NISA Announces Membership of Equity Committee, Including MBFC Representative

Germantown, MD (April 6, 2021) – Today, the National Independent Soccer Association (NISA) formalized its equity, diversity and inclusion operations as transparent and measurable evidence of its stance as an unapologetically anti-racist and equitable organization. While some components have been in practice all along, a critical element is the formation and activation of the Equity Committee. Fourteen men and women from across NISA’s players, owners and staff will meet for the first time Monday, April 12, during the Legends Cup tournament in Chattanooga.

“NISA’s Equity Committee is designed to bring equal vocal and visual representation to people of color and women in our soccer ecosystem,” says NISA Commissioner John Prutch. "Along with NISA’s rapid growth as a league, we are refining how we operate. That includes a visible commitment as an anti-racist organization to equity, diversity and inclusion.”

NISA intends to use the work of the committee to create a more equitable and welcoming

atmosphere across NISA operations and events. We are proud to announce that the members of the Equity Committee include Club President and part-owner Jide Saba! Entire membership as follows:

• CJ Brown, Head Coach/Tech Director, Chicago House AC

• Dr. Katherine Burakowski, Dir. of Communications and PR, Flower City Union

• Richard Dixon, Player, Chattanooga FC

• Adrian Garibay, Managing Director, Team/Event Chicago House AC

• Brandon Gomez, Player, Los Angeles Force

• Amber Howard, Senior Brand Manager/Designer, NISA

• Tendai Jirira, Player, Detroit City FC

• Steve Johnson, Communications Specialist, NISA

• Shinya Kadono, Player, Cal United Strikers FC

• Chris Klute, Player, Cal United Strikers FC

Jide Saba, Owner, Maryland Bobcats FC

• Carrie Taylor, COO, Stumptown AC

• Rod Underwood, Head Coach, Stumptown AC

• Abraham Villon, Player, Los Angeles Force

Club President and EDI Committee Member Jide Saba said that "we are grateful to be a part of a league that is very conscious and aware about what is going on across the country. I'm happy, as the President of the club and a member of the minority community, to be involved and be able to help make change with racial inequality in this country and hopefully the world. To have a leadership team that listens genuinely and puts the issues that it's players, coaches, front office staff, and members go through front and center, have a conversation about what is going on and how to best approach it is special to be a part of. I want to thank the league for including me as part of the Committee."

The first agenda will focus on introductions and committee objectives, including initial tactics,

reviewing definitions, and reviewing the EDI statement introduced at the 2020 Fall

Championship Tournament in Detroit. Insights from the Committee will be used to:

• Identify new or emerging EDI-related initiatives

• Ensure ongoing effective communication between the league and the many communities

in which NISA operates

• Provide insight on inclusive storytelling for use in owned and earned channels • Provide oversight to racial equity tools offered to the entire NISA pyramid

• Offer input on NISA partnership diversity

“When we announced our intention at our 2020 Fall Championship, we also asked everyone players, staff, supporters – to hold us accountable,” Prutch said. “It is one thing to state

intentions, but it is another to put that into measurable actions. This committee will help us

continue to move forward."

About NISA

The National Independent Soccer Association was founded in 2017 with a mission to

bring professional soccer to every city in the United States. A pro league member of

U.S. Soccer, NISA focuses on a model based on meritocracy, independent clubs

controlling their own league, clubs owning their intellectual property, all without the

barrier of territorial rights. Sanctioned by the U.S. Soccer Federation, NISA also runs the

mid-summer Independent Cup, open to independent professional and amateur clubs

alike. For more information about NISA visit or contact at Follow NISA on Twitter @NISALeague and on Instagram


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