The Rams and the NFL worked with the team's Inspire Change nonprofit partner, the Think Watts Foundation, to host an event for community members in the Watts neighborhood. The celebratory and engaging experience featured PLAY 60 activities and special guests such as Rams Legend Cam Lynch, Rams Cheerleaders, and mascot Rampage.
NFL and Rams partner, Little Caesars, distributed food to attendees with The Little Caesars Love Kitchen, a restaurant on wheels that travels across the country to help feed those in need.
"To see the smiles on everyone's faces, enjoying this moment and having peace in the midst of tough times is great," said Johnathan Franklin, Rams Director of Social Justice and Football Development. "There has been a lot that has happened in these past years, so to bring something together like this in the community and create hope and joy that is needed is special."
As a part of the evening, the NFL and Little Caesars recognized the great work being done by local community leaders by providing the Think Watts Foundation with a $125,000 grant to support programs and initiatives led by the community leaders in Watts and surrounding areas.
Think Watts is an organization founded by Brandon "Stix" Salaam-Bailey, with a primary focus on community grassroots activations along with developing financial literacy programs, custom container housing solutions, and charitable fundraising through entertainment industry efforts. As a staple in the community, Stix has formed deep-rooted community relationships, building bridges from the community to some of its professional teams such as the Rams, LA Clippers, and LAFC.
"We provide financial literacy, entrepreneurship, climate justice initiatives, social impact initiatives, and sports programming," said Stix, founder of the Think Watts Foundation. "It takes a piece of everything to provide true change and impact those who need the change."
Think Watts is responsible for a wide array of programming such as free financial literacy courses, a weekly meal program that feeds hundreds of Watts residents, and entrepreneurship training. Think Watts is embarking on a new development, the Think Watts HQ headquarters, which will be a hub where residents can receive access to resources and tools such as entrepreneurship assistance, sewing and printing machines to manufacture clothing, a music studio, office space and desks, a coding classroom, and an outdoor soccer/basketball court.
For the third consecutive year, a Watts native, rapper and producer, Stix, teamed up with the Rams to address social injustices. In 2020, Stix produced an original song titled "It Takes All Of Us," which was one of the phrases highlighted by the NFL for its continued commitment to social justice. Rams team captains selected the phrase to be on the helmet sticker for the 2020 season. The music video, filmed in Inglewood, Watts, and South Los Angeles, debuted during the Rams virtual Kickoff for Charity event. All proceeds that were generated from the event supported the team's efforts to help bridge the digital divide disproportionately impacting under-resourced students in Los Angeles. Additionally, the Rams and Stix produced a PSA featuring players reading an original spoken-word piece written by Stix. The PSA debuted before the opening game at SoFi Stadium against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday Night Football. Last season, the Rams partnered with Stix, Sisters of Watts, Eastside Riders, and the Watts Rams to host a holiday distribution event for families in need.
To learn more about Rams' community efforts, please visit www.therams.com/community.