The NFL awards 5 grants through social justice initiatives

NEW YORK — The NFL has awarded five new national grants through its social justice initiative Inspire Change to organizations focused on police and community relations.

The recipients were announced Thursday, and the league will highlight its commitment to social justice over the next two weeks, with each team participating in stadium activations and awareness on matchdays.

The five new national grant partners are: Atlanta Policing Alternatives & Diversion Initiative (PAD), Chicago Assistance and Engagement Response Co-Responder Program (CARE), Choose 180, Gulf Coast Jewish Family Services Community Assistance and Life Liaison Program (CALL), and Peace for DC.

“Focusing on building police and community relations is where real change and impact will be created from community to community,” said former NFL quarterback Takeo Spikes, player coalition advocate and member of the executive task force.

The NFL has given more than $244 million to more than 40 national grant partners and more than 600 grassroots organizations across the country since 2017. The league is approaching a 10-year, $250 million commitment to social justice efforts.

Five new national grant partners received a total of $950,000. They were recently approved by the Social Justice Working Group, which consists of three active players, three former players and five team owners.

“It’s great because every person that sits in the room or every person that sits at the table, we all have a vested interest,” Spikes said. “And that vested interest in ensuring not only that the community is served as it should be, because we understand that we all have a seat in this community, but more than anything, this is our way of being able to give back and do something that would be monumental by having diverse people at the table who come from different backgrounds, different ethnicities.

“But we have one common goal, and that is to ensure that people are treated well and to provide resources.”

This year’s league also introduced the Inspire Change Changemaker Award, which is given to 32 people, one from each team, who make a difference in their community through social justice work, either individually or as part of a non-profit organization.

Any Change Maker will be announced or recognized during Weeks 15 and 16 by their respective clubs.

“It means a lot,” Spikes said. “By being able to implement this award now, people across the nation will see that people really care outside of the game and they’re investing back into the game, into the community.”

All 32 recipients will receive a $10,000 donation, courtesy of the NFL Foundation, to a social justice nonprofit of their choice.

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