Founded in Oakland in 2006, by San Francisco native, Ben Gucciardi, Soccer Without Borders uses soccer as a vehicle for change, and is one of three finalists for the 2016 Barry & Marie Lipman Family Prize.
The winning organization will receive $250,000 in unrestricted funds, as well as executive training and support from the Wharton School and the University of Pennsylvania.
Now in its 10th year, with programs in Oakland, Baltimore, Boston, and Greeley, CO, SWB uses a program of soccer, educational support, team building, civic engagement, and cultural exchange to help recent immigrants and refugees more easily assimilate to their new surroundings.
“The Lipman Family Prize identifies and promotes game-changing ideas that solve social problems. Of the more than 170 organizations we analyzed for this year’s prize, Soccer Without Borders rose to to the top because of their innovative approach and their potential for social impact,” said Umi Howard, Director of The Lipman Family Prize.
“We are honored to be among the finalists for this prestigious award, shining a spotlight on the urgent need for solutions to address the global refugee crisis, to build bridges across cultural divides, and to support displaced children and families to find home again,” said Mary McVeigh, Executive Director of Soccer Without Borders.
First awarded in 2012, the Lipman Family Prize at the University of Pennsylvania is an annual global prize that “advances creative solutions by inspiring people to think together in new ways”.
In addition to a opportunity at the $250,000 financial prize (offered to the winner without restrictions), the Lipman Family Prize finalists gain access resources, skills and people-power to expand the impact and influence of their ideas. Benefits include an executive education program, pro-bono consultation from University faculty and staff, peer learning events, as well as expert- and student-driven research to inform and guide their work.
The grand prize winner will be announced at the official awards ceremony in Philadelphia, on April 28, 2016.