AU women’s soccer makes blankets for ACLU


Photo retrieved from:

Defensive midfielder Bria Melsse pictured above at Ferguson Field.


This month the Ashland University Women’s Soccer team participated in a service project where they made blankets and donated almost $200 to the American Civil Liberties Union.

The American Civil Liberties Union, or ACLU, is an organization that fights to protect American citizens’ rights to the liberties guaranteed by the Constitution.

In regards to the AU Women’s Soccer fundraiser, the ACLU attempts to educate and empower people in order to combat the current racial injustice that dominates our country. Specifically, they support grassroots movements, bring impact lawsuits into state and federal courts, and they attempt to educate the public on these racial injustice issues.

Bria Meisse, a sophomore international business major, was actually the player who researched and pushed for this particular organization.

“My older sister and my best friend are huge into helping fight for racial justice and so they recommended that we choose to donate to this organization,” said Meisse. “We were deciding between the ACLU and BLM, but I ended up pushing for the ACLU because they specifically attempt to educate and empower the public on these racial injustice issues. As I am getting a degree in political science, I understand the importance of educating the public on issues in order to make a change.”

During quarantine, the AUWS coaches had been coming up with a variety of different things for their players to do in order to stay connected as a team and stay positive and focused on a goal.

“Our coaches decided to split the team up into 3 groups and each group was assigned a category and my group happened to choose the category “the world.” With the category we chose, we were supposed to come up with a way to change the chosen area and originally, my group wanted to make blankets to give to sick children,” Meisse said. “Soon after, everything started picking up with racial tensions as George Floyd was killed and many of my teammates were very upset by this and were posting on social media to speak up about racial tensions in the country and I realized that maybe this topic was our calling instead because of the timing of everything happening so perfectly.”

Ashland Women’s Soccer ended up only making two blankets, but the team had more donations than that and donated almost $200 to ACLU.

After an article was released about their fundraiser during the NCAA diversity and inclusion week, the team actually had more people reach out and ask to buy a blanket.

Through this fundraiser, AUWS has taken initiative in using their voices to stand up to racial injustice, as well as attempting to create the change that they wish to see.

“As we are collegiate women’s soccer players, we were able to take a step back and realize how valuable our platform is to younger kids, and even adults, who look up to us and we realized that we were given the greatest opportunity to use our platform to show those around us that everyone has the opportunity to use their voice to affect the world in some way,” Meisse said. “As a team, we don’t want to be remembered as just soccer players, but instead we want to be remembered as the soccer players that never backed down from an opportunity to affect the world in a way far greater than themselves.”

As of right now, the team is not making any more blankets, but if they get enough interest they would love to reopen the fundraiser.