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Social Justice Initiative
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers Social Justice Initiative – a player-led program launched in 2018 – is committed to breaking down racial and social barriers while effecting meaningful change in the community. Spearheaded by an elected board of players, the program addresses local systemic issues in the areas of Police Relations, Criminal Justice Reform, Racial Equality, Workforce Development and Youth Empowerment while supporting the larger, league-wide effort towards social justice.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Players and Darcie Glazer Kassewitz Announce Year-Long, Player-Led Social Justice Initiative
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers Social Justice Initiative – a player-led program with monthly events focused on social equality – was launched by team leaders amongst a group of city officials, community dignitaries and law enforcement officers. As part of the launch, Buccaneers players, including Gerald McCoy and DeSean Jackson, participated in a training day at the Tampa Police Department's Citizens Academy, opening a dialogue between players and law enforcement to effect change in police relations.
Buccaneers Visit Abe Brown Ministries as Part of Social Justice Program
The Buccaneers visited Abe Brown Ministries' Ready4Work Hillsborough program to gain perspective and learn from ex-offenders trying to re-assimilate into the work force. A prevalent struggle for many individuals trying to gain employment after incarceration, attendees shared personal testimonies on biases they face and exchanged ideas with the players on how overcoming stereotypes plays a key role in socioeconomic progress and professional development.
Buccaneers Continue Social Justice Initiative at Tampa Residential Facility
Buccaneers players visited the Tampa Residential Facility, a 60-bed juvenile detention center, to meet with teenage residents receiving comprehensive mental health and substance abuse services. Inspired to offer support to local youths in need of guidance, the players hosted a physical education class and held small-group conversations to discuss making positive choices and developing leadership traits that will foster success.
Visit to Zephyrhills Correctional Facility Puts Things in Perspective for Buccaneers Players
In support of Abe Brown Ministries' Prison Crusade, the Buccaneers visited the Zephyrhills Correctional Institution, home to more than 400 incarcerated individuals. Aimed at gaining a fresh perspective on adults convicted of crimes, both players and inmates alike shared testimonies on how faith plays a role in their lives. The Buccaneers provided uplifting messages and, in turn, left the facility with a new understanding of how inmates approach daily challenges with purpose and devotion.
Bucs Players Provide Over 1,000 Meals to Bay Area Families Through 13th Annual Turkey Time with the O-line Event
An annual event, Turkey Time with the O-line is a holiday tradition that provides 1,000 underserved families with Thanksgiving meals. The last two years have seen over $70,000 in donations by the offensive line that are matched by the Social Justice Fund. Players volunteer their time and resources to the cause, which is mobilized through school pantries, mobile pantries and Feeding Tampa Bay's more than 550 agency pantries, to provide holiday meals to community members in need.
Bucs D-Line Delivers Christmas Surprise for Tampa Bay Area Youth
Each year, the Buccaneers defensive line partners with local youth agencies to provide a memorable holiday surprise for underserved children. Spearheaded by financial contributions by the players, with matching donations in recent years from the Buccaneers Social Justice Fund, the D-Line Delivers Christmas shopping spree and holiday party has become a signature player initiative that delivers a Merry Christmas to youth in the Tampa Bay community.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Foundation Matches $15,000 Gift for the USF Black Leadership Network
At the second annual BLN Soirée, an event recognizing scholarships that enhance the educational and leadership opportunities of African-American students at the University of South Florida, the Social Justice Fund announced a $15,000 donation to the Black Leadership Network – matching a donation of former Buccaneers tight end Jerry Bell, and his wife, Ruth. Originally named the BLN Bell Family Operating Scholarship, the matching gift helped create the BLN Bell Family Endowed Scholarship – providing awards in perpetuity.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers Foundation Issues $10,000 Matching Grant to the Mike Evans Family Foundation
At the Mike Evans Celebrity Golf Outing, hosted to raise funds and awareness for students from low-income families in need of financial assistance, the Mike Evans Family Foundation donated $25,000 to the University of South Florida to help fund need-based scholarships for students. In support of Evans' efforts to make a difference, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Foundation Social Justice Fund issued a $10,000 matching grant to Evans' foundation to reinforce the mission of inspiring youth and drive social change.
Bucs Sponsor Mayoral Inaugural Ball, Donate $50,000 to Hillsborough Education Foundation
At the Economic Club of Tampa's Mayoral Inaugural Ball 2019, presented by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Foundation, Mayor Jane Castor received a warm welcome from the hometown team with a $50,000 donation from the Bucs Social Justice Fund towards the Hillsborough Education Foundation. The donation, which will support Florida Prepaid College Scholarships for underserved students, aligns with one of the Social Justice Fund's main pillars: youth empowerment.
Buccaneers Players Encourage, Empower Youth at Hillsborough Detention Center in Social Justice Visit
To kick off the first installment of the 2019 Social Justice Program, 12 Buccaneers players spent their day off visiting the Hillsborough Detention Center, a facility which temporarily houses arrested juveniles awaiting trial. Led by Social Justice Board Members Ali Marpet, Donovan Smith, Carlton Davis and Bradley Pinion, the group shared encouraging dialogue and upbeat activities with more than 50 juveniles to help inspire the teens to pursue their diploma and follow a path to success.
Bucs Players Participate in Mock Trial with Hillsborough Public Schools Through Social Justice Initiative
In partnership with Hillsborough County Public Schools and Safe & Sound Hillsborough, an initiative created to align community leaders and transform the way local policymakers address violence, nine Buccaneers players visited the Hillsborough County Courthouse in downtown Tampa. As part of the team's social justice efforts, the group participated in a mock trial with middle school students to get a better understanding of the judicial system and learn about the increasing issue of gun violence in the Tampa Bay community.
Their Day in Court: Bucs Players Get Firsthand Look into Local Judicial System
A group of Buccaneers players sat in on bail and probation hearings at the Hillsborough County Courthouse to gain perspective on the criminal justice system. The firsthand look into many of the socioeconomic factors that heavily influence jailed persons in the U.S. provided unique insight for attendees and reinforced one of the core inspirations for the team's initiative: raise awareness of key social justice issues and create opportunities to initiate meaningful change.
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