Los Angeles Chargers Grow Social Justice Footprint Through Expanded Partnership with Liberty Hill Foundation
The Los Angeles Chargers today announced an expanded partnership with Liberty Hill Foundation, a national leader in social justice. The partnership will feature several initiatives to continue growing Bolt Up for Justice – an overarching program within the Chargers organization that includes a player committee focused on social justice reform.
Bolt Up for Justice focuses on identifying meaningful ways the Bolts can support Black and Brown communities through funding, volunteer opportunities and messaging that drives change. The 2020 player committee, which includes running back Justin Jackson, safety Derwin James, defensive tackle Justin Jones, punter Ty Long, defensive end Isaac Rochell and quarterback Tyrod Taylor, meets regularly to dialogue with community leaders and identify organizations at the forefront of social and racial equity across the region.
"Expanding our partnership with Liberty Hill Foundation is another important step in our ongoing efforts to effect meaningful, lasting and necessary change," said President of Business Operations A.G. Spanos. "Our work with Summer Night Lights, Boys & Girls Club Metro Los Angeles and Brotherhood Crusade, among others, were important precursors to this moment. With an overarching internal program now in place and active involvement from players on the development and execution of these initiatives, I'm hopeful that our organization – which has always been a force for good in the community – can play a role in helping bring equity and opportunity to Black and Brown communities across the Los Angeles region."
Liberty Hill Foundation is the leading social justice foundation in Los Angeles whose mission is to leverage the power of community organizers, donor activists and other allies to advance social justice. Through strategic investment in grants, leadership training and campaigns, the Foundation seeks to build power in communities most impacted by systemic racism to achieve justice and equity.
When the country reached a tipping point following George Floyd's death, the Chargers began working with the Foundation to help develop a more comprehensive social justice program for the organization. The initial programing created by Liberty Hill included several Listen & Learn sessions with community leaders in Los Angeles for players. These sessions included an overview of the recent California ballot propositions and conversations with Rep. Karen Bass and LAPD Chief Michel Moore. Additionally, the Bolt Up for Justice committee autographed and auctioned off their game worn jerseys from the Bolts' season opener against the Cincinnati Bengals to support Liberty Hill Foundation.
"We are grateful for the support of the Los Angeles Chargers and look forward to partnering with the team to expand awareness of the racial and social justice issues facing Black and Brown communities in Los Angeles," said Liberty Hill President/CEO Shane Murphy Goldsmith. "The Bolt Up for Justice initiative will build upon the work we started with the team to amplify the voices of those with lived experience and highlight opportunities for mentorship and youth development."
The Chargers established a commitment to social justice early in the region through a seven-figure, three-year commitment to the Mayor's Fund to support the Office of Gang Reduction & Youth Development's Summer Night Lights program (SNL). The Chargers donation ensured the lights stayed on and youth sports programming remained free during evening hours for SNL, a proven violence reduction effort developed and executed in partnership with LAPD. Additionally, after conversations with several players, the Chargers directed $400,000 to the Boys & Girls Club Metro Los Angeles to renovate two multi-sport fields, establish two teen centers and develop a STEM program.
Now, through the Chargers partnership with Liberty Hill Foundation, Bolt Up for Justice will continue to build on a joint commitment to support community organizations that are working to transform the future for our youth and drive police reform. These efforts will be supported by the initiatives below:
Bolt Up for Justice Fund
The Chargers will match up to $250,000 in donations collectively made to the fund by players during the 2020 season. The Chargers and Bolt Up for Justice committee will decide together which organizations to support with the donated funds. The team donated $100,000 in November to Liberty Hill Foundation to help in the development of Mentorship Matters and the I am a Voice for Change Campaign.
Bolt's Mentorship Matters Program
The Bolt's Mentorship Matters program will provide the team opportunities to mentor youth and partner with youth organizations for a variety of activities which may include:
- Sustained mentorship relationship for players/staff and youth to support professional and personal development
- One-on-one player/youth virtual conversations
- Player and youth roundtable discussions on their experiences with the justice system
I am a Voice for Change Campaign
The team will produce content that highlights the importance of racial justice issues such as alternatives to incarceration, investing in youth of color through education, etc. Additionally, Liberty Hill will provide players with engagement opportunities based on the racial and social justice issues identified by the Committee.
For more information on the Chargers social justice programming, visit www.chargers.com/community/justice.