Lawrence Brevard Cann '00
Tad Christie was homeless, and desperate to prove to his children that he wasn't a bum. He needed a pathway back to a normal life, which eventually came by way of soccer. And soccer came to Tad by way of Lawrence Cann.
"If I'm not positive, I won't live," Tad told People magazine a little more than a year ago. "Soccer gives me that."
Lawrence found his way to Davidson by way of Richmond, Virginia. He heard about the college by way of his basketball coach, Tom Franz, himself a Davidson alumnus. He was a soccer player, though, with a knack for writing and literature, and he soon found himself recruited to play for the Wildcats. On his application to Davidson, submitted in the fall of 1995, he noted he was undecided on a career.
Indecision never held him back. Lawrence graduated cum laude and left to teach English in Japan through the JET Program. Returning to the States in 2002, Lawrence took up a job as the art director at Charlotte's Urban Ministry Center, helping people overcome homelessness. Over the next six and a half years, he established an entire suite of programs serving the homeless and helped raise over $100,000 through the sale of artwork created by them.
It was there in Charlotte that Lawrence put together a soccer team for the homeless. By the spring of 2005, the team, named Art Works Football Club, had been invited to the Homeless World Cup in Edinburgh, Scotland. And by way of this first team, Street Soccer USA was born.
Lawrence and Street Soccer USA have now reached out to 20 cities in America, establishing a nation-wide soccer league and helping hundreds of homeless people along the way. The program has been featured in numerous publications and media, including the New York Times, People magazine, and the Sundance documentary film Kicking It!, narrated by Colin Farrell.
Ray Isaac, who was interviewed by the Charlotte Observer following the 2005 Homeless World Cup announcement, and who had never played soccer before joining Lawrence's team, noted "when Lawrence told me about the World Cup, I was like, ‘Come on, man.' It's just a dream. But [the dream] keeps getting realer and realer."
Lawrence Brevard Cann IV, because you have globally embodied the essence of extraordinary service to your community, because you have demonstrated leadership through servanthood, and because you have inspired and changed-and quite possibly saved-the lives of so many people by way of your life, the Davidson College Alumni Association hereby honors you upon the occasion of your 10th Reunion with the John W. Kuykendall Award for Community Service.