In honor of "Giving Tuesday," the Los Angeles Rams players are awarding $750,000 to 25 non-profits focused on social justice across the greater Los Angeles region.
Following numerous tragic events this past year, including the deaths of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd, Rams players came together to discuss how they could help address injustices that continue to plague society. Focused on long-term, systemic change, the players decided to pool resources together to financially support organizations who are doing this critical work.
The Rams invited 25 social justice non-profits to share with the players information about their work, those they serve and how the players could be of the greatest assistance. After listening and learning, the players rewarded each organization with a donation ranging from $20,000 to $50,000.
MICHAEL BROCKERS, JOHNNY HEKKER, SEBASTIAN JOSEPH-DAY and ANDREW WHITWORTH helped lead the process, participating in virtual conversations with the organizations and determining how to allocate the funds.
"As a leader on this team, it was important to me to be part of these conversations," said Brockers. "My teammates and I are very aware of the social injustices that continue to occur, and we made a decision to become actively involved in helping to be part of the change that is desperately needed. It was awesome to hear from so many different leaders and non-profits that are putting the work in to make real change and I'm honored to support them."
"In my 15 years in the NFL, this has definitely been one of the most inspiring things that I have had the opportunity to be part of," said Whitworth. "It was an amazing process that allowed us to learn about a variety of non-profits working across Los Angeles to positively impact lives and advance social justice. The chance to hear directly from them on how we could help left us both humbled and motivated. On behalf of my teammates, we thank them for their daily passion and commitment to drive equity and are proud to support their important work."
Below are the 25 recipient non-profit organizations who are working to address education inequities, youth justice, community-police relations and anti-recidivism as well as providing access to mentors and basic human needs including housing and food.
A Place Called Home – ($50K recipient) – A Place Called Home's mission is to provide a safe, nurturing environment with proven programs in arts, education and wellness for the young people in South Central Los Angeles to help them improve their economic conditions and develop healthy, fulfilling and purposeful lives.
Brotherhood Crusade – ($50K recipient) Brotherhood Crusade is a 50-year-old grassroots organization with a vision of improving quality of life and meeting the unmet needs of low-income, underserved, under-represented and disenfranchised individuals. Their mission is to remove and/or help individuals overcome the barriers that deter their pursuit of success in life and facilitate opportunities for a better quality of life by effectuating improved health & wellness, facilitating academic success, promoting personal, social & economic growth, providing access to artistic excellence & cultural awareness, increasing financial literacy and building community agencies & institutions.
College Track – ($50K recipient) College Track's mission is to equip their 800+ Watts, Boyle Heights and Crenshaw students confronting systemic barriers to earn a bachelor's degree in pursuit of a life of opportunity, choice, and power. College Track exists because they know that while talent is equally distributed, educational access is not.
Heart of Los Angeles (HOLA) - ($50K recipient) Heart of Los Angeles provides underserved youth with free, exceptional after school programs in academics, arts and athletics within a nurturing environment, empowering them to develop their potential, pursue their education and strengthen their communities.
Homeboy Industries – ($50k recipient) Homeboy Industries' mission is to provide hope, training and support to formerly gang-involved and previously incarcerated individuals, allowing them to redirect their lives and become contributing members of the community. They do this by providing therapeutic re-entry programming that offers tenderness, compassion, kinship and opportunities for transformation.
SoLa I Can Foundation – ($50k recipient) - The SoLa I Can Foundation, the 501(c)3 nonprofit affiliate of SoLa Impact, is built on a simple premise: if you can see it, you can be it. SoLa works to improve the lives of South LA residents and end intergenerational poverty through access to educational, technological, and economic opportunities. They work towards uplifting underserved Black and Latinx communities by providing career development, technology education, financial literacy, college readiness and scholarships.
Anti-Recidivism Coalition – ($40K recipient) - The Anti-Recidivism Coalition (ARC) works to end mass incarceration in California. To ensure our communities are safe, healthy, and whole, ARC empowers formerly and currently incarcerated people to thrive by providing a support network, comprehensive reentry services, and opportunities to advocate for policy change. Through their grassroots policy advocacy, they are dedicated to transforming the criminal justice system so that it is more just and equitable for all people.
Liberty Hill Foundation - ($40K recipient) - For 44 years, Liberty Hill has supported grassroots community organizing in Los Angeles, working to advance social justice. Liberty Hill envisions a society built on social justice in which all people have a powerful voice, including those currently shutout of democracy and those who are denied opportunity because they are poor, because of their skin color, because of their gender or sexual orientation, because of where they live or because of where they were born.
Operation Progress – ($30K recipient) - Operation Progress' mission is to empower underserved youth to become educated, ethical, and productive adults who reach their full potential and positively contribute to society. OP Scholars are accepted in the 3rd or 4th grade and are supported through college. Operation Progress is located in the heart of Watts and serves families from Nickerson Gardens, Jordan Downs, Imperial Courts, Gonzaque Village, Compton and South LA. OP Scholars are also paired with mentors from LAPD to provide support, safety, and to build trust in the police-community relationship.
Partnership for Los Angeles Schools – ($30K recipient) - The Partnership for Los Angeles Schools is an independent non-profit working alongside the Los Angeles Unified School District since 2008 to manage and support historically under-resourced public schools in Watts, South LA and Boyle Heights in an effort to close achievement gaps and drive education equity. In addition to accelerating student academic achievement and lowering suspensions, they have more than doubled the graduation rate from 36% to 80%.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Los Angeles (BBBSLA) – ($25K recipient) - Their mission is to provide one-to-one mentoring relationships that ignite the power and promise of youth. BBBSLA is one of the largest Big Brothers Big Sisters affiliates in the country and one of the largest youth mentoring organizations in Southern California.
Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Los Angeles (BGCMLA) – ($25K recipient) - The mission of Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Los Angeles (BGCMLA) is to enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring and responsible citizens. Committed to sustainable impact, BGCMLA consist of five sites and is the result of a partnership unifying Los Angeles' Boys and Girls Clubs in the region's most vulnerable neighborhoods since 1960 including Challengers, Watts/Willowbrook, Bell Gardens, and Jordan Downs. BGCMLA offers nationally recognized programs in three core areas to ensure the achievement and empowerment of youth and their families: Academic Success, Good Character and Citizenship and Healthy Lifestyles.
Children's Institute – ($25K recipient) - Children's Institute provides early education, behavioral health and family strengthening services to 30,000 children and families each year. They also train professionals and caregivers in trauma-informed care, evidence-based clinical treatment, parenting and fatherhood.
Fulfillment Fund – ($25K recipient) - Fulfillment Fund works to make college a reality for students growing up in educationally and economically under-resourced communities. They aim to build pathways to college, navigate educational barriers, create support networks, and empower future leaders.
St. Joseph Center - ($25K recipient) - St. Joseph Center is committed to addressing homelessness through a racial equity lens and providing working poor families, as well as homeless men, women, and children of all ages with the inner resources and tools to become productive, stable and self-supporting members of the community.
BOSS – ($20K recipient) - The mission of BOSS (Business of Student Success) is to equip boys of color with tools to succeed in school, in the community and professionally, with an emphasis on STEAM, critical thinking/writing and related fields. They also leverage the power of sport to inspire boys to pursue greatness.
Communities in Schools (CIS) – ($20K recipient) - CIS' mission is to surround students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life. CISLA works in 13 LAUSD schools serving 12,500 K-12 students in South LA, Watts, Boyle Heights, Pico-Union and areas of West LA.
Covenant House – ($20K recipient) - Covenant House provides housing and supportive services to youth facing homelessness. They help young people transform their lives and put them on a path to independence.
HomeLight Family Living – ($20k recipient) – A program of The Midnight Mission, HomeLight Family Living is located in Inglewood and provides the path for families in crisis to reunify, rebuild and restore their lives. They provide education, career preparedness, counseling and life skills to break the cycle of abuse and poverty and ensure independent, successful living.
LA Family Housing - ($20K recipient) – Each year, LA Family Housing helps more than 11,000 people transition out of homelessness and poverty through four main service areas including outreach and engagement, housing placement, supporting services and real estate development.
LAPD Community Safety Partnership – ($20K recipient) - The Community Safety Partnership Bureau (CSPB) was first established in 2011 as a "program," funded by the LAPD in partnership with the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles (HACLA) and the Ballmer Group. Originally comprised of 40 police officers, it has grown to over 100 sworn personnel. Organized into 10-person teams, they service the most challenging neighborhoods in Los Angeles. The five components that make up the CSPB's overarching mission are: community outreach, youth programs, public safety, school safe passage and wrap-around services for victims and families.
LA Regional Food Bank (LARFB) – ($20K recipient) - LARFB mobilizes resources to fight hunger in Los Angeles by: sourcing and acquiring food and other products and distribute to needy people through charitable agencies or directly through programs, energizing the community to get involved and support hunger relief, and conducting hunger education and awareness campaigns and advocating for public policies that alleviate hunger.
Los Angeles Room and Board – ($20K recipient) - LA Room and Board's mission is to end college student hunger and homelessness by providing stable housing with access to two healthy meals daily, and to ensure students complete their college degree by providing comprehensive wrap-around programs designed to set students up for success both inside the classroom and within their communities. In LA County, 1 in 5 community college students are experiencing homelessness and two-thirds of them are going hungry.
Sharefest – ($20k recipient) – Sharefest's mission is to empower underserved youth to transform their future and become leaders of collaborative community change.
Social Justice Learning Institute (SJLI) – ($20K recipient) - SJLI is dedicated to improving education, health and wellbeing of youth and communities of color by empowering them to enact social change through research, training and community mobilization.