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DOING OUR PART
The Kraft family and New England Patriots players have always been committed to serving our local communities in a multitude of ways. Social justice work has often been at the forefront of our combined efforts.
In June 2020, the Kraft family announced the creation of the Kraft Family/Patriots Player Collaborative Fund that will distribute $100,000 per month for 10 months to local organizations fighting for equity, working to end systemic racism and creating meaningful change in the community. The recipients will be chosen by the Kraft family in collaboration with Patriots players.
Similarly, beginning in 2018, Patriots players formed the New England Patriots Players Social Justice Fund which is renewed and funded annually by players, with ownership contributing $250,000 annually. Since the fund was formed, more than $900,000 has been donated to local organizations, initiatives, and members of our community. The 2020 Player Social Justice Fund will launch at the start of the season.
Listed below is a sampling of just a few of the social justice initiatives that Patriots players and the Kraft family have supported in recent years.
Bill Belichick to wear patch honoring first Black NFL coach Fritz Pollard
Coach Bill Belichick honored Hall of Famer and trailblazer Fritz Pollard during the Patriots Season Opener on Sunday, September 13.
Matthew Slater, Brian Hoyer speak to on-going conversations about racism
Matthew Slater and Brian Hoyer are the latest Patriots to weigh in on the on-going conversations about racism in this country as athletes across leagues continue to speak up. After months of protests and conversations about racism, Slater and Hoyer both said as a team, they've talked in-depth about the state of the world.
Greater Boston Legal Services
Every year Greater Boston Legal Services helps more than 10,000 low-income families and individuals secure the most basic necessities of life: shelter, safety, food, and stability. Greater Boston Legal Services received the July 2020 Kraft Family/Patriots Player Collaborative Fund $100,000 grant to fund an advocate at GBLS who will provide direct support to over 100 families facing eviction.
Brandon Copeland poses challenge to media: hold each other accountable
Brandon Copeland challenged media members to hold themselves accountable in their storytelling and be mindful of the stories they tell.
James White, Devin and Jason McCourty share thoughts in wake Kenosha shootings
Devin McCourty, Jason McCourty, and James White were not scheduled to speak to the media on Thursday but did so specifically to address the racism, police brutality, and inequities that have dominated conversations this year.
Be the Change Voter Registration
In partnership with Be The Change and Rock the Vote, Willie McGinest hosted an event at Roxbury Community College with several other Patriots Alumni to encourage members of the community to register to vote and check their registration status. Patriots owner Robert Kraft joined his former players in support.
Julian Edelman Responds to Anti-Semitic Post
In the wake of DeSean Jackson's anti-Semitic posts on Instagram, Julian Edelman offered a message of "compassion, empathy and love" in a video shared on social media. Edelman also invited Jackson to have an open conversation on anti-Semitism and the Black Lives Matter movement.
"Do Your Part" Patriots All-Access Special
On Friday, June 26, WBZ aired a special edition of Patriots All Access which featured an unfiltered dialogue with Patriots players, coaches, and personnel staff on issues of race, equality, and social justice. The show is available to watch now on Patriots.com.
Scholar Athletes was founded to build equity by closing opportunity gaps. Their programs leverage the power of sports to cultivate the discipline, confidence and social-emotional skills needed to support success in school as well as in life. They partner with under-resourced communities and school districts to serve thousands of young people across Massachusetts each year. James White participated in Scholar Athlete's 2020 Fundraising Gala Livestream in June.
The Patriots closed their offices on Friday, June 19 in recognition of Juneteenth, the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. The team also posted the following video on their social media platforms.
Boston Uncornered strives to transform neighborhoods through education by ending generational cycles of urban poverty, violence and lack of opportunities. Devin McCourty was honored as the 2020 Uncornered Champion for his work with them over the past year. Boston Uncornered was a 2019 NEP Player Social Justice Fund grant recipient and also received a $100,000 grant from the Kraft Family/Patriots Player Collaborative Fund in June 2020.
Kraft Family Commits $1 Million to Social Justice Causes
In June 2020, the Kraft family announced the creation of the Kraft Family/Patriots Player Collaborative Fund that would distribute $100,000 per month for 10 months to local grassroots organizations fighting for equity, working to end systemic racism and creating meaningful change in the community. The recipients will be chosen by the Kraft family in collaboration with Patriots players.
The BASE combines exceptional athletic training and competition with education and career resources to empower student-athletes to achieve their full potential both on and off the field. The BASE envisions shifting the national mindset and re-imagining pathways to success for urban youth by acting our way into a new way of thinking, not thinking our way into a new way of acting. The BASE was a Catalyst Gift recipient in October 2019 and June 2020.
About Fresh's mission is to strengthen communities by getting fresh food to the households that need it most through their Fresh Truck and Fresh Connect. Fresh Truck operates retrofitted school buses as mobile markets bringing fresh food to neighborhoods across Boston. Fresh Connect is a platform that enables healthcare providers to connect patients to the food they need to be healthy. About Fresh's "Fresh Box" initiative was supported by the NEP Players Social Justice Fund during the 2020 pandemic.
In the years since founding in 2012, Empowerment Plan has evolved from an idea in a college class into an internationally recognized workforce development organization. By pairing full-time employment with a wide range of supportive services, we have helped dozens of individuals achieve financial stability and independence for the whole family. For the past five winters, the Patriots Foundation has supported the Empowerment Plan by purchasing winter coats to distribute to shelters all across New England.
The mission of the REFORM Alliance is to dramatically reduce the number of people who are unjustly under the control of the criminal justice system – starting with probation and parole. The RERORM Alliance will leverage their considerable resources to change laws, policies, hearts and minds. Robert Kraft is a founding partner of REFORM which launched January 2019. The Patriots hosted a VIP game day experience for 50 children through REFORM in December 2019.
MissionSAFE's mission is to work with Boston's highly at-risk youth and their families to gain the skills and confidence to thrive, not just survive, and to improve their community and their world. Jonathan Jones hosted a group of teens to a holiday shoe giveaway through his Next Step Foundation.
College Behind Bars
College Behind Bars, a four-part PBS documentary film that tells the story of a small group of incarcerated men and women struggling to earn college degrees and turn their lives around in one of the most rigorous and effective prison education programs in the United States – the Bard Prison Initiative. Devin and Jason McCourty showed their support of this by hosting the premiere and a panel discussion on the documentary.
Mattapan Teen Center
The Mattapan Teen Center is a branch of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston focused on helping the community of Mattapan. Among the multitude of programs offered are education, leadership and character development, life skills, and sports and recreation. Through his Wise Up Foundation, Deatrich Wise hosted his first inaugural Mattapan Block Party in the fall of 2019. Food trucks, barbers and hair braiders lined the streets for local families.
Boston Healthcare for the Homeless
Since 1985, the mission of Boston Healthcare for the Homeless has remained the same: to provide or assure access to the highest quality health care for all homeless individuals and families in the greater Boston area. They believe it has been and continues to be medicine that matters. Boston Healthcare for the Homeless was a 2019 NEP Player Social Justice Fund grant recipient.
Commonwealth Kitchen's mission is to build a new food economy grounded in racial, social and economic justice by strengthening the capacity, connections, and collective power of diverse entrepreneurs to start and grow successful food businesses. Commonwealth Kitchen was a 2019 NEP Player Social Justice Fund grant recipient.
Roca's mission is to be a relentless force in disrupting incarceration and poverty by engaging the young adults, police, and systems at the center of urban violence in relationships to address trauma, find hope, and drive change. Roca's theory of change is that young people, when re‐engaged through positive and intensive relationships, can change their behaviors and develop life, education, and employment skills to disrupt the cycles of poverty and incarceration. ROCA was a Catalyst Gift recipient in July 2019. ROCA was also a 2019 NEP Player Social Justice Fund grant recipient.
Boston PAL seeks to foster a culture of trust and respect between the community and the Boston Police Department through programs that promote character development, improve educational outcomes, and reduce crime. Their program "We Belong" is empowering inner-city youth to be leaders of tomorrow through public service education, community service and outreach. This leadership program provides challenging experiences to high school juniors and seniors to develop leadership skills, explore future careers, and become productive members of their communities. We Belong was a 2019 NEP Player Social Justice Fund grant recipient.
Enjoy Life Education
Enjoy Life Education is an organization committed to empowering leadership in teens and athletes. They equip their students with the tools and positive community to be the best version of themselves and perform as resilient, confident, and vision-driven leaders. Players have used funds from the 2018 and 2019 NEP Player Social Justice Funds to send inner city youth to Enjoy Life Education's summer leadership academy.
The Center for the Study of Sport in Society
Through research, education, and advocacy, the Center uses the power of sport to foster diversity, prevent interpersonal violence, challenge racism, sexism, and heterosexism, and empower sport-based youth development networks to create access, opportunity and sustainable impact. The Center was a Catalyst Gift recipient in October 2019.
Boston Youth Wrestling
Using wrestling as a tool and motivator, Boston Youth Wrestling teaches youth to successfully overcome socio-economic challenges that lead to educational gaps, poor health and negative community relationships, imparting skills such as self-reliance, discipline, and commitment to others that apply both on and off the mat, in school and beyond. Boston Youth Wrestling was a 2019 Patriots Difference Maker of the Week award recipient.
At Crossroads, every young person has the ability to unlock their potential and positively impact the world. It is their goal to provide guidance, resources, and confidence to young people, while also showing them respect, friendship, and an unwavering commitment to help them transform into informed individuals and leaders. For the past two summers, Lawrence Guy has donated backpacks full of school supplies to Crossroads students through his Lawrence Guy Family Foundation. Crossroads was a recipient of a Catalyst Gift in June 2019.
Ron Burton Training Village
The Ron Burton Training Village (RBTV) is a reflection of the man who built it, lived it, and passed it on. Ron Burton Sr. had a dream to create a village where kids could come to train and attain personal growth. This year-round training program is strategically designed to develop and strengthen our youth, (spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and physically) so they are fully equipped to overcome challenges and excel in life. Robert Kraft and many Patriots players past and present have visited the RBTV to speak with their students and offer support. In addition, the Kraft family provides financial support annually.
Breakthrough Greater Boston
Breakthrough Greater Boston prepares low-income students for success in college and trains the next generation of urban teachers using a unique Students Teaching Students model. Through their six-year program, students gain a passion for learning and the perseverance and tools to succeed in college and beyond. Breakthrough Greater Boston was a recipient of a Catalyst Gift in June 2019.
Tech Goes Home
Tech Goes Home is an award-winning 501(c)3 nonprofit whose mission is to empower communities to access and use digital tools to overcome barriers and advance lives. With the support and backing of the city of Boston, TGH prioritizes low-income and underserved populations, including those without technology at home, the un- or under-employed, English language learners, and individuals with disabilities. Tech Goes Home was a recipient of a Catalyst Gift in May 2019.
GrowHope Foundation provides outreach, advocacy, volunteer service and funds to support projects that improve the lives of children and families. Every child and every family has the potential to succeed. GrowHope Foundation was a 2019 Myra Kraft Community MVP Award recipient.
Lynn Economic Opportunity (LEO)
LEO Inc. provides a safety net of services for at-risk, low-income families, stabilizing them for the short term while investing in a long-term, two-generation approach to education that promotes economic independence and family stability. They partner with individuals, children and families in Lynn, Lynnfield, Marblehead, Nahant, Saugus, Swampscott, and Wakefield to increase participation in programs that maximize their potential. Together they demonstrate that it is possible to break the cycle of poverty and move forward. Lynn Economic Opportunity was a 2019 Myra Kraft Community MVP Award recipient.
Bridge Over Troubled Waters
Bridge Over Troubled Waters provides effective and innovative services to runaway, homeless and high-risk youth, helps youth avoid a lifetime of dependency on social services, guides youth towards self-sufficiency, and enables youth to transform their lives and build fulfilling, meaningful futures. Bridge Over Troubled Waters was a 2018 NEP Player Social Justice Fund grant recipient.
Codman Square Neighborhood Council
The Codman Square Neighborhood Council is made up of residents and community partners seeking to improve living and working in Codman Square. It informs the community of opportunities to strengthen our health, families and neighborhood. It works to empower residents by increasing communication between the Codman Square community, government departments and elected officials to move Codman Square forward. Codman Square Neighborhood Council was a 2018 NEP Player Social Justice Fund grant recipient.
A four-year program beginning in tenth grade, Minds Matter Boston provides wrap-around services, including 2:1 mentoring, professional ACT and writing instruction, access to college-immersion summer programs, and personalized college advising, to ensure that promising students have equal opportunity to gain admission to, enroll in, and graduate from competitive four-year colleges. Minds Matter was a 2018 NEP Player Social Justice Fund grant recipient.
United South End Settlements (USES)
USES's mission is to harness the power of a diverse community to disrupt the cycle of poverty for children and their families. As families increase their income and assets, become more resilient and connect to a diverse network, they and their children are more likely to develop the necessary skills to disrupt the cycle of poverty. USES was a 2018 NEP Player Social Justice Fund grant recipient.
Friends of the Children - Boston
Friends of the Children creates generational change by identifying youth facing the toughest challenges and matching them with professional mentors who work in their schools, homes and communities to guide them to develop their greatest potential and achieve their goals. Friends of the Children Boston was a recipient of a Catalyst Gift in November 2018.
Formerly known as Operation Bootstrap, Pathways, Inc. has been an adult education provider on the North Shore for over 40 years. Today they work with adults who seek to learn or improve their English or obtain a high school equivalency, while planning out a career pathway leading to a job that pays a living wage. Our program integrates basic skills with technical and work-readiness skills, preparing individuals to be successful in the workplace or in further training. Pathways Lynn was a recipient of a Catalyst Gift in September 2018.
Hyde Square Task Force
Hyde Square Task Force's mission is to amplify the power, creativity, and voices of youth, connecting them to Afro-Latin culture and heritage so they can create a diverse, vibrant Latin Quarter and build a just, equitable Boston. We believe that communities are stronger when they create the conditions youth need to thrive. By harnessing the power, creativity, and voices of youth, they not only help them navigate the journey of adolescence but help youth become leading voices of change in their community. Hyde Square Task Force was a recipient of a Catalyst Gift in August 2018.
iD Tech Camps
In 1999, iD Tech Camps pioneered the very first tech camps for kids and teens. They have since grown from 280 to 50,000 students per year, spreading their Silicon Valley startup culture around the world and online. No other program has their track record of long-term student success, our passion, or our reputation as the world's go-to summer STEM educator. In 2018, Patriots players provided funding for students to receive scholarships to attend camp.
New England Center for Arts & Technology
The New England Center for Arts & Technology (NECAT) provides chronically unemployed adults with a pathway to stable, long-term employment in the food services industry through comprehensive technical and job readiness training and individualized support and employment services. NECAT was a recipient of a Catalyst Gift in July 2018.
De Novo provides free civil legal assistance and affordable psychological counseling to low-income people. Their services combat the effects of poverty and violence by helping clients and their children meet basic human needs for safety, income, health and housing. De Novo draws on the expertise of 140 dedicated volunteer professionals to serve their community's most vulnerable members. De Novo was a 2018 Myra Kraft Community MVP Award recipient.
EVkids empowers inner-city Boston youth with the skills and confidence needed to realize their potential. Two programs, EVkids Tutoring and EVkids Summer Camp, help low-income, academically vulnerable children and teens (grades 4-12) succeed in school and life by systematically strengthening core academic skills, organizational habits, and other life skills. EVkids was a 2018 Myra Kraft Community MVP Award recipient.
Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh launched Operation Exit in 2014 to give young people returning from incarceration a second chance to improve their lives by training for successful new careers in the building trades. Participants receive a stipend and individualized case management while they learn new job skills. They also have a pre-apprenticeship program, which provides skills training for 20 at-risk and proven-risk young men in order to guarantee placement in a trade career. Operation Exit was a March 2018 Catalyst Gift recipient.
Career Collaborative works to assist under- and unemployed adults with low incomes in building careers that change their lives and strengthen their families and the broader community. Career Collaborative works with young adults and adults in the Greater Boston area looking for quality jobs with benefits. They build a foundation for success with job readiness training and intensive support with job search and placement. Career Collaborative was a recipient of a Catalyst Gift in May 2017.
Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative
The Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative's (DSNI) mission is to empower Dudley residents to organize, plan for, create and control a vibrant, diverse and high-quality neighborhood in collaboration with community partners. DSNI was a 2017 Myra Kraft Community MVP Grand Prize Award recipient.
Boston Debate League
Boston Debate League's mission is to integrate argumentation and competitive debate into Boston Public Schools to develop critical thinkers ready for college, career, and engagement with the world around them. Robert Kraft surprised the Boston Debate League with a Catalyst Gift in January 2017 to be able to increase participation in the program.