The NFL announced social justice contributions from the NFL Family have surpassed $300 million, all in support of the league's Inspire Change initiative. This milestone comes as 15 grant partnerships were renewed by the NFL and the Players Coalition to drive further progress in police-community relations, criminal justice reform, education, and economic advancement.
"Players Coalition and the NFL have collaborated over the past five years through Inspire Change grants to help drive direct impact by supporting organizations at the frontlines of social justice and racial equity work," said Anquan Boldin, NFL Legend, and co-founder of Players Coalition. "While the work is far from over, we look forward to advancing aligned partnerships with grant recipients and building on our continued partnership with the NFL to address priority social justice issues."
The 15 renewed grants were recently approved by the Player-Owner Social Justice Committee, composed of a 10-member panel of players, Legends, and team owners. Grants are awarded to non-profit organizations creating measurable change across the four pillars of Inspire Change.
"The NFL Family is proud to have contributed more than $300 million to support social justice efforts in communities across the country, but our work is far from over," said Anna Isaacson, NFL Senior Vice President, Social Responsibility. "The positive impact of this work is being felt every day, and we are committed to continuing our efforts with players, clubs, and our Inspire Change grant partners to break down barriers to opportunity and end systemic racism."
- Big Brothers Big Sisters of America (BBBSA) will enrich the quality and continue to expand the reach of its mentoring programs and their impact on youth by enhancing and innovating program opportunities and increasing mentor recruitment. Key focus areas include supporting youth with incarcerated family members, critical localized programming, and recruiting more men of color to volunteer as mentors through the Big Draft and other partner engagement opportunities.
- Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) will enhance its Think, Learn, Create Change (TLC) resources, activities and engagement opportunities for young people at Boys & Girls Clubs across the nation. These programs will provide kids and teens with high-quality social justice, leadership and advocacy experiences, while expanding youth-led content on digital platforms and equipping young people to participate in impactful social justice conversations around racial equality, community violence, voting rights, etc.
- City Year helps students and schools succeed while preparing the next generation of civically engaged leaders who can work across lines of difference. With the goal of recruiting diverse young adults by making national service opportunities more accessible, City Year will raise awareness about the benefits of service and increase living stipends for City Year AmeriCorps members. The organization also is enhancing coaching and professional development services for City Year AmeriCorps members to help them make the most of their service experience and position themselves for their career path or education after service.
- Get Schooled uses digital programming to help underserved youth access first-time jobs and college while providing the resources to succeed. Existing Inspire Change grant partners who work specifically with college-aged youth will have the opportunity to partner with Get Schooled to bring their digital content and programming to those communities.
- Covenant House will support its education and workforce development programs in the U.S., helping them provide more than 2,000 youth experiencing homelessness with the career and education services they need over the next year. Covenant House will also help them overcome the systemic challenges they face in obtaining an education and launching a career through coaching, mentoring, tutoring, academic support, college application prep, career exploration, and job readiness and placement services.
- Operation HOPE will continue to remove traditional hurdles to Black entrepreneurship by providing them with the critical tools, resources, and education needed to start — and scale — their ventures. They will focus on deepening and broadening their 1 Million Black Businesses Initiative (1MBB), which offers access to Operation HOPE's award-winning model of community uplift and financial literacy.
- Wall Street Bound provides diverse college students with the skills, experience, and social capital needed to access and succeed in financial services careers. The NFL's social justice grant funding will support WSB's work to provide scholars, largely from underserved communities, with finance technical and soft skills training, and social capital via their flagship program, “Wall Street Direct” and “Introduction to Wall Street” customized boot camps. Their goals are to reach 200 students with programming in 2023 and to place at least 80% (160) with jobs.
- Year Up, an organization with the highest wage gains of any workforce development program, connects young adults, 90% of whom identify as people of color, to livable wage careers at hundreds of top companies. The NFL's social justice grant funding will support Year Up's mission to close the opportunity divide and champion economic justice with its direct service workforce development programming.
Criminal Justice Reform
- Free Minds Book Club & Writing Workshop works with incarcerated and formerly incarcerated youth and adults, using the literary arts, workforce development, trauma healing, and advocacy to create personal and societal change. The grant will support the expansion of FMBC's re-entry programming during a time of increased need.
- Just City will continue its Clean Slate advocacy, which has sealed the criminal histories of hundreds of people and eliminated statewide barriers to expungement; expand Court Watch to bring more transparency and accountability to local criminal courts; and build out its Public Data Accountability Project.
- Ladies of Hope Ministries (LOHM) will continue its Pathways 4 Equity (P4E) program to break employment barriers for women and improve DE&I hiring practices by connecting formerly incarcerated women to professional fellowships with career advancement opportunities with living-wage salary and benefits.
- The National Urban League will expand its national expungement workshops with justice-impacted individuals and their Urban Re-Entry program, addressing an expansive list of needs for returning citizens.
- The Center for Policing Equity's (CPE) north star is protecting, empowering, and supporting vulnerable communities — particularly Black and Brown communities — to redesign their public safety systems. CPE will continue to provide leaders with data, stories, and relationships to facilitate change that is bold, innovative, and lasting.
- Metropolitan Family Services will expand its street outreach training programming, including its work to train new and transferring CPD officers each year, educating them with a hyper-local and trauma-informed approach about the history of each community within their respective districts.
- The Vera Institute of Justice (Vera) will partner with cities nationwide to implement policies that reduce the scope of law enforcement responses to health and social issues. They will work with each municipality to establish a data framework to maximize the number of 911 calls addressed by a range of civilian responders. After two years, building upon lessons learned, they will publish a web-based and interactive report that will provide jurisdictions with specific guidance for implementing policies that reduce the scope and number of law enforcement responses in their communities.
For more information on the NFL's Inspire Change social justice initiative, please visit the NFL Ops Inspire Change page.