The Green Bay Packers on Wednesday announced that the organization is donating two player-directed $125,000 grants, one to Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee and one to Sherman Phoenix, as part of the team's ongoing pledge to support social justice and racial equality in Wisconsin communities.
"When we are blessed, it is our job to be a blessing to others," said Packers safety Adrian Amos on behalf of the players' leadership council. "Our youth need our guidance and support. I am proud to be a part of a team who is willing to give their time and resources to help the communities who need it."
This is the third year the Packers and their players have financially supported the ongoing effort to improve their communities through programs that work to effect change in the areas of racism, oppression, injustice and inequality. In recent years the players have directed funds toward initiatives that reduce barriers to opportunity, through education and economic advancement, criminal justice reform and programs to improve police-community relations.
"Being a former Boys and Girls Club member growing up I feel a special connection to that organization," added Packers wide receiver Davante Adams. "Educating the youth early is essential for our future."
Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee is the city of Milwaukee's largest youth-serving agency and sees an average of 5,000 of Milwaukee's youth each day to participate in academic and recreation programming. The Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee provides safety and support during critical hours of the day, as well as meals, strong role models, organized athletics and access to the arts, all to build the community's social and economic fabric to ensure the academic and career success of each member. To learn more or to get involved, please visit www.bgcmilwaukee.org.
The Sherman Phoenix Project aims to foster change by transforming the eastern gateway to the Sherman Park neighborhood in Milwaukee into a safe, welcoming space that supports small businesses-of-color offering diverse foods, wellness services and cultural activities. The socially just and culturally rich real estate project provides mentorship and coaching to help entrepreneurs of color grow their businesses, generate jobs and support the local economy. For more information, visit www.shermanphoenix.com.
Packers President/CEO Mark Murphy and his wife, Laurie, will be matching the effort through a $250,000 donation of their own to social justice organizations: $100,000 to #ConnectMilwaukee, and $50,000 each to Maroon Calabash in Milwaukee, We All Rise in Green Bay, and Urban Triage in Madison.
"We have much work ahead as we move toward a more just society," said Mark Murphy. "The Green Bay Packers organization is pleased to support our players' desire to help their chosen organizations as they work for meaningful change. I'm very proud of our players – they are committed to making a difference in the state through their support of these great organizations. My wife, Laurie, and I are also honored to support a number of Black-led organizations that focus on changing long-standing racial inequalities in a variety of areas including education, internet access, housing and maternal and infant mortality."
ConnectMilwaukee is a Milwaukee Public Schools Foundation initiative that is raising $1 million to provide internet connectivity for thousands of MPS students so they can properly access remote learning. The need is especially important with the recent announcement that MPS will have a virtual return to the school year. With a just-announced matching gift challenge for the MPS Foundation, the Murphy's $100,000 donation becomes $200,000. More information about the program is available at www.mpsfdn.org.
Maroon Calabash is a Milwaukee organization which offers a community-based doula program. These doulas support Black individuals and families as they journey through reproductive experiences. More information is available at www.marooncalabash.com.
We All Rise African American Resource Center is a Green Bay organization whose vision is to create and help restore a vibrant African American community through uplifting, skill building, and intentionally targeting root causes of systemic oppression. More information is available at www.weallriseaarc.org.
Urban Triage is a Madison organization whose vision is to empower Black Families and Children by developing and managing life changing programming and mobilizing community resources to distribute to those most in need. More information is available at www.urbantriage.org.