THE NUMBER OF AFRICAN-AMERICAN CHILDREN, AGES 5-12, WHO HAVE DIED BY SUICIDE BETWEEN 2006-2016 (CDC)
OVER 705, 000 PEOPLE IN STATE PRISON WERE REPORTED TO HAVE MENTAL ISSUES IN 2005, FIFTY-FOUR (54%) WERE AFRICAN-AMERICAN. (BJS SURVEY)
2,837 PSYCHOLOGY PHDS WERE AWARDED TO U.S. CITIZENS IN 2008, 5.8% WERE AFRICAN AMERICANS, 76% WERE CAUCASIAN (APA REPORT)
why we exist
We believe that kids are often forced to be either/or when it is both necessary and possible to exist in the grey area. We believe arts and athletics both play different but equally important roles in childhood development. Our founder is a living example of being able to thrive in both arts and athletics by being both a professional basketball player and a published poet.
The goal is to open the dialogue starting as early as third grade about these important issues with children so that as they get older and these topics become more complicated and tangible they feel comfortable talking through it with the adults in their lives.
Inner-city children, especially those of color, are often criminalized and marked as “bad children” because they act out and are not given the proper care nor time to get to the root of their behavior. This is often due to lack of resources in the neighborhoods and schools that they attend. By partnering with the school, we want to provide cost free therapy to students deemed at risk via their behavior with the goal to reroute their future by giving them the extra attention they need.
Imani McGee-Stafford is our bold leader. She is a current WNBA center for the Chicago Sky and has had this vision since she began her professional playing career. Her goal in life is to be the person she needed when she was younger and through Hoops and Hope, she hopes to provide programming to help kids with similar stories and backgrounds as her. She was born in Los Angeles, CA and grew up in an abusive household. Her journey to healing includes overcoming sexual abuse, neglect, and multiple suicide attempts. Though not easy, she attended The University of Texas at Austin where she not only graduated with a degree in accounting from the McCombs School of Business, but she received the mental health services she had so desperately need growing up and stumbled upon her life’s calling. Imani believes she was given this platform through basketball to talk about sexual abuse, sexual violence, sexual education, and mental health. She officially began Hoops and Hope in 2019.