The NFL will highlight its collective commitment to Inspire Change — its year-round social justice initiative — during Weeks 17 and 18. The league will amplify the impactful social justice work done by NFL players, clubs, league, and social justice grant partners to break down barriers to opportunity and end systemic racism.
Since 2017, the NFL has provided more than $180 million to 37 national grant partners and hundreds of grassroots organizations across the country as part of the league's $250 million commitment to social justice efforts over 10 years. This includes more than 1,800 grants provided by the NFL Foundation to current NFL players and Legends for nonprofits of their choice. Grants are awarded to nonprofits that focus on the four Inspire Change pillars: education, economic advancement, police-community relations, and criminal justice reform.
As part of Inspire Change, the league has also awarded funding to four new national grant partners: Year Up, Wall Street Bound, Free Minds Book Club and Get Schooled. These national grant partners were recently approved by the Social Justice Working Group, composed of five players and five team owners.
"We are proud of the work the NFL family collectively has put behind the Inspire Change initiative, particularly the immense value our clubs and players have placed on utilizing resources and their platform to help create a more equitable society," said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. "We are excited and pleased to welcome four new grant partners to the NFL family, who with our players, our clubs and the league will continue to drive positive change in local communities and across the country."
Clubs will feature endzone stencils with social justice messaging “It Takes All of Us” and “Advance Social Justice,” goalpost wraps and banners, sideline branding, helmet stickers, and Inspire Change branded towels for players.
Fans attending games and watching at home will see video compilations of players and clubs volunteering in their communities. Fans will also see Inspire Change grant partner features and PSAs highlighting the impactful work being done by NFL players and grant partners in their local communities. These stories will feature grant partners including National Urban League, Per Scholas, Breakthrough Miami, Center for Policing Equity, and several NFL players including Josh Jacobs of the Las Vegas Raiders, Jason McCourty of the Miami Dolphins, and Kenny Clark of the Green Bay Packers. These will air during national game broadcasts and be shown on NFL Network, NFL.com, and the NFL's social media channels.
The NFL, New Era and the Players Coalition collaborated on an Inspire Change knit hat that can be worn by players, coaches and team personnel during Weeks 17 and 18. The hat will have “Justice, Opportunity, Equity, Freedom” sewn on it and will be available at NewEraCap.com, NFLShop.com, and Fanatics, with 100% of the proceeds donated to Inspire Change grant recipients.
"It's one thing to talk about change and impact. But I'm one of those people who want to do something about it," said Kelvin Beachum, Players Coalition Task Force member, Social Justice Working Group member, and Arizona Cardinals offensive lineman. "The Players Coalition and the NFL's Inspire Change initiative are committed to doing the work by providing grant money to ensure education equity, improve social justice efforts, and focus on economic advancement and criminal justice reform. Real change comes from getting the right people on board, having the right conversations, and then finding solutions."
Year Up connects young adults, 90% of whom identify as a person of color, to livable wage careers at hundreds of top companies, and has shown the highest wage gains of any workforce development program. By providing marketable job skills, coursework eligible for college credit, and access to corporate internships, Year Up has served 35,000 young adults over 21 years, helping to close the opportunity divide — the gap between motivated, talented young people in need of an opportunity and companies in need of their skills.
Wall Street Bound provides young adults from communities of color with the skills, experience, and social capital to be successful in financial services careers. The NFL's social justice grant funding will help to finance workshops and bootcamps for 174 students throughout 2022. The 20-25-hour bootcamps will introduce students to finance career path workshops and will lead into a rigorous 10-week technical and professional skills training program.
Free Minds Book Club & Writing Workshop uses literacy arts, workforce development, and trauma, healing and advocacy to create personal and societal change with incarcerated and formerly incarcerated youth and adults. The grant supports a 12-week in-house peer-support training program teaching trauma-informed care, social emotional wellness and crisis response.
Get Schooled uses digital programming to help underserved youth access first-time jobs and college, while providing the resources needed to succeed in both. Existing Inspire Change grant partners who work with college-aged youth will have the opportunity to partner with Get Schooled to bring their digital content and programming to those communities.
For more information on the NFL's Inspire Change social justice initiative, please visit www.nfl.com/inspirechange. Follow @InspireChange on Twitter and Instagram. On Facebook, follow at www.Facebook.com/InspireChange/.