The Billie Jean King Leadership Initiative works with Pearle Vision and Onesight to provide free eye screenings and glasses.
We encourage the next generation to envision and create a world that is more equal
We know that childhood experiences shape what children imagine to be possible. We promote learning about culture, stereotypes, and gender to do our part in making sure that children can see their great capabilities.
For Billie Jean – too many people told her she could never be number 1 in the world because she wore glasses. We never want eye vision to be an obstacle to children receiving their fullest potential. For young children who do not have access to proper vision care, BJKLI works with Pearle Vision and Onesight to provide free eye screenings and glasses.
We also seek to widen children’s perspectives and in 2019, in partnership with the LA Dodgers Foundation BJKLI donated over 5,000 copies of “I am Billie Jean King“ by Brad Meltzer to 5th graders all across the community of Long Beach, CA.
Beginning in 2019, the BJKLI partners with ESPN to present the annual Billie Jean King Youth Leadership Award during the ESPN Sport Humanitarian Awards.
Access to education and information is central to youth development
Access to education has the power to end poverty and increase financial security. Yet, access, quality, and affordability of education remain a challenge. We support the education of young leaders through a series of partnerships and awards.
Beginning in 2019, BJKLI partnered with ESPN to present the annual Billie Jean King Youth Leadership Award during the ESPN Sport Humanitarian Awards. The Billie Jean King Youth Leadership Award recognizes a selection of high school and college-age individuals who use sport to create social good. Award recipients have the opportunity to attend the Excellence in Sports Performance Yearly Award (ESPY) and receive a $10,000 scholarship to use toward college or a non-profit of their choice.
In 2019, Long Beach Community and City Council unanimously voted in favor of the brand-new Library being named the Billie Jean King Main Library. Since it’s grand opening on September 21, 2019, the new Billie Jean King Main Library offers bright, welcoming, modern space and free programs, including services for veterans, immigrants, and special services for people with learning disabilities.
As a way to provide global access and awareness of Billie Jean’s story of leadership and social impact, the BJKLI supports an archival collection of some of Billie Jean’s most memorable objects from her career and life as a social change agent at the New-York Historical Society.
To inspire the next generation of sport leaders and center LGBTQ+ participation in sports, the BJKLI has partnered with the U.S Open and All England Lawn Club to celebrate Pride.
We champion organizations and causes that have community impact
Advocacy is an act of leadership. We ignite conversations and join campaigns that uplift marginalized voices and raise awareness about social injustices.
In 2019, BJKLI joined forces with the AELTC and Pride Sports UK to discuss issues of sports, sexuality, empowerment, and individuality in a Wimbledon-first ‘Inclusive Leadership’ event ahead of The Wimbledon 2019 Championships. This event was focused on LGBTQ+ youth and provided them with the opportunity to interact and learn from people and organizations that they can turn to in times of need.
In advance of the 2019 US Open, the BJKLI in partnership with the USTA organized an inclusive PRIDE event on the grounds of the USTA Billie Jean King Tennis Center. This public event brought together seven athletes from four sports with over four decades of stories to tell about their lives as athletes and members of the LGBTQ+ community. The event centered around participation in sports and used the power of storytelling and narrative shift to inspire future generations of leaders.
As part of a collaboration with UBS/BottleTop to promote UN Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs), the BJKLI joined the #TOGETHERBAND campaign in support of goal 5 — Gender Equality. Proceeds from #TOGETHERBAND sales will be used to fund life-changing projects to build a better future for us all.