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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — The Sacramento Republic FC announced Tuesday that it has a few things underway during Black History Month.

According to a press release, the Republic FC partnered with the Sacramento Black Chamber of Commerce President for an academic scholarship that will be awarded at the club’s preseason friendly against the Monterey Bay FC on March 5.

Our club vision is a call to continually find ways to impact our community, from building safe spaces for kids to play soccer, supporting the economic prosperity across the region, to invest and improve outcomes for all. We’re excited to kick off this season with a new scholarship in the Indomitable Scholars Series and work with the Sacramento Black Chamber of Commerce to help highlight and celebrate businesses and leaders that support the prosperity for many people in our community.

Kevin Burdick, Republic FC Director of Community Investment

The $1,000 scholarship is the club’s first that they’re awarding this year as part of their Indomitable Scholars series. Other scholarships are being planned throughout 2022, including the continuation of the club’s Latinx and LGBT scholarships. 

“Our Indomitable Scholars series kicked off in 2019, and we’ve worked with different groups to expand it each year,” Sacramento Republic FC spokesman John Jacobs wrote to FOX40 in an email. “Education is a pillar of our community investment portfolio, and through these scholarships we’re able to support students as they continue their quest to learn, and to eventually support their community.” 

Students preparing for their first college semester at a four-year institution or a junior or community college can apply. Eligibility is open to high school seniors and transferring students from the Sacramento region. The deadline to apply for the scholarship is Feb. 25. 

A winner will be selected after a panel of Black Chamber of Commerce leaders, Republic FC players and the club’s staff review submissions. 

Jacobs said the Black Chamber of Commerce has been a tremendous partner with the club. The two parties previously partnered in 2020 for a grant and business support program that provided relief for local businesses that faced challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“We’re proud to work with them and support the region’s Black business community,” Jacobs said. 

Along with the scholarship, the club is raising money for Black-owned businesses in the Sacramento region and donating money to local and national charities this month. In Tuesday’s release, the club said it’ll also highlight a Black-owned business in Sacramento every Friday. 

“As Training Camp continues forward, our players will join the club’s efforts to support locally-owned Black businesses, including giving out gift cards/merchandise to highlight and drive new business opportunities – as well as community outreach events like free soccer clinics,” Burdick said.

The Republic FC also announced they’re selling a special limited edition “Dream in Color” scarf for Black History Month, with proceeds benefiting Sacramento native Amobi Okugo’s Ok U Go Foundation. Proceeds also benefit the Footy’s Got You Foundation, founded by United Soccer League Charlotte Independence defender Hugh Roberts, who is a former teammate of Republic FC defender Duke Lacroix. 

The limited-edition scarf came about through a partnership of the USL and the USL Black Players Alliance, and Lacroix helped with the concept, according to the Republic’s press release.  The scarf features the phrases “Honor the Past,” “Inspire the Future” and “Dream in Color.”

Lacroix, who is the Republic FC’s liaison with the USL’s BPA, helped work with USL graphic artist TJ Grier on the design, according to an article on the USL’s website.

“‘Honor our past’ is a direct quote from the scarf, that is a testament to those who have laid the foundation to have this platform as an athlete and a black member of this community in Sacramento and league wide, is really special,” Lacroix said in a statement. “The scarf’s ‘Inspire The Future’ is a call to really drive home action in the community, inspiring the youth, supporting black businesses, and encouraging diversity and growth.”