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Players Coalition Charitable Foundation Partners with Advancement Project, #FreeAndSafe Campaign

February 4, 2019

Since the beginning, Advancement Project National Office has taken a knee with Colin Kaepernick and the host of NFL players who have rallied against police brutality. In 2017, We also banned together with national allies to urge the NFL to change the name and mascot of the Washington team due to the ugly history. Like our mission says, we exist to fulfill America’s promise of a caring, inclusive and just democracy.

As such, because we are committed to public education and a strong local and national partner model, Advancement Project National Office is proud to announce our partnership with Players Coalition Charitable Foundation to support work around our new Free and Safe Campaign. Over the course of this year, we will support grassroots movements in targeted communities of color that work to challenge racial criminalization, attack all aspects of our unjust criminal legal system, and advocate against police in our schools – with the help of NFL influencers in support of racial justice and criminal legal system reform.

The Players Coalition Charitable Foundation announced the partnership in Atlanta in advance of Super Bowl LIII where a press conference was followed by an opportunity for members to talk to Advancement Project National office staff about our work and how we will work together.

“There are 1.6 million students in this country who have a police officer, but no counselor in their school,” said Advancement Project National Office Executive Director, Judith Browne Dianis said during the press conference. “Black students are three times more likely to attend a school with security and no mental health services. We are working to have our tax dollars reinvested in our young people to give them high quality education and the support they need to learn.”

Advancement Project National Office is one of six nonprofits to receive a portion of $2 million in grant funding from the Players Coalition Charitable Foundation. Other organizations include Year Up, Communities In Schools, National Juvenile Defender Center, Center for Policing Equity, and the Justice Collaborative Engagement Project.

Players Coalition Charitable Foundation was founded in 2017 by Anquan Boldin, NFL 2015 Walter Payton Man of the Year, and Malcolm Jenkins, 2017 NFLPA Byron “Whizzer” White winner and is governed by a Task Force Board of 12 voting members. Coalition members are solution focused and invest their time and resources into educating themselves on various issues affecting their communities in order to identify where their influence can have the greatest impact. Overall, their mission is to make an impact on social justice and racial equality at the federal, state and local levels by way of advocacy, awareness, education and allocation of resources.

In a sociopolitical climate that empowers people to spew hatred and a time where rhetoric to incite fear is used to support the building of literal and figurative walls, it is imperative that those doing work rooted in the great human rights struggles for equality and justice be heard. That is the work that the Advancement Project National Office does today and every day. As we approach our 20th anniversary, we are honored to move forward in our work to fulfill this country’s promise of a caring, inclusive and just democracy with the Players Coalition by our side.

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Gina Physic is a Senior Communications Associate at the Advancement Project National Office