Join us for S5:EP7 of the Sports Philanthropy Podcast as Joneé Billy, Director of Strategic Partnerships and External Affairs for PowerPlay NYC sits down with our host Roy Kessel to discuss her basketball journey, travel, and PowerPlay NYC’s story.
Joneé Billy is the Director of Strategic Partnerships & External Affairs at Powerplay where she is responsible for cultivating meaningful relationships with multi-sector partners with the goal of creating sustainable and impactful experiences for girls and gender non-conforming youth. Over the course of her tenure at PowerPlay, she has spearheaded twenty-plus activations with Fortune-500 companies such as Nike, Deloitte, and Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment, which resulted in over a quarter-million dollars in corporate sponsorships and in-kind services. Ms. Billy also leads the STARS Citywide Girls Initiative, a collective of ten leading nonprofit organizations with a mission of empowering girls of color through diverse programming across the arts, sports, literature, and activism. Funded at $1.4 million, this coalition impacts over 6,000 young people on an annual basis.
The transformative power of teamwork, collaboration, and partnerships, as evidenced in her work, was developed during her athletic career. A young Joneé walked into her local community center in the Lower Eastside of Manhattan and immediately found a team, a family, a community. She spent countless hours honing her athletic skills which she parleyed into a collegiate basketball career, followed by a professional career in Europe and with the Trinidad & Tobago Women’s National team. She also had the opportunity to represent the USA University team at the Netball US Open in 2018. These experiences in athletics shaped her views on social impact. Her passions for sports, philanthropy, and community development are intertwined in her current role at PowerPlay, but as a leader, she continues to seek out opportunities for further development.
Joneé earned a Master of Science in Sports Management from Brooklyn College, after earning her degree in Political Science with a minor in Sports Management. She is active in the Women in Sports & Events (WISE NYC Metro) and serves on the Laureus Sport for Good NYC Leadership Council.
PowerPlay’s mission is to advance the lives of girls through sports, helping them grow physically, emotionally, and academically stronger. PowerPlay’s programming focuses on teaching girls fundamental skills in a variety of sports so they become confident in their athletic abilities and enjoy playing. PowerPlay’s programs for girls and young women seek to stem the decline in confidence that occurs three times more often in girls than boys from elementary school to high school. If girls don’t see it, they won’t do it. Girls miss out on opportunities to learn from positive female role models who look like them. Using sports as their hook, PowerPlay starts a dialogue, offers the chance for critical and analytical thinking, and opens the door to personal, academic, and career growth for girls at all stages of their development.
HIGHLIGHTS OF JONEÉ’S PODCAST
- 00:00 Introduction
- 00:50 Sports For Joneé as a Child
- 02:50 Attraction to Basketball
- 10:25 Potential in Basketball Career
- 11:15 Recruitment
- 13:25 Joneé’s Professional Career
- 15:25 Joneé’s Time in Hungary
- 17:05 Passion’s After Her Playing Career
- 18:55 First Professional/Business Opportunity For Joneé
- 20:45 Lessons Learned From Sports
- 22:35 PowerPlay NYC
- 28:10 Future Plans for PowerPlay NYC
- 31:20 Excitement for 2022
- 33:25 Items That Can Be Done Differently – Youth Development
- 36:15 Sports Philanthropy Network Bonus Question
- 37:00 Joneé as Commissioner of the WNBA
- 39:35 Parting Words