Sisters on Track Film and Colgate Women’s Games Race Toward Social Impact with New #anybodyseethedream Campaign to Empower Youth and Celebrate Community Mentorship
The new campaign encourages young women to register for the 47th Annual Colgate Women’s Games as a way to bring the film’s themes to life, and focuses on empowering girls across three lanes of impact: Athletics, Mentorship, and Education.
August 31, 2021
Sisters On Track, the Netflix Original Documentary about the transformational power of athletics, mentorship, and education, today launched the #anybodyseethedream Social Impact Campaign, sponsored by Colgate Women’s Games. The new campaign brings the film’s themes to life and focuses on empowering girls across three lanes of impact: Athletics, Mentorship, and Education.
The #anybodyseethedream campaign features multiple ways to get involved. The campaign encourages girls and young women to register for the 47th Annual Colgate Women's Games, the nation's largest amateur track series open to all girls from elementary school through college and beyond; encourages local mentorship opportunities for adults across the country; and offers virtual and in-person screenings of the Sisters on Track film as well as an educational discussion guide to amplify the documentary’s key themes. The campaign also includes a social media challenge that celebrates participants’ own mentors.
The Power of Athletics and Education
Sisters on Track follows Tai, Rainn and Brooke Sheppard as they prepare for Colgate Women’s Games. Coach Fred Thompson of Brooklyn founded Colgate Women’s Games in 1974 with the generous support of the Colgate-Palmolive Company, which has remained the program’s title sponsor for more than four decades.
Colgate Women’s Games is prominently featured in the documentary as a formative experience for the Sheppard sisters. The Sheppard sisters’ story is one of many that illustrate the values of engaging in competition and connecting with other women and coaches, as well as the power of education to achieve dreams. Colgate Women’s Games has a proven track record of creating pathways for young women to pursue their educational goals and achieve their potential, including Cheryl Toussaint, who now serves as the Meet Director for Colgate Women's Games. Toussaint shared the positive impact of her own experience with Colgate Women’s Games:
“I was fortunate to be mentored by legendary coach Fred Thompson. Most of my major accomplishments are attributed to disciplines I learned from my experiences in athletics and Colgate Women’s Games. With purpose, guidance, opportunity, and a lot of hard work, I’ve since realized my dream to become a first-generation college graduate in my family and on my team, a homeowner, an entrepreneur, a world-class athlete, and a positive role model for other young women.”
Erica Dottin, #anybodyseethedream campaign producer and Colgate Women’s Games alum, added:
“I am so thankful for my experience with Colgate Women’s Games. With the tough love, training and fierce competition that I experienced at the games, I galvanized a commitment to my personal excellence. That’s a huge part of who I am today. I am proud to be part of this community with Cheryl Toussaint, Jean Bell, Diane Dixon and more. And I am honored to give my leadership and experience to the #anybodyseethedream campaign to continue that legacy.”
The #anybodyseethedream campaign aims to mobilize one thousand more girls from across the country to sign up for the upcoming games. To learn more about Colgate Women’s Games’ mission, impact, and future opportunities, head to the official website and sign up for updates ahead of registration for the 47th Annual Colgate Women’s Games, which opens this fall.
The Power of Mentorship
Sisters on Track, a Netflix Original documentary, also celebrates mentorship by profiling the Sheppard sisters, young athletes mentored by Coach Jean Bell, who excelled on their track and field team while living in a homeless shelter with their single mother, Tonia. Bell is head coach of a grassroots community-based track club for girls, Jeuness Track Club Inc. and chief of officials for Colgate Women’s Games. Jeuness Track Club, like Colgate Women’s Games, was established to give young girls the opportunity to grow in the sport of Track and Field while encouraging academic achievement, enriching life experiences, and empowering the next generation.
“It has been so moving to witness the power of mentorship while making this film,” said Sisters on Track co-director Corinne van der Borch. “I am honored that Coach Jean, Tonia and the girls shared their lives with me for this documentary. We’re all grateful to bring the film to a worldwide audience via the Netflix streaming platform. Now that the film is released, I hope audiences will take extra care to lovingly encourage youth of today—just like Coach Jean does. I believe that the film’s impact campaign provides great opportunities for that.”
The #anybodyseethedream campaign is committed to providing opportunities for adults to invest quality time in mentorship. In an era where so much uncertainty has impacted home and school environments worldwide, mentors can help youth increase their likelihood of going to college, develop better attitudes toward school, and practice social and emotional development skills to improve self-esteem and thrive.
A powerful way to build and learn more about mentoring relationships is by supporting Big Brothers Big Sisters - NYC, New York City's largest youth mentoring organization. Alicia D. Garza, Chief Executive Officer, Big Brothers Big Sisters of New York City, said: “At Big Brothers Big Sisters of NYC, we are committed to ensuring that all youth (Littles) achieve their full potential and do so through their mentoring relationships with caring, compassionate adults (Bigs). Together, our Littles and Bigs ignite the biggest possible futures. Through our various mentoring programs, we help our Littles achieve academic, social-emotional and professional goals with lasting impact. Our work would not be possible without the volunteer Bigs who step forward to serve as mentors for NYC Littles. Together, we are building the next generation of leaders. We invite New Yorkers to join us in advancing our mission by becoming a Big. You can apply today at http://www.bigsnyc.org.”
All are also invited to visit http://www.SistersOnTrack.com to access a crowdsourced guide of additional mentorship opportunities available throughout the United States for adults to sign up within their local community organizations.
Growing the Community with Additional Ways to Get Involved
The #anybodyseethedream campaign also invites viewers to watch Sisters on Track on Netflix and keep the mentorship conversation going at home and in their communities. Join the conversation and learn more by visiting http://www.sistersontrack.com.
Inspired by Coach Jean Bell, the #anybodyseethedream campaign celebrates mentors who are changing lives across the nation. Athletes and students are invited to uplift a mentor who has impacted their life by sharing their story on social media. In doing so, they are joining an empowered community of adults and youth who are coming together on Instagram to amplify the value of mentorship and pay it forward. Participants can personalize a downloadable track bib to celebrate their mentor and post with the #anybodyseethedream campaign hashtag. Visit the campaign website to find more details about the social media challenge and to download the bib.
Also inspired by Coach Jean Bell is the film’s original song “The Dream,” written and performed by Mark Batson and Tarriona “Tank” Bell (Tank and the Bangas). The lyrics, and the campaign name, are rooted in Coach Jean’s visionary relationship with the girls as their mentor. The song is available on Spotify.
Groups also have the opportunity to come together for a community screening of the documentary. Visit the campaign website for more details about how to host a community screening of Sisters on Track at your school, community center, or organization. For the latest campaign information, to stay involved, and to take action, go to http://www.SistersOnTrack.com/impact-campaign and follow @SistersOnTrackFilm on Instagram.
About Sisters On Track and the #anybodyseethedream Social Impact Campaign
A coming-of-age story, set in New York, about the metaphorical and literal sisterhood of young athletes Tai, Rainn, and Brooke Sheppard, who excelled on their track and field team while living in a homeless shelter with their single mother, Tonia. Sisters On Track touches upon themes such as the power of education, sports building confidence in girls, the importance of empowering youth and communities, the transformational impact of mentorship, gender diversity in sports, the power of communal care and support for single mothers as well as racial and economic justice. The film’s #anybodyseethedream Social Impact Campaign, powered by Colgate Women’s Games, will invite all to take a mentorship role in the lives of our next generation, and to share personal stories of mentors who have made an inspirational impact on others.
About Colgate Women's Games
Colgate Women's Games is the nation's largest amateur track series open to all girls from elementary school through college and beyond. Competitors participate in preliminary meets and a semi-finals to determine finalists who will compete for trophies and educational grants-in-aid from Colgate-Palmolive Company. Colgate Women's Games’ goal is to provide an athletic competition that helps the participating young girls and women develop a strong sense of personal achievement, self-esteem, instill the importance of education and provide a training ground for those who might not otherwise participate in an organized sport.
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