Kim Sport: A Force for Good
United Way of Southeast Louisiana is fortunate to be supported by thousands of volunteers who devote their time to fight with us to create stronger, more equitable communities. Every so often, a volunteer comes along whose efforts are so tremendous they create an impact that extends far beyond themselves.
Kim Sport is unquestionably one of those volunteers.
In her more than 20 years as a United Way volunteer, Kim has blazed trail after trail. In 2001, she formed the Women’s Leadership Council (now Women United), which has invested over $3 million in our community. In 2002, she became the first woman to chair our annual fundraising campaign and has since served in almost every leadership role within our organization, including as a Board of Trustees member, cabinet member, and chair.
The role I know Kim best in is chair of UWSELA’s Public Policy Committee. She stepped up as the inaugural chair of the committee in 2013 and spent seven years fighting for policy changes in the areas of education, financial stability, community strengthening, and health – especially in regards to domestic violence protections and cancer treatment options. It’s not an exaggeration to say her efforts were both systems-changing and lifesaving.
In 2014, we formed the United Against Domestic Violence Coalition and successfully advocated for some of the nation’s most robust legislation protecting survivors of domestic and family violence. Our efforts were profiled in the documentary “Five Awake” and have been used as a model in other states.
Kim’s determination, coupled with her legal skill on issues that impact her personally, provided the right recipe for an unprecedented legislative victory. In less than five months in 2014, we were able to convince Louisiana lawmakers to take on powerful lobbyists and change more than a dozen statutes of law. It was a remarkable victory and an opportunity to work alongside Kim’s legal genius.
Since then, we’ve continued to bring national and international attention to the issues of domestic violence and sexual assault, enacted over 120 statutes protecting survivors and created the Louisiana Domestic Violence Prevention Commission. Thanks to Kim, our work has become a model for other states to follow.
Also under Kim’s leadership, we partnered with former State Representative Helena Moreno, former State Representative Julie Stokes, and others to pass robust breast reconstruction insurance coverage and requirement to inform laws. A three-time cancer survivor, Kim not only fought at the Capitol for these changes but also founded Breastoration, which helps breast cancer patients access breast reconstruction following surgical mastectomies.
As a passionate defender of children and families, Kim also brought her unique blend of grit, kind heart, and legal acumen to overhauling the state’s foster care. United Way SELA’s Public Policy Committee supported a successful push to raise the age of foster care in Louisiana to 21 – a game-changer for many young people who often become homeless on their 18th birthdays.
The countless hours Kim spent traveling to and from Baton Rouge, crafting legislation, meeting with elected officials, and providing expert testimony on issues is only matched by her extraordinary generosity as a loyal donor of United Way and so many of our partners. Her contributions have helped to ensure all women and children are healthy, educated, and economically stable.
Kim recently stepped down as UWSELA’s Public Policy Committee Chair, but her tenacity will continue to motivate me to take on the impossible to create lasting change for our community.
Working alongside the force for good that is Kim Sport has been one of the highest honors of my career.
Kim - from me, United Way, and thousands of people you have impacted – thank you.
Executive Vice President & COO
United Way of Southeast Louisiana