To help close the opportunity gap in sports and support women at critical development stages of their sports journey, Clif Bar & Company has announced a partnership with champion gymnast and collegiate athlete Sunisa “Suni” Lee and nonprofit organization VOICEINSPORT Foundation.
The effort is launching through CLIF CORPS, the company’s longstanding employee-led community service program, now extending to CLIF athletes aiming to achieve equity and greater access to the outdoors and sports. CLIF, Lee, and VOICEINSPORT Foundation believe the more opportunities and support girls have in sport the stronger and more powerful they’ll be in all aspects of their lives.
CLIF is pledging funds to accelerate the VIS Advocacy Program and support the establishment of 20 VOICEINSPORT Foundation Advocacy Chapters and 20 Title IX trainings on school campuses across the United States. Through the establishment of each VIS Chapter, Advocates receive formal Title IX Training to evaluate their school for Title IX compliance—creating a collective VOICE to drive change.
“I’m honored to be part of CLIF CORPS and support the impactful work of the VOICEINSPORT Foundation,” says Lee. “This collaboration will help open doors to more young women from diverse sports backgrounds. That representation can instill confidence in girls and positively impact generations to come. I want every girl to turn on their television and see athletes that look like them. That starts with youth participation and continues with empowerment at all levels. This partnership will continue to build that representation and help girls strengthen their voice.”
The 20 new Voice in Sport Foundation chapters will operate on campuses including Lee’s own college town of Auburn, AL, campuses near Lee’s hometown of Minneapolis, MN, as well as new chapters in Twin Falls, ID, Indianapolis, IN, Chicago, IL and in California’s Bay Area where CLIF is headquartered.
“Through this donation and partnership with CLIF and Lee, our organization will reach an expansive new audience of young athletes who want to see themselves more wholly represented in the sports they love, and coaches and faculty will receive the resources needed to help these young athletes thrive,” says Stef Strack, VOICEINSPORT Foundation Founder and CEO. “CLIF Bars are a staple for so many athletes, so having this iconic brand backing our mission will take our efforts to new heights.”
“It’s imperative that laws like Title IX continue to be upheld to ensure women receive equal opportunities in sports,” says Jodi Olson, CLIF’s vice president of brands. “CLIF has long been a champion of women athletes and Suni joins a list of world-class athletes and philanthropists who have paved the way for more women to realize their full potential in sports.”
Lee’s partnership with the VOICEINSPORT Foundation is CLIF CORP’s latest initiative designed to drive equity and access. The program is also working with athlete partners, including Venus Williams and Daniel Romanchuk, on other efforts to increase access to the outdoors and sport.
To learn more about CLIF CORPS and the work with Lee and the VOICEINSPORT Foundation, click here.