Post by: Joie Adams, DeSean Jackson Foundation, 7/29/2021
Prior to reporting to the 2021 Los Angeles Rams’ training camp, NFL All-Pro, wide receiver, and Long Beach Poly alum, DeSean Jackson, stopped by Poly Tech to commend Coach Stephen Barbee for 28 years of impacting the lives of his Poly teams; and, to surprise the football team with cleats and a shopping spree to Champs.
Desean states that he most definitely had to check on the Poly Jackrabbits before he reported to the LA Rams’ training camp for this his 14th year, in the NFL. He often “rolled up” on the Jackrabbits unannounced over the years to inspire, motivate and the Jackrabbits. It is important for them to know he has a vested interest in their team and individual successes. “I made it out and I want them to make it out”, he says.
Several starters of the Poly Jackrabbits lost fathers, mothers, grandparents or friends before the season started; all of their lives were disrupted financially, academically and psychologically due to the Corona-Virus and, many of their families are unfamiliar or confused about the impact the California, Fair Play to Pay Act, will have on eradicating generational poverty, developing economic parity and strengthening families.
“Knowledge is Power”, states DeSean, ” I had Bill and Gayle Jackson educating themselves on the system, protecting me and helping me. I want to instill the importance and value of education as a tool for them to be the architects of their own destiny. I want them to maximize their potential to control and be successful in all aspects of their lives”.
Therefore, it was imperative for DeSean to “pop up” on the Poly Jackrabbits before he reported to LA Rams’ training camp.
Media and Photo Credits:
Permission granted by ABC7/KABC,, “In the Community”, Laurie A. Bossi
Stephen S. Barbee, Head Coach, Long Beach, Poly Tech
Gayle Jackson, President, DeSean Jackson Foundation
For new Rams wide receiver DeSean Jackson, his Los Angeles homecoming is bigger than football.
Yes, he gets a chance to potentially close out his career winning a Super Bowl in the Rams’ home stadium, in his hometown. But he is also afforded an opportunity to be closer to the community he was raised in, and by extension more hands-on as he continues to give back to it.
“For me, Los Angeles, California – being born and raised here in L.A., man, this is very personal for me,” Jackson said during his introductory video conference last Friday. “I felt like being able to have that upbringing and background from me being able to be raised here when I go all across the world, it’s like a demeanor you carry yourself with, it’s a swag you have. So, for me to be back here in L.A., man, I know the inner city very well. I come from that, and I just want to reach back and help pull people out.
Jackson has long maintained a connection to his West Coast roots even as the first 13 years of his professional professional football career kept him on the opposite side of the country.
He grew up in the Crenshaw neighborhood of South Central Los Angeles before attending Long Beach Polytechnic High School, but still gives back to both communities.
Last December, he teamed up with Packers tight end Marcedes Lewis, Titans linebacker Jayon Brown and former Patriots and Browns linebacker Willie McGinest – all of whom are also Long Beach Poly alumni – to donate $50,000 to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Long Beach. When the Cali Bears Youth Football Team – founded in 2018 and serving disadvantaged, inner-city youth in South Central Los Angeles – needed funding to save their 2019 season, Jackson stepped up with a $30,000 donation to cover uniforms, equipment, referees and venue fees to make it possible.
Jackson also hosted a youth football camp in Los Angeles in 2014 with the Crenshaw Colts, a local youth Pop Warner football league; and, held an inaugural DeSean Jackson Foundation youth FAST Camp, of elite performance skills, for 250 youth in Long Beach in 2019.
“The poverty, the slums, where we’re stuck at, we don’t really have the opportunity to get out of there and go see things different,” Jackson said. “So for me, I’m continuously in those areas to just help kind of change the mentality, from how we were raised and what we grew up doing, just to really be on some positivity going out and helping kids stay in school, stay off the streets, stay away from drugs and just really create platforms and opportunities for these young kids that have somebody to kind of lean on when they feel like they’re down and out and they don’t have no one to listen to or to get answers from. That’s kind of what I see myself bringing here to the city, is something I’ve already really been doing.”
Regardless of what those initiatives look like, Jackson ultimately wants to set an example for Los Angeles youth that their hard work can be rewarded, knowing how much of an impression it made on him at a young age through his older brother.
“Just to be able to have them know I’m here, to really give these kids the opportunity to come to training camp, to come watch us play and really see how it’s done,” Jackson said. “Because at a young age, my older brother, Byron (Jackson) played for the Kansas City Chiefs and he actually had a great relationship with (former head coach) Dick Vermeil. I can remember I was like nine years old, he took me to a training camp in Wisconsin and as a young kid to be able to see what it takes, how hard they work from really being in training camp in dorm rooms to waking up early in the morning, to having a full day where it’s nothing else but waking up in the morning, to eating breakfast, to going to meetings, to practice, to taking a lunch break, then going back to meetings, going back to practice, just being able to see that as a young kid speaks volumes. So, for me, I just want to be able to show these kids the hard work it takes.
“… I’m just excited to be able to show these kids what it takes. For me being who I am and the stature, like I say, I really think they’re able to like see and like, ‘Dang, like if he can make it, it gives me possibilities of hopes that they can make it.”
Live, Virtual Program A presentation by the Toronto District School Board’s African Heritage Committee, Jewish Heritage Committee, Liberation75, USC Shoah Foundation, and Peel District School Board was televised on February 25th, 2021, 1-2 pm
Surprise Guest Host/Student Panel Moderator Dr. Stephen D. Smith Executive Director Chair, USC Shoah Foundation
Special Guest Max Eisen Holocaust Survivor from the Greater Toronto Area
Special Guest Joe Wilson Jr Author of “The 761st “Black Panther” Tank Battalion in World War II, Son of Joe Wilson Sr, a member of the 761st Tank Battalion
Special Guest DeSean William Jackson CEO/Co-Founder, DeSean Jackson Foundation, Philanthropist, Entrepreneur NFL All Pro Wide Receiver, Free Agent
Special Guest John L. Withers II Author of “Balm in Gilead”, former UN Ambassador to Albania and Son of Lieutenant John L. Withers, a WWII soldier who befriended and saved two Jewish Holocaust Survivors
Students participated in this program (Grades 6-12) to explore how stories create the possibility to learn about themselves and others, and how we can affect change right now.
The 761st Tank Battalion was the first all African-American Tank Battalion in World War II. They were instrumental in helping defeat the Nazis as well as liberating several concentration camps. Holocaust survivor, Max Eisen, was in one of the camps they liberated.
Our world has seen an increase in Anti-Black racism and Anti-semitism. This conversation helped us consider what we have learned from history and witnesses to genocide; and, reflect on how that knowledge can help us take action to counteract hate.
Star football player Willie McGinest paid a visit to a Long Beach Boys & Girls Club last week and was so impressed by what he saw that he decided he wanted to do something a little extra for the kids.
That little extra turned out to be a whopping $50,000 check that McGinest gave to Don Rodriguez, CEO of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Long Beach, this week at the John and Alice Wallace Petrolane Center, on Lemon Avenue.
McGinest said the donation is coming from him and three of his friends, all former Poly High Jackrabbits like himself and now playing in the NFL: Marcedes Lewis, who is with the Green Bay Packers; DeSean Jackson with the Philadelphia Eagles and Jayon Brown with the Tennessee Titans.
“I reached out to each of them to help the Boys & Girls Clubs, and nobody hesitated,” McGinest said to a group of supporters and youngsters gathered in the gym at the Petrolane Center. “They all wanted to make a difference for these kids.” McGinest said he also has reached out to the NFL for a donation and expects the NFL to help but didn’t know the exact amount yet of its contribution.
The donations from McGinest and his friends came at the end of the Press-Telegram’s Let’s Play Ball drive asking readers to donate sports balls and other athletic equipment to benefit kids at the Boys & Girls Clubs in Long Beach. A final report on the number of balls and money donated will be in the Press-Telegram this weekend.
McGinest said he was especially impressed with how the Boys & Girls Clubs are helping kids during the pandemic with academic and athletic programs, including meals. “I was touched by all that the Boys & Girls clubs are doing, especially during this pandemic,” he said. “Long Beach is my city, and these kids need to know how great the city is and how the community is helping them.”
McGinest, who was 8 years old when he joined the Boys & Girls Club, said he learned teamwork at the club that helped him through championship seasons at Poly High, USC and the New England Patriots, where he won three Super Bowls. In 2006, he was inducted into the National Boys & Girls Clubs’ Alumni Hall of Fame.
McGinest also introduced the group at the Petrolane club to Yvonne Withers, mother of Marcedes Lewis, who grew up at that Boys & Girls Club spot.
“My son loved the Boys & Girls Club,” Withers said Tuesday, Dec. 22. “It kept him out of trouble. He was happy to give back and help out.”
Jason Brown, who grew up with McGinest and is the father of NFLer, Jayon Brown, said his son was happy to help out also.
“The Boys & Girls Clubs are doing a great job for kids.,” the father said. “I appreciate what they are doing.”
“It seems like this all in the family,” McGinest said to applause.
Gayle Jackson, mother of DeSean Jackson, of the Philadelphia Eagles‘, and President, of the DeSean Jackson Foundation, who also oversees her son’s vested in the Cali Bears Youth Football & Cheerleaders, which is based on Long Beach, extended DeSean’s sincere apology for not being able to attend the event due to his team obligations in Philadelphia; and, also wanted to applaud and thank Willie McGinest for reaching out to DeSean. “Long Beach and the kids in Long Beach will always have a special place in DeSean’s heart”, states Mrs. Jackson, “when Sunday Night Football comes on and the players are profiled in the starting line-up and proudly state their college, DeSean always says “Long Beach Poly Tech” versus the University of California, Berkley where he had a stellar collegiate career.
Also present at the event were Daysha Austin, president of the Long Beach Patriots, a youth football organization started by McGinest, with her husband, Long Beach Councilman, Al Austin; newly elected Long Beach school board member, Eric Miller; and Chork Nim, chief of staff representing newly elected Long Beach Councilwoman, Suely Saro.
“This is an exciting day for us and the kids,” Rodriguez said. “It’s great to see an alumni like Willie and his friends giving back this way.”
The crowd, smaller than usual because of the pandemic, still had plenty to cheer about and gave McGinest and his friends a rousing ovation.
Reposted with permission by: Joie Adams, DeSean Jackson Foundation.
Contact: Denise Gilley, The Webby Awards, Phone: (212) 675-3555, (email@example.com)
NFL 360: The LA Marathon: Nipsey Hussle wins 2020 Webby AwardDeSean Jackson, Producer
Los Angeles, CA
The Marathon Most Definitely Continues
NFL 360: The LA Marathon: Nipsey Hussle , featuring Philadelphia Eagle, DeSean Jackson, was named the best 2020 Social (Sports) Video, during the 24th Annual Webby Awards. The video was developed by the NFL Network, and narrated and produced by DeSean Jackson, who grew up in South Central LA with Ermias Ashedom (a/k/a Nipsey Hussle) an entrepreneur, rapper and social activist, whose assassination sparked an international movement for social justice.
“The NFL Network and DeSean Jackson have set the standard for innovation and creativity on the Internet,” said Claire Graves, Executive Director, of The Webby Awards. “This award is a testament to the skill, ingenuity, and vision of its creators.”
The video tops the shortlist for International Awards Honoring the Best of the Internet. Out of 13,000 entries from all 50 U.S. States and 70+ countries, and 2.5 million votes cast by 600,000 people in the Webby People’s Voice Awards—the 24th Annual Webby Awards is one of the biggest in its history.
The Webby Award is hailed as the “Internet’s highest honor” by the New York Times. The award was presented by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences (IADAS) and is the leading international awards organization honoring excellence on the Internet. IADAS, which nominates and selects The Webby Award Winners, is comprised of digital industry experts, including Instagram’s Instagram’s Head of Fashion Partnerships, Eva Chen, Director of Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society, Susan P. Crawford, actor; and, activist Jesse Williams, GE CMO, Linda Boff, Pod Save the People, host and activist DeRay Mckesson, Google’s Head of Conversation Design, Cathy Pearl, Fortnite Designer, Eric Williamson, HBO Digital Chief, Diane Tryneski, Los Angeles Laker, Isaiah Thomas, and DDB Worldwide ,CEO Wendy Clark.
Hailed as the “Internet’s highest honor” by The New York Times, The Webby Awards is the leading international awards organization honoring excellence on the Internet, including Websites, Video, Advertising, Media & PR, Apps, Mobile, and Voice, Social, Podcasts, and Games. Established in 1996, this year’s Webby Awards received nearly 13,000 entries from all 50 states and 70 countries worldwide.
The Webby Awards are presented by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences (IADAS). Sponsors and Partners of The Webby Awards include: WP Engine, Monday.com, Slack, YouGov, BASIC, KPMG, Adweek, Fast Company, The New Museum, and Social Media Week.
On Saturday, September 26, Team D. Jackson, which consists of Philadelphia Eagles’ All Pro receiver, DeSean Jacksons’ mother, Gayle Jackson, his sister, A’Dreea Jackson Clay, and her sons, participated in the Eagles’ 2020 Autism Challenge to raise Autism awareness and crucial funds for research. Due to Covid-19, this year’s event was virtual with ‘virtual teams’; and, all events were held at remote sites in 14 countries, with 3,000 virtual teams, and 284 fundraising teams.
Team D. Jackson donated $2,500.00 from the DeSean Jackson Foundation to the Autism Challenge. Gayle Jackson, President, of the DeSean Jackson Foundation, said that it was imperative that the Jackson family and our foundation participate in this year’s event to leverage the platform that we have been blessed with to raise Autism Awareness especially in the Black and Brown communities. Unfortunately, Covid-19 impeded our ability to develop and execute a aggressive fundraising campaign. However, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) has reported that approximately 1 in 54 children, in the U.S is diagnosed with an Autism spectrum disorder (ASD); 1 in 34 boys identified with autism; 1 in 44 girls identified with Autism; 31% of Autistic children have an intellectual disability; Autism affects all ethnic and socio-economic groups; minority groups tend to be diagnosed later in life and less often; early intervention affords the best opportunity to support healthy development and deliver benefits across the lifespan; and, there is no medical detection for autism. Therefore, our family was extremely grateful to the Eagles’ Autism Foundation staff for developing this virtual platform so we could participate and also be in compliance with Corona Virus mandates.
Jackson also stated that as communities around the world are continuing to observe physical distancing measures, in order to prevent spread of Covid-19, many schools and businesses remain closed. Autistic children may not understand why their daily routine is changing, which may lead to stress, frustration, anxiety. The emotional triggers can exacerbate the effects of Autism and may lead to more severe behavioral and communication problems; and, severely restricted access to vital educational and early intensive behavioral intervention. Therefore, Team D. Jackson wanted to use this platform to raise awareness to the impact Covid-19 has on those with Autism and their caregivers and loved ones.
The Jacksons also wanted to use this platform to invite medical researchers to apply for the 2020 Eagles’ Autism Foundation grant funding to support basic and clinical autism research, studies concentrating on affected individuals and families, and diverse model systems. Grant deadline is Friday, October 16th.
# # # #
More About the 2020 Eagles’ Autism Challenge:
The Eagles Autism Foundation has announced that the 2020 Eagles Autism Challenge, presented by Lincoln Financial Group, raised more than $3 million for autism research and care, thanks to donors from 14 countries, nearly 3,000 virtual participants and 284 fundraising teams. One hundred percent of the participant-raised funds will be directed to groundbreaking autism research and programs.
Originally scheduled for May 16, 2020, the Eagles Autism Challenge was re-scheduled to Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020 due to the Covid-19 Pandemic. [The event – made famous by its signature Wawa Junior 10-Mile Ride, Wawa Short 30-Mile Ride, Wawa Classic 50-Mile Ride, Five Below 5K Run/Walk and Five Below Sensory Walk – was moved to an all-virtual format where participants were encouraged to complete their selected course from home and share photos on social media using #EaglesAutismChallenge.]
“I am so deeply thankful and inspired by everyone who joined us virtually and supported our efforts from home this weekend,” said Jeffrey Lurie, Philadelphia Eagles. “As we clearly saw on Friday, Saturday and throughout these past few months, nothing is going to stop us from funding the most innovative autism research and programs around the world. When we work together, the possibilities are endless. Raising more than $3 million, and nearly $10 million over the first three years of the Eagles’ Autism Challenge, is an incredible accomplishment and a direct result of everyone’s generosity, participation and enthusiasm.”
The weekend commenced with a virtual kickoff party on Friday night featuring some very special guests, including NFL Pro Football Hall of Famer and Eagles’ Legend, Brian Dawkins, to celebrate in the pre-event festivities with participants. On Saturday, a post-ride celebration was held virtually to recognize everyone’s accomplishments and highlight top fundraisers.
More About The Eagles’ Autism Foundation
The Philadelphia Eagles’ Autism Foundation, which was founded by Jeffrey Lurie, Philadelphia Eagles, CEO, with Lurie’s vision to bring people together to support the autism community, has raised more than $9 million for cutting-edge autism research and programs since 2018. The Eagles Autism Challenge sets out to fund innovative research, drive scientific breakthroughs and provide critical resources, all in an effort to create a major shift from awareness to action. Through fundraising efforts associated with the Eagles’ Autism Foundation, a total of 25 research projects and community grants have been funded for exploratory work in the field of autism since 2018.
The Eagles Autism Challenge is dedicated to raising funds for innovative research and programs to help unlock the mystery of autism. By providing the necessary resources to doctors and scientists at leading institutions, we will be able to assist those currently affected by autism as well as future generations. Our event aims to inspire and engage the community, so together, we can provide much needed support to make a lasting impact in the field of autism.
At the Eagles, we take our responsibility to the community very seriously and look for how to best leverage our brand and ability to bring people together in order to drive critical resources and funding to autism. We want to give a voice to families who live with autism – the ones who are out there every day advocating, promoting, supporting and seeking out opportunities for their loved ones.
2020 Eagles’ Autism Foundation Grant Application Process
The Eagles’ Autism Foundation is inviting researchers to apply for grant funding to support basic and clinical autism research, studies concentrating on affected individuals and families, and diverse model systems.
The 2020 Eagles’ Autism Foundation Request for Application process will fund two-year pilot grants that demonstrate substantial published or preliminary data signifying that a strong scientific premise supports the study under review. Researchers interested in applying for a pilot grant are encouraged to submit a Letter of Intent to the Eagles’ Autism Foundation by Friday, Oct. 16, 2020. Once all research proposals have been fully vetted and approved by an independent scientific advisory board, a funding pool of more than $3 million – raised by the 2020 Eagles Autism Challenge – will be distributed and allocated to the principal investigators.
For More Information: Please contact – Eagles’ Autism Foundation, One Nova Care Way, Philadelphia, PA 19145, (215) 339-6790
DeSean Jackson, of the Philadelphia Eagles, sends his sincere congratulations to Donovan Troy, a 2020 high school graduate from Metro Atlanta, who matriculated at the University of West Georgia this week. Jackson states that he is extremely proud of Donovan’s accomplishments despite adversity; and, commends Donovan’s parents for the integral role they play. “Family is first and foremost in everything”, states Jackson, “including life in order for us to be empowered and fulfill our destiny”.
DeSean Jackson met the Donovan family in 2012 when the Make-A-Wish foundation honored a wish from Troy Donovan, a 10-year-old, to spend a day with his idol Philadelphia Eagles‘ wide receiver, DeSean Jackson.
One month after he was born, Donovan Troy was diagnosed with a life-threatening form of sickle-cell anemia. Donovan had to avoid situations that could exacerbate his condition, such as being outside in extreme heat, or even swimming. Football specifically was discouraged, especially after Donovan’s spleen was removed when he was a toddler. Donovan needed monthly blood transfusions. Contact sports could create serious complications. Donovan’s uncle, Cedric, was 32 when he died from the same condition. But Donovan loved football, and while his parents wanted to protect him, they also didn’t want him spending his whole life in hospitals. How the youngster from Atlanta became a fan of the thirteen-year wide receiver from Philadelphia remains a mystery to his family. “My husband and I were born and raised in Atlanta; so, we’re both natives, but he is not a Falcons fan at all,” Tara said. “He loves DeSean Jackson. He always talks about how fast DeSean Jackson is.”
Over the years, Tara Troy has continued to keep DeSean Jackson and his mother, Gayle, informed of Donovan’s accomplishments and also extended the unwavering support for DeSean. It began with Donovan’s wish and has developed into an “extended family”.
– Joie Adams, DeSean Jackson Foundation
Photo Credits: Tara Donovan, 08/2020.
Donovan Troy (Center) 2020 KS Duke Foundation Honoree
Donovan Troy, University of West Georgia, 2020 Freshman Move-In Day
Diagnosed as an infant with a hematologic disorder, 10-year-old Donovan was told he wouldn’t be able to play sports. But he beat the odds, and his love for football and the Philadelphia Eagles made DeSean Jackson his hero, and his wish.
More About Make-A-Wish:
“My Wish” is a collaborative effort with Make-A-Wish that chronicles the granting of unique sports-related wishes for children with life-threatening medical conditions.
Make-A-Wish® grants the wish of a child diagnosed with a life-threatening medical condition in the United States and its territories, on average, every 38 minutes. We believe that a wish experience can be a game-changer. This one belief guides us. It inspires us to grant wishes that change the lives of the kids we serve.
Learn more about how you can help grant wishes at wish.org
This Thursday, August 6th, is the 55th anniversary of the passage of the Voting Rights Act (VRA) of 1965, which protected people of color from laws that created barriers to voting.
Civil rights leaders like Rep. John Lewis were critical to passing the VotingRights Act after marching 50 miles from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama to demand an end to voter discrimination against Black people. In 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the heart of the VRA resulting in states reverting to discriminatory practices restrictive to the voting rights of people of color.
On August 6th, to honor the anniversary of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, the life and legacy of Rep. John Lewis, and the work ahead to make sure every eligible voter has equal access to the ballot box, we are hosting a Voting Rights Action Call at 8pm ET.
Our partners at the Brennan Center for Justice and the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights will join us to discuss the critical work they’re doing to combat voter suppression and protect the voting rights of Americans in every election. We’ll also discuss the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act and highlight resources and ways that you can take action to ensure safe and fair elections this fall.
With less than 100 days until the 2020 elections, it’s now all hands on deck. Whether you’re joining us for the first time or you’re looking for ways to level up your work in protecting the right to vote this election season — you won’t want to miss this call! RSVP now >>
Thank you for all that you do,
DeSean William Jackson, CEO, DeSean Jackson Foundation
DeSean Jackson states that health professionals have rightly called racism a public health crisis and the Corona Virus pandemic has emerged as perhaps the most telling example of the impact disparities in healthcare in our nation’s history. While more than 138,000 people in the United States have died from from COVID-19 roughly 18% of them are Black, though only 13% of Americans are Black. Furthermore, in Philadelphia, Black people are disproportionately affected by the pandemic and have accounted for half of the 23,951 positive cases of COVID-19 and more than half of the 1,433 people who have died from the virus as of June 10th, while the city’s Black residents make up about 44% of the population. Yet, the city has failed to focus on serving the crucial for testing in the Black community and many Black residents face barriers to accessing the city’s testing sites. Therefore, DeSean Jackson deemed Dr. Ala Stanford’s Black Doctors’ Covid-19 Consortium a worthy recipient of the prestigious NFL Foundation Social Justice Players’ Fund grant for her social justice and humanitarian efforts.
Dr. Ala Stanford administers a COVID-19 swab test on Wade Jeffries in the parking lot of Pinn Memorial Baptist Church in Philadelphia, Wednesday, April 22, 2020. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
To date, Stanford and her Black Doctors’ Covid-19 Consortium have tested more than 5,000 residents at 22 triage-mobile testing events in partnership with Philadelphia’s Black churches. Roughly 96% of those tested are Black, Stanford said. “This whole enterprise came from a life of being Black in America and having to wait, of people telling you, “Be patient, don’t worry, help is coming. “I was tired of waiting for someone to save us.” Stanford said it costs roughly $25,000 a day to test between 250 and 300 people and with no vaccine available for COVID-19 in the foreseeable future it is imperative that the city provide funding to sustain BDCC because #BlackLivesMatter.
Gayle Jackson, President, DeSean Jackson Foundation has been advocating for additional support for BCDD. Gayle states that Dr. Stanford’s business model consists of the free COVID-19 testing, outreach to marginalized communities; and, a concierge-after care and wrap around service. This meets a critical gap in services because the vulnerable population BCDD serves needs assistance when a positive diagnosis is received; and, access to healthcare and resources for those afflicted, their loved ones and support for the caregivers. Mrs. Jackson immediately reached out to Julie Hirsey, Director of Community Affairs, Philadelphia Eagles, when Gayle learned that a bid BCDD had submitted to the City of Philadelphia for $6.9 million in funding for testing from the Center of Disease Control and Prevention to expands its operations and perform contact tracing was declined. [Philadelphia Eagles’ also have a Social Justice Fund.]
DeSean Jackson said the issue of the rejection of the Black Doctors’ Covid-19 Consortium bid raised his awareness and social consciousness to the City of Philadelphia’s longer-term failure to develop and cultivate an effective W/MBE system. [Women and Minority Business Enterprises]. For instance, in the 2019 fiscal year, business enterprises owned by people of color were only awarded 36% of the city’s contracts, amounting roughly $254 million, according to the city’s Office Economic Opportunity 2019 report. He advocated behind the scenes for a reversal of the city’s decision.
Status To Date:
On, June 9, 2020, Jim Kenney, Philadelphia Mayor, Thomas Farley, Health Commissioner; and, members of the City of Philadelphia City Council announced the commitment to provide funding to the Black Doctors’ Covid-19 Consortium during a news conference at Enon Baptist Tabernacle Church where BDCC was providing free Corona Virus testing. The $1.3 million city contract will last six months with the potential to continue the partnership.
On June 11, 2020, Dr. Stanford and the Black Doctors’ Covid-19 Consortium entered into a partnership with SEPTA, the 6th largest transportation system in the United States, to provide free COVID-19 testing at four transit stations, in Philadelphia. The partnership comes at a critical moment for SEPTA. The 9,500-strong workforce lost seven colleagues to the Corona Virus; and, nearly 300 employees have tested positive for the virus. While 60% of those afflicted have returned to work and new safety measures are in place, the region is in the midst of a re-opening that will increase risk for SEPTA employees.
On May 17, 2020, DeSean Jackson, of the Philadelphia Eagles, answered a plea from the Youth Art & Self-Empowerment Project (YASP) a grass-roots, community-based initiative, in Philadelphia, for financial support to address the impact COVID-19 has made on its daily operations; and, the critical social justice and criminal justice advocacy it provides.
Sarah Morris, of YASP, stated that Covid-19 and executive orders required the staff to work from home; and, the subsequent #BlackLivesMatter protests made it difficult to get to the office because of the peaceful protests and street closures. YASP was seeking a mini-grant for general expenses to sustain operations until they could return to their office.
DeSean Jackson agreed to award YASP funds from the 2019 NFL Foundation Players’ Social Justice grant for $5,000.00 that the DeSean Jackson Foundation received; and, DeSean also offered to meet with YASP in the future to learn more about their advocacy and how he may assist in furtherance of their mission. Ms. Morris advised that YASP returned to their office on June 22, 2020 and provided a picture of the DJF check.
Sarah Morris, Youth Art & Self-Empowerment Project
Youth Art & Self-Empowerment Project (YASP) Mission: Building a youth-led movement to end the practice of adjudicating and incarcerating young people as Adults. Through its work in the Philadelphia jails, YASP provides space for incarcerated youth to express themselves creatively and to develop as leaders within and beyond the prison walls. Young people who have been through the adult court system are at the forefront of YASP, leading the movement to keep young people out of adult prisons and to create possibilities for youth around the city.
YASP was a 2019 recipient of the Philadelphia Eagles’ Social Justice Fund grant for $10,000. The fund was established in 2018 to provide grants to organizations that work to reduce barriers to equal opportunity, with a specific focus on education, community and police relations, improving the criminal justice system and other initiatives targeting poverty, racial equality and workforce development in the Greater Philadelphia area. In just two years, the Philadelphia Eagles’ Social Justice Fund has provided area-based organizations with more than $858,000 in unrestricted general operating support.