In an unprecedented year, the Houston Dash were able to rise above and make the best of 2020 by bringing home the club’s first-ever league title when they became the NWSL Challenge Cup Champions on July 26. To cap the year off, the team continued their winning ways when they earned second place in the NWSL Verizon Community Shield this fall. This time, however, the Dash were able to bring to the city something bigger than a trophy.
Houston earned $15,000 in prize money by virtue of their stellar performance in the tournament and chose NAACP Houston as the club’s beneficiary. The NAACP is the largest and most pre-eminent civil rights organization in the country that strives to ensure a society in which all individuals have equal rights without discrimination based on race.
“It meant the world to our NAACP. More importantly, the fact that the Dash played for injustice, the solidarity in bringing our communities together, and fighting racial injustice really speaks volumes to us,” said NAACP Houston Executive Director Yolanda Smith. “It warmed our heart, but more importantly, it really supports the work and the mission of fighting for equal rights for everyone.”
The check was presented Tuesday by Houston goalkeeper and co-captain Jane Campbell.
“We as a Dash organization feel very honored to be able to present $15,000 to the NAACP Houston. They’ve done tremendous work in the Houston community and have made such an impact on young lives especially,” said Campbell. “To be able to help them in any way is amazing for us and we want to keep helping our community as best we can and be as impactful as we can. They’re amazing people at the NAACP Houston and we look forward to hopefully working with them more in the future.”
In light to the COVID-19 pandemic and the struggles and challenges it has brought, the NAACP is shifting gears past the voting efforts they helped with in Houston into helping communities get medical resources.
“The monetary donation really supports us and the work that we do in leveling the playing field. It really helps us to continue to be the boots on the ground in our local communities in fighting for equality,” said Smith. “Our focus now is getting our communities, especially the vulnerable, vaccinated. We know this pandemic has hit our communities of color particularly hard."