The San Francisco 49ers unveiled on Wednesday the nine recipients of their most recent social justice grant initiative. Announced on May 30th following the tragic death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, the grant is comprised of a $1 million commitment to organizations creating societal change. In order to qualify for the grant, nonprofit organizations had to be focused in one of three areas: racial equality in policing, ending mass incarceration, or educational and economic advancement for young black people.
The two-month selection process included a review of each organization's proposal by 49ers ownership, front office staff including members from the Black Employee Resource Group and players. The final election of funds was determined by the 49ers representatives on the Players Social Justice Council, led by DL Arik Armstead, OL Ben Garland, DL Dee Ford, DL Solomon Thomas, OL Laken Tomlinson and former CB Jamar Taylor.
All nine organizations chosen, both local and national, make a positive impact on the Bay Area community every day. Those nine organizations are: 100 Black Men of the Bay Area, African American Community Services Agency, Californians for Safety and Justice, Dream Corps, Operation Hope, Pico California, SPAAT, The Innocence Project, and The Players Coalition.
"Simply put, if it were not for faithful support from invested partners like the 49ers, the 100 Black Men of the Bay Area would not exist," said Muhammad A. Nadhiri, Chairman of the 100 Black Men of the Bay Area. "This funding will be essential to the work we do to make a difference in the lives of the young men with whom we work. We look forward to this partnership with the 49ers organization and seeing all it can do to support our community."
"Thanks to the support of the 49ers, Dream Corps' programs #cut50 and TECH will work together to unlock opportunity into the tech sector for people who have been locked out of our economy because of a criminal record," said Nisha Anand, Dream Corps CEO. "While we work all across the country to close prison doors and open doors of opportunity, we are honored to partner with the 49ers right here in our backyard to combat racial injustice in all its forms."
In addition to the financial commitment, the 49ers have continued to focus on actionable items in recent months. This past offseason, 49ers players launched the video series Subject to Change, with the first two episodes focusing on race and police brutality, voter education and steps to take in the Bay Area for progressive change. Players also recorded public service announcements to promote Voter Registration, the 2020 Census, and Get Out the Vote. Internally, the franchise declared Juneteenth a paid organization-wide holiday.
The 49ers have been steadfast in their commitment to enacting lasting change in the Bay Area and beyond. In 2016, Jed York matched former QB Colin Kaepernick's million dollar donation to improve racial and economic inequality and foster communication and collaboration between law enforcement and the communities they serve in the Bay Area. The donation funded more than 10 deserving organizations on the ground in Bay Area communities.
"More than ever, actionable items and plans are of vital importance, so we are honored to support these nonprofits who are doing grassroots work in these crucial spaces. We are committed to creating real and lasting change throughout our community and country" said CEO Jed York. "We're so proud of our players and staff for the way they've responded and come together to influence change in tangible ways."
The grants will be distributed to the organizations over the next two years in an effort to provide both immediate and long term support to their work. The 49ers will also partner with some of the grantees for the team's weekly Community Tuesday activations beginning with a virtual Operation Hope and SPAAT on Tuesday, September 15th.