PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — A local youth-led organization hit the basketball court Saturday afternoon in the name of social justice.
The group ‘Gen Z: We Want to Live” has organized multiple rallies and protests this summer, but this was their first fundraiser.
“We’re raising money for our organization, but more importantly we are raising money for the movement that is beginning to die out, which is the Black Lives Matter movement,” Gen Z Executive Director Jaychele Scheneck said.
Hundreds showed up to the event that showcased JV girls and varsity basketball games followed by musical performances. There was merchandise for sale and people could sign up to join the youth organization.
“I wanted to make sure all of the players and all of the performers are coming from the communities that are being impacted by this movement. So they all come from marginalized communities, people of color, we wanted to find a way to contribute to the youth we are serving with this event,” Scheneck said.
“In Providence, basketball is a sport that people enjoy watching and playing. It gives people a way to let their emotions out and gives people a way to have fun so I think them playing is what really brings the attraction and them being able to help in the community is just something more,” Aiyana Hazard said.
Henry Robinson played in Saturday’s varsity game and is preparing to play basketball in college. He said the game and event is all about unity.
“Basketball can bring a group of people together that you can’t imagine honestly. They work together on a team and we work together, everything is teamwork,” Robinson said.
Event organizers said the money raised Saturday will be used to help secure their 501C certification so they can be recognized by the IRS as a nonprofit organization.