Allen Park, Mich. – The Detroit Lions announced today a list of grantees for 2022 who will receive funding generated by the team's social justice initiative Detroit Lions Inspire Change.
Launched by Lions players and ownership following the conclusion of the 2018 NFL season, Detroit Lions Inspire Change will invest $468,000 in financial support through grants to seven Metro Detroit organizations this year.
During the 2021 season, Detroit Lions players identified focusing on youth, education, and criminal justice reform as key priorities for 2022 Detroit Lions Inspire Change funding.
LIONS PRINCIPAL OWNER AND CHAIRMAN SHEILA FORD HAMP
"We are proud of the continued commitment our players have shown towards making a difference in Detroit and around the country through the NFL's Inspire Change initiative. The conversations and actions of our players continue to create the change that is needed in our communities, to equal the playing field for all. The Detroit Lions are committed to carrying this work forward and continuing to partner with our players to be a part of the positive change in our society."
LIONS FB JASON CABINDA
"It is important for us as Lions players to understand who we represent beyond just game days. We represent Detroit. We have a true responsibility to give back and help lift the community around us. It means a lot to us as a team to continue this initiative and help these deserving organizations make a difference in our city."
See below for more information on the 2022 grantees.
Detroit Lions Academy
Detroit Lions Academy enrolls students in grades 6-8 that have faced challenges learning and engaging in traditional education settings. Students attending the Detroit Lions Academy directly benefit from the Detroit Lions' active presence within the community, including mentorship from the Detroit Lions Women's Association and players, gaining first-hand enrichment experiences, and participating in activities and programs facilitated through the Detroit Lions Foundation. Detroit Lions Academy will receive funding to provide wraparound services to help tackle academic and personal obstacles to help students get back to grade level.
Detroit Justice Center
Detroit Justice Center (DJC) is an innovative non-profit organization working alongside communities to create economic opportunities, transform the justice system and promote equitable and just cities. DJC provides desperately-needed legal services to Detroiters impacted by the criminal justice system – helping clients remain out of jail, hold onto jobs and stable housing, and keep their families intact. Recognizing the need for systemic solutions, DJC also facilitates Know Your Rights programming in schools to teach individuals about various types of police interactions and what rights they might have in each circumstance. Funding from Detroit Lions Inspire Change will support youth programming and "Know Your Rights" sessions.
Downtown Boxing Gym
Since 2007, Downtown Boxing Gym (DBG) has been teaching valuable life lessons to students growing up in Detroit's toughest neighborhoods – inside and outside the classroom and boxing ring. By providing mentorship, tutoring, enrichment programs, college and career readiness, socio-emotional skills building, and basic needs support (transportation and food), the organization creates a lasting impact that ripples out across the community. DBG currently serves more than 150 students between the ages of 8 and 18. Students come from 30 different zip codes and 57 schools across Detroit and nearby suburbs. Funding from Detroit Lions Inspire Change will provide college and career readiness support for DBG students.
Empowerment Plan aims to elevate families from the generational cycle of homelessness by hiring single parents from local homeless shelters and providing them training and full-time employment manufacturing sleeping bag coats for the homeless population. The organization also provides necessary resources for the seamstresses to continue their education, find permanent housing, and regain their independence. Since 2012, 95 individuals have been provided with employment at Empowerment Plan as seamstresses and 55,000+ coats have been distributed globally. The EMPWR Coat is a water-resistant jacket, which can transform into a sleeping bag and be worn as an over-the-shoulder bag when not in use. Empowerment Plan works with community organizations to provide GED courses, counseling, financial literacy classes, and professional development seminars for their employees. Funding from Detroit Lions Inspire Change will support Empowerment Plan's mission to provide full time employment and supportive services to help break the generational cycle of homelessness.
Family Assistance for Renaissance Men (F.A.R.M.)
Family Assistance for Renaissance Men (F.A.R.M.) is a non-profit organization focused on the rehabilitation and reuniting of fathers with their children. F.A.R.M. offers a five-part program to men in the metro Detroit area to assist them with barriers preventing them from carrying out their roles and responsibilities as father to their children. Additional F.A.R.M. services include Father Accountability Mentoring, Father and Child Relationship Building, Education and Skill Building Training, Legal Assistance and Child Support Help, and housing assistance. Funding from Detroit Lions Inspire Change will support expansion of mentoring services, relationship strengthening and child support assistance for single fathers.
Pure Heart Foundation
Pure Heart Foundation was designed to break the cycle of generational incarceration by providing support services that will strategically benefit the child of an incarcerated parent and family. Through Pure Heart Foundation, each child of an incarcerated parent has a chance to be heard, supported, and encouraged to navigate life despite their circumstance. Pure Heart Foundation has developed a program that will ensure children of incarcerated parents will perform at their best capacity. Funding from Detroit Lions Inspire Change will provide mental health programming to Pure Heart Foundation scholars.
Scholastic Book Fairs
Scholastic Book Fairs aims to help the most vulnerable school populations achieve book access and equity. Through a partnership with Scholastic Book Fairs, Detroit Lions Inspire Change will provide free books to youth in Detroit to help build their home libraries and encourage reading. The access to books during this pandemic through normal means has been closed off, which is why building home libraries is more critical than ever.