FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The New England Revolution Players Collaborative Fund has donated $10,000 each to Inner City Weightlifting and The Center for Health + Justice Transformation as part of the club’s ongoing commitment to uplifting grassroots organizations leading the fight against inequity and racial injustice.
This marks the Revolution Players Collaborative Fund’s third bimonthly gift, funded by the Kraft family. The coalition Revolution players previously benefited Black Players for Change with an initial $20,000 donation in July, before following that with $10,000 grants to both Dress for Success Providence and Bottom Line Boston in September.
“Black Players for Change seeks to amplify the voices of those impacted by systemic racism and assist in providing equal opportunity to individuals and families affected by mass incarceration as they look to rebuild their lives,” said Revolution goalkeeper and Black Players for Change Co-Founder Earl Edwards Jr. “We recognize the important work being done by these two impactful organizations in Inner City Weightlifting and the RRC, and we are proud to work alongside them as they transform the lives of their participants and uplift their respective communities.”
Founded in 2010 by Jon Feinman, Inner City Weightlifting’s mission is to amplify the voice and agency of people who have been most impacted by systemic racism and mass incarceration. They work with people who were born into historical inequities that have had a generational impact on their families. Overcoming and persevering through these obstacles, participants at Inner City Weightlifting become certified personal trainers, who can then gain economic mobility and build personal relationships with their clients, bridging social capital. Trainers completed 7,430 sessions with over 200 clients in 2020. More information on Inner City Weightlifting can be found here.
“At the heart of ICW is community and respect - valuing a person’s history and context, honoring a person’s agency and voice. We often speak about opportunity, but opportunity isn’t always available if basic needs aren’t first met. The support from the New England Revolution will be used for increased employment of one of our newest personal trainers to provide income they can rely on while their client base grows,” Feinman said regarding the donation. “Additionally, this partnership goes beyond funding, it extends and merges networks, it grows a community where individuals can support each other, where people belong together.”
The Center for Health + Justice Transformation (CHJT) is a non-partisan organization whose mission is to advance health equity in the criminal justice system. CHJT envisions a criminal justice system that centers equity, is less punitive, and redefines public safety. That system decriminalizes addiction, mental illness, and poverty; prepares individuals and communities for reentry. Among many other initiatives, CHJT coordinates the RI Reentry Collaborative (RRC), which is a partnership that began in 2019 among four community-based organizations designed to serve people transitioning from prison back to communities in the Providence metro area. The core partner organizations of the RRC include CHJT, Amos House, the Nonviolence Institute, and the Reentry Campus Program. More information on CHJT’s work and the RRC can be found here.
“The generous gift from the New England Revolution will be used to support reentry services for Rhode Islanders including the coordination of support services such as primary and behavioral health services; training/education services, and workforce development. Additionally, funding will create inaugural New England Revolution branded reentry kits which will include vouchers /certificates for: travel to and from health appointments and job interviews, formal attire for interviews; food and other necessities, and use for securing short- or long-term housing,” said CHJT Executive Director Mavis Nimoh. “These funds will go a long way in transforming the reentry process for individuals, particularly our BIPOC communities who are disproportionately incarcerated. On behalf of the Center and the many individuals who will benefit from your gift, thank you, thank you.”
To read more about the Revolution’s C.H.A.N.G.E. platform, visit revolutionsoccer.net/change.
ABOUT BLACK PLAYERS FOR CHANGE:
Black Players for Change (BPC) is an independent 501(c)(3) organization consisting of over 170+ Black players, coaches and staff of MLS, working to bridge the racial equality gap that exists in society. BPC is committed to tackling the racial injustices that have limited Black people from having an equitable stake in the game of soccer and society. Among the many goals the organization strives to advance the attention on human rights inequalities from protest to programs, partnerships and policies that address systemic discrimination. For more information visit www.BlackPlayersForChange.org or follow us on Twitter and Instagram. #TogetherThereWillBeChange