Venus and Serena Williams just opened a center for gun violence victims in Compton.

These tennis stars are using their power to fight gun violence.

Venus and Serena Williams are incredible athletes.

But their recent work shows that their bold abilities reach far beyond the tennis court, too.  

Photo by Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images.


The two sisters just opened a safe haven for Compton residents affected by gun violence, which they're calling the The Yetunde Price Resource Center.

The center’s mission hits close to home for the tennis stars: They were raised in Compton, California, and their sister, Yetunde Price, fell victim to gun violence in Compton in 2003. Serena Williams opened up about the trauma from the tragedy in 2009 and how therapy was vital in her recovery.

The purpose of the center is simple: Community members who have directly or indirectly experienced trauma from gun violence will be connected with service providers who can provide assistance. The center's workers will also direct young people and their families to other resources available in the Compton area.  

"This is an incredible investment and commitment by Serena and Venus Williams, and I commend them for their desire to help children and families in Compton thrive," Mayor Aja Brown told The Root.

Photo by Vince Bucci/Getty Images.

The center is opening at a critical time in Compton.

The murder rate in the area tripled in 2016, and gang violence is starting to become more prevalent in the area. Compton has a long, difficult history with gun violence, so institutions like this resource center may play a huge role in changing the narrative for the city.  

Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images.

The negative impact of gun violence is pervasive, particularly for communities of color, which is also why the Williams sisters stepped up.

The tennis champions have long been advocates for social justice in disenfranchised communities because they know firsthand how impactful violence can be for children (according to The Child Welfare League of America, children and youth exposed to chronic trauma such as gun violence can experience inhibited brain development).

Therapy, while beneficial, is often difficult to come by for minorities who live in areas with a lower socioeconomic status.    

When athletes and celebrities in power speak up against issues, it can help us make progress.

After Philando Castile's death was captured on camera, Serena Williams penned a heartfelt Facebook post about the dangers facing black men in America and police brutality. Her conversation helped spark other important conversations, too.

Now, with her sister, she's putting money and action behind those words, making it very clear that improving the world starts with improving your local community. It's a welcome show of kindness and strength in an often challenging world.

Most Shared

Mom and blogger Mary Katherine Backstrom regularly shares snippets of life with her two children on her Facebook page. One particularly touching interaction with her daughter is melting hearts and blowing minds due to the three-year-old's wise words about forgiveness.

Even adults struggle with the concept of forgiveness. Entire books have been written about how and why to forgive those who have wronged us, but many still have a hard time getting it. Who would guess that a preschooler could encapsulate what forgiveness means in a handful of innocent words?

Keep Reading Show less
Family

California has a housing crisis. Rent is so astronomical, one San Francisco company is offering bunk bedsfor $1,200 a month; Google even pledged$1 billion to help tackle the issue in the Bay Area. But the person who might fix it for good? Kanye West.

The music mogul first announced his plan to build low-income housing on Twitter late last year.

"We're starting a Yeezy architecture arm called Yeezy home. We're looking for architects and industrial designers who want to make the world better," West tweeted.

Keep Reading Show less
Cities

The U.S. women's soccer team won the Women's World Cup, but the victory is marred by the fact that the team is currently fighting for equal pay. In soccer, the game is won by scoring points, but the fight for equal pay isn't as clearly winnable and the playing field isn't as even.

We live in a world where winning the World Cup is easier than winning equal pay, but co-captain Megan Rapinoe says there's one easy way fans can support the team: Go see games.

Some people argue the men's team deserves to get paid more because they are more successful and earn more money for the United States Soccer Federation. Pay depends on merchandise and ticket sales, and in general, men's sporting events tend to draw a bigger crowd than women's sporting events. It's not about sex, many argue; it's about the fact that people just prefer to see men play.

Keep Reading Show less
Culture

You think you know someone pretty well when you spend years with them, but, as we've seen time and again, that's not always the case. And though many relationships don't get to a point where the producers of "Who the (Bleep) Did I Marry?" start calling every day just to chat, the reality is that sometimes partners will reveal shocking things even after you thought you'd been all shocked out.

That's the case for one woman whose Reddit thread has recently gone viral. The 25-year-old, who's been with her boyfriend for five years, took to a forum for relationship advice to ask if it was normal that her seemingly cool and loving boyfriend recently revealed women shouldn't have a fundamental right. (And no, it's not abortion — although there are a lot of "otherwise best ever boyfriends" out there who want to deny women the rights to bodily autonomy, too.)

Keep Reading Show less
Recommended