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2021 Urban Soccer Symposium
March 25-26

  Urban Soccer Symposium
Request for Presentation Proposals
Due: 11:59pm on November 16, 2020

The U.S. Soccer Foundation is committed to hosting the 2021 Urban Soccer Symposium, either in-person and/or online, as public health guidance allows.  The dates reserved for the event are March 25-26, and if held in person, will be in Washington, D.C.

We are monitoring coronavirus developments, and should the current public health emergency persist, we will be prepared to pivot to a fully virtual event. Thank you in advance for your flexibility. 

We are seeking engaging, high quality workshop facilitators that will spark conversation, inspire attendees, and generate innovative ideas. Most importantly, we want attendees to walk away with applicable knowledge and tools that will directly help them enrich the lives of the youth they serve. This application is open to a variety of presenters, not strictly soccer programmers.

About the Urban Soccer Symposium 

The Urban Soccer Symposium, now in its 14th year, hosts community leaders and speakers from across the nation who are dedicated to improving the field of sports-based youth development. The Symposium features two (2) days of interactive workshops and inspiring keynote presentations focused on sharing best practices and maximizing organizations' impact in their respective communities. There are also ample networking opportunities to build connections amongst like-minded individuals and organizations.


The 2019 Urban Soccer Symposium attracted nearly 300 participants representing 183 unique organizations from across the country. More than 75 presenters shared their knowledge in 32 different workshops throughout the weekend. Of all survey respondents who attended the 2019 Urban Soccer Symposium, 94% said they would recommend the Urban Soccer Symposium to other organizations. Check out last year’s highlights here

Workshop Information

Our attendees consist of executive directors, program administrative staff, coaches, youth development professionals, and philanthropists working in underserved communities, who have a wide range of experience and expertise. Qualified presenters will facilitate a workshop that is 60-75 minutes in length on one of the two days of the event. That time should include 15 minutes for Q&A. Each workshop will vary in size, hosting between 15-50 participants.

This year's Symposium features six (6) strands that will guide attendees as they determine which workshops they'll attend. Strands help attendees identify key themes relevant to sports-based youth development, and direct them towards workshops benefiting their personal and professional interests. Recognizing not all proposals will fit within a certain strand, it is worth noting that workshop presenters will not be chosen solely based off of this criteria. Special consideration will be given towards presentations that speak to promising practices learned as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The six (6) strands for the 2021 Urban Soccer Symposium are: 

Soccer Development: tailored towards program staff and coaches of youth soccer operators or other youth sports programs. This strand provides strategies and best practices for increasing skills related to the physical, mental, and emotional development of young athletes.

Culture of Health: tailored towards all attendees. This strand promotes the cultivation of health and wellness practice for athletes and their communities. 

Youth Development: tailored towards all attendees. This strand looks at best practices in the field of youth development, and provides strategies for increasing engagement with and support for youth of different backgrounds and circumstances.

Community Engagement: tailored towards all attendees. This strand will dive into the ways in which the sports-based youth development community can leverage sport for social change, and use it as a tool for community advancement. 

Safe Spaces: tailored towards all attendees. This strand examines best practices in increasing opportunities for all young people to play and coach, with an emphasis on race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and ability. It also explores the meaning and significance of equity in youth sports programming and shares practical steps to ensure programs are aligned with equitable practices.

Organizational Capacity: tailored towards executive directors, program staff, and philanthropists. This strand provides knowledge and tools to identify and overcome organizational challenges in order to achieve increased impact.

Although the Urban Soccer Symposium is open to all topics contributing to and advancing the field of sports-based youth development, the following topics are also of particular interest to the Urban Soccer Symposium audience:

  • Best practices for engaging female coaches and participants
  • Fundraising plans
  • Promising practices for youth development
  • Effectively engaging the community in youth programming 
  • Combatting implicit biases 
  • Integrating social-emotional learning (SEL) into programming 
  • Supporting rural communities
  • Interactive youth coaching sessions
  • Coaching non-native English speakers
  • Collecting, managing, and evaluating data
Presenter Benefits:
  • As a presenter, you will benefit from the U.S. Soccer Foundation's active promotion of the event through a variety of communication vehicles: the U.S. Soccer Foundation's website and social media, e-mail announcements, and communication to registered participants
  • Each presenter will have their registration fee waived for the 2021 Urban Soccer Symposium. This offer is valid for up to two (2) presenters per session. 
  • All presenters must register for the conference once the presentation is approved by the committee. Registrations must be completed by February 1, 2021 in order to receive the waived registration fee.
  • 2021 Urban Soccer Symposium presenters will benefit from opportunities for discounted and complimentary registration to the 2022 Urban Soccer Symposium.

Submitting a Presenter Proposal:
When building out a successful workshop proposal, the Foundation asks that all presenters:
  • Provide a workshop title, summary, and top three (3) takeaways for marketing purposes
  • Engage attendees through audience participation and discussion
  • Ensure participants walk away with an actionable to-do list or tools - may provide worksheets and handouts (which will be printed by the Foundation)
  • Coordinate with Foundation staff regarding any special equipment needs
  • Promote your participation in the event to your social networks
To submit a proposal:
  • Use the online form, found below.
  • The online form can be saved after you have started working on it. Be sure to save your work and login credentials so you can make changes, continue progress, and submit additional proposals.
  • Please submit your proposal by 11:59 pm EST on November 16, 2020. Upon submission, you will receive a confirmation email indicating that your proposal has been received; if you do not receive said email confirmation, please contact Tori Ramataboee at tramataboee@ussoccerfoundation.org
  • You should anticipate notification of acceptance or rejection of your proposal in December 2020. This application is open to all, not strictly soccer programmers. Please note that there is a limit of three (3) proposal submissions per organization.
  • For more information on past Urban Soccer Symposium workshops, click this link.
Speaker Information

Co-Presenter 1 Information

Co-Presenter 2 Information

Co-Presenter 3 Information

Presentation Information

Additional Requests 
The Urban Soccer Symposium serves as an opportunity for you to support the growth of the sport for social change movement, by sharing your expertise with organizations serving youth in under-resourced communities across the country. If your workshop is chosen, you will receive one (1) waived registration per presenter, up to two (2) waived registrations per presentation.  If the event is held in-person, and you need to request financial assistance for travel related expenses, please select "Yes" below, and provide an explanation - the Foundation will follow-up for additional information.