NFL Extends Support for Operation HOPE and 20 Other Social Justice Grant Partners In Ongoing Mission to ‘INSPIRE CHANGE’
League contributes $6.5 million to more than 20 organizations who are driving measurable change in their communities, renews grants for all 32 NFL Clubs to further combat the ‘digital divide’
NFL nears $250 million commitment with more than $244 million in contributions since 2017
As part of the NFL’s Inspire Change social justice initiative, the league today announced renewals of 21 national grant partners, totaling $6.5 million in donations.
Inspire Change showcases the collaborative efforts of players, clubs, and the League to create positive change in communities across the country. Since 2017, the NFL family has provided more than $244 million to 37 national grant partners and hundreds of grassroots organizations across the country, nearing its 10-year, $250 million commitment to social justice efforts. This includes more than 1,800 Inspire Change matching grants provided by the NFL Foundation to current NFL players and Legends for nonprofits of their choice to help reduce barriers to opportunity.
The 21 renewed grants were recently approved by the Player-Owner Social Justice Working Group, which is comprised of a 10-member panel of players, Legends and team owners. Grants are awarded to nonprofit organizations creating measurable change across the four pillars of Inspire Change, which include education, economic advancement, police-community relations and criminal justice reform.
“The NFL is proud to renew its commitment to these 21 organizations as they continue to drive positive change in communities nationwide,” said Anna Isaacson, NFL Senior Vice President, Social Responsibility. “The greater societal needs that these organizations serve represent the core tenets behind Inspire Change, and their meaningful work and measurable impact continue to inspire the NFL in its ongoing quest for social justice.”
The specific impact these 21 grant partners have made in their communities include advocacy to end mass incarceration and offering tuition-free educational resources; wraparound services for youth battling homelessness; various mentorship programs and re-entry services; fighting to end cash bail and pre-trial detention; addressing “three-strikes” laws; and financial empowerment services.
The Player-Owner Social Justice Working Group also renewed its commitment to address the “digital divide,” a longstanding barrier to internet and technology access in the U.S. exacerbated due to the COVID-19 pandemic and disproportionately impacting communities of color. Specifically, the Working Group approved an additional $480,000 in funding allocated to NFL clubs – $15,000 per club – to further their work with local nonprofits to help alleviate the “digital divide” in areas that need it most.
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. To help level the playing field, 1,250 new business owners in Atlanta, New York City, and Nashville will have the opportunity to participate in the 1 Million Black Businesses Initiative (1MBB), which offers access to Operation HOPE’s award-winning model of community uplift and financial literacy.
For additional information or to learn more about 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/.