As we come together to reflect and celebrate the significance of Juneteenth, the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States, we are reminded that our nation's 400-year war on systematic racism rages on.
Over the past several weeks, we have attempted to make sense of senseless acts. Our range of emotions continues to shift from grief, to confusion, to outrage in the wake of the heartbreaking incidents that occurred and continue to occur across the country. The killings of Rayshard Brooks, George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Riah Milton, Dominique Fells and many others serve as painful reminders of the inequity our black communities face daily.
As cities across America use their collective voices to shine a spotlight on the injustice that is, all too often, ignored, we simply want to say: We hear you. We see you. We stand with you. Black lives matter.
In an effort to support social justice and agents of impact, the York family has decided to take action. The goal is simple: measurable progress towards racial equity. On Monday we will launch a $25,000 to $100,000 per year for one or two years request for proposal to select organizations working on the front lines of change in our communities. The inaugural 49ers Social Justice RFP is rooted in the three core pillars:
- Racial equality in policing
- Ending mass incarceration
- Educational and economic empowerment for young black men and women
For nearly 30 years, the 49ers Foundation has proudly worked to fulfill our mission to educate and empower Bay Area youth. We remain committed to promoting a culture of respect, diversity, and inclusivity in everything we do. With your efforts, our collective voice, and the power of our global brand, we can make a difference.
As a black man, working over 15 years in professional sports, I am proud of this effort. I am encouraged by the work I see happening within the organization and the partners we support. The road will not be easy, the path not always perfectly illuminated – but we are walking it. We are walking it together. We are walking it today and every day forward from here until freedom rings for all. We got your back.