Building America’s Teammates is a nonpartisan, accessible, coach-friendly program that helps all athletes see themselves as capable and confident participants in a thriving, democratic society.
Student-athletes are leaders, both on campus and in their communities. But what makes them ready to lead?
Coaches expect great things from them both on and off the field of play, yet most student-athletes don’t have access to any kind of training in the skills they’ll need to be active, engaged, and empowered leaders who make our nation a better place to live. What they need is a strong foundation in understanding who they are, what they care about, and how to take an active part in making a positive impact on their communities. In other words, they need to develop as both players and citizens.
“Accomplishments on the court might make headlines. But first and foremost, coaches are committed to developing and educating student-athletes. What better lesson can there be to teach our players than how to become engaged citizens.”
– Coach Craig Robinson, Executive Director, National Association of Basketball Coaches
Building America’s Teammate’s pilot program will run from September-December of 2021 with participants from up to 20 teams from across the United States.The program is based on the work of Baratunde Thurston and Elizabeth Stewart, co-creators of the award-winning podcast, How To Citizen With Baratunde. It reimagines citizen as a verb, based on principles of engagement we can all intentionally strengthen:
“This isn’t the civics class you skipped in high school.
This is about how to show up, participate, understand power,
and build a better future for the common good.”
— Baratunde Thurston, How To Citizen
Each pillar provides flexible, interactive training activities developed for and with coaches. The activities are broken into three simple parts:
Building America’s Teammates was developed to:
Baratunde Thurston, writer, activist, co-creator, and host behind “How to Citizen with Baratunde,” a multimedia, award-winning movement that reimagines “citizen” as a verb and helps reclaim our collective power. Building off of the show’s inclusive and accessible framework, Baratunde and co-creator Elizabeth Stewart are bringing their expertise, insights, and inclusive voice to create How to Citizen for Athletes as part of the Building America’s Teammates pilot.
The ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge is a nonpartisan initiatives that works with a network of over 800 campuses in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. In 2020, the ALL IN Challenge team worked closed with the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) to support the Coaches’ Taskforce and Pledge. Collectively providing tools and resources for Coaches’ to engage their student-athletes in the democratic process. Through the Building America’s Teammates program, the ALL IN Challenge team will support coaches in utilizes the resources to foster civic cultures on their teams.
Founded by the Lisa Kay Solomon, the leading force behind the award winning Vote by Design program, Futures by Design is a futures-focused studio that creates visionary interdisciplinary, design-driven programs with diverse networks of experts, experience designers, visual designers, content strategists, and coalition builders to design and build programs that support agency, action, and impact in an increasingly uncertain and complex futures. The FBD team will work closely with coaches to design programs that engage and support their student-athletes to register and vote.
The 2020 All Vote/No Play initiative inspired a revolution in how coaches engage and support their student athletes to register and vote, paving the way for new opportunities to build on the coaching/athlete relationship in service of strengthening a thriving democracy that represents and serves its citizens.
To connect with the Building America’s Teammates program consider these actions: