Venus and Serena Williams are used to making headlines on the tennis court, but recently the four-time Olympic gold medal-winning sisters won the hearts of many for something different. The Yetunde Price Resource Center—named after their older sister, Yetunde Price (their mother's daughter from another marriage) who was killed in a drive by shooting in 2003—is now open in the siblings’ hometown of Compton, California.
This is the first center of its kind under the Williams Sister Fund, which the two started to support members of the community affected by gun violence. In a recent profile of the Williams Sisters' project by the LA Times Sharoni Little, the center’s chief operating officer, noted “This is going to be not just an exchange of information, but a sustained, deep relationship... There will be not just passing on a card or a flyer, but actually making those connections and relationships. And we obviously know it will grow because of the need.”
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Compton Mayor Aja Brown recently told The Root, “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.”
After their older sister passed, her children went to Venus and Serenas' mother. As Serena told the Times ,“If her kids didn’t have my mom and us, it could be really devastating. But we had such a great system that they’re doing pretty good. We just felt like people that didn’t have that opportunity to fall back on, what could they do? And that’s kind of how this resource center came about.”
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The center will not only support the families affected by gun violence, but also serve as a center for education and gun violence prevention. This addition to the iconic athletes’ portfolios comes at a time when gun violence and the affects it on families and entire communities continues to be a troubling issue facing the country.
But the mission is deeply personal for the sisters, “We’re really appreciative to have this opportunity,” Serena told theTimes. “And to have it in Compton, I think, brings everything full circle. We started here and we want to make sure people understand this is a great place to be.”