By Dayna O’Gorman // @DaynaOG
The NFL has had a lot of press, good and bad, this season regarding players protesting for equality for all. Many players were, and some still are, kneeling during the anthem. The players of the Seattle Seahawks decided they would take their dedication to equality a step further.
The Seahawks, wide receiver Doug Baldwin and many other players and coaches decided to start the Equality & Justice for All Action Fund. It was designed to “create lasting change and build a more compassionate and inclusive society.” They decided they wanted not just to protest inequality, but to work toward changing it.
— Seattle Seahawks (@Seahawks) September 29, 2017
In a quick 3 months, the fund raised around $1 million. The first action the fund decided to take was to award grants to seven non-profit organizations whose focus was justice and equality issues. This week, those organizations were chosen and awarded their grants.
The winners of the grants are Being Supportive Through Supportive Transitions , Not This Time, SafeFutures Youth Center, YUIR and EPIC – American Friends Service Committee, FEEST, Team Child, and Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission. Each organization will receive between $15,000 to $25,000.
The Seattle Foundation helped the team put together a list of organizations that could benefit from the grants. They wanted the organizations to not only be focused on social issues but leadership and education. However, it is not an accident that many of these organizations deal with the relationship between the public and the police force.
Baldwin, the son of a police officer, said it was a big part of the project to help build a bridge between the groups. “One of the main things we set out to do was to bridge that gap, to heal that wound. A number of these organizations do just that.”
Funds were raised by donations from general manager John Schneider, the team, coaches, players, and fans, along with the Starbucks Foundation, the Nadella Family Trust, the Carroll Family Foundation, and Paul G. Allen Philanthropies.
Donations are still being taken through the team’s website. They are hoping to continue these grants into next year and for the forseeable future.
Follow Dayna on Twitter // @DaynaOG