taheri work together to create a community hub that addresses the physical and mental wellness of its participants. 

Black Women in Motion – The Crystal & Sage Wellness Initiative

The Crystal & Sage Wellness Initiative is a 12-week movement and mindfulness program intended for Black Trans, Non-binary and gender-non-conforming survivors who will have the opportunity to practice from a trauma-informed and queer-positive framework that will allow them to seek economic opportunities. Graduates of this program will be eligible for a Teacher’s Training scholarship. 

Monica Samuel will lead the program. Samuel is an equity and anti-violence educator who founded Black Women in Motion– a Toronto-based organization led by Black survivors and for Black survivors of gender-based violence. Adidas and Samuel will work together to expand the programming and host more workshop sessions in the future. To learn more about the program, visit their website, HERE

Adidas, Community Partners and MLSE Foundation Fight to Empower Youth

Pictured: (L) Justin Alliman, (M) Setiz Taheri, (R) Orlando Bowen. Photo Credit: Adidas Canada

One Voice, One Team – S.W.O.L.E. Program

The program “engages youth in a series of cognitive and physical activities designed to empower youth to become strong leaders.” S.W.O.L.E. is a co-ed youth leadership program created by Orlando Bowen who also founded One Voice One Team Youth Leadership Organization. Bowen and Adidas will be working to host these programs in several schools that are considered high risk.

Dream Chaserzzz Basketball Inc. – Dream Chaserzzz

Former Assistant Coach of Toronto Raptors, Justin Alliman will lead the basketball-oriented Dream Chaserzzz program. The goal is to bring kids together who are from different backgrounds and experiences and help at-risk youth build their circle of support. 

MLSE Foundation — Home Ice Hockey

Adidas Canada is the official sponsor of the MLSE Foundation’s Home Ice Hockey. This collaborative partnership, along with the Toronto Maple Leafs and the City of Toronto, aims to provide up to 300 young hockey enthusiasts with free gear and on-ice lessons. To learn more, visit MLSE Foundation’s website

“This month and every month we’re proud to collaborate with changemakers like our Community Partners and MLSE Foundation to make an impact,” said Adidas Canada President, Alim Dhanji. “Youth are our future and supporting them and empowering them is something we at adidas care very deeply about.” 

For more information on Adidas initiatives, visit adidas.ca/en/partnership

Published by HOLR Magazine.