ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — As part of the Denver Broncos' Inspire Change program, the organization announced on Thursday a $250,000-plus donation toward player-designated social justice programs throughout Colorado as well as individual players' local communities.
More than 30 players participated in the review, voting and selection of five Colorado programs and organizations to each receive $40,000 through the team's Social Justice Fund (Restorative Practices Program – The Conflict Center, Know Your Rights Training and Education – ACLU of Colorado, Colorado Freedom Fund, Second Chance Center and Second Wind Fund). These designated initiatives are in the focus areas of Education & Youth, Bail & Criminal Justice Reform and Community Mental Health Resources (more information about each recipient organization below).
In addition, five organizations selected by participating players and coaches have received a total of $52,500 through the Broncos' ‘We Stand For’ program (Boys & Girls Clubs of Acadiana, The Casey Fund, Denver Public Schools Foundation, The Justin Simmons Foundation and Uplift Organization, Inc.). Started in Week 1 of the regular season, 'We Stand For' provides players, coaches and staff the opportunity to use the club's digital platforms and financial resources to support non-profits working on social justice issues (more information about each organization and tie to specific player/coach below).
Broncos Inspire Change was launched this September following the team's players, coaches and staff engaging in extensive conversations as an organization. President & CEO Joe Ellis, President of Football Operations/General Manager John Elway and Head Coach Vic Fangio all participated in the creation of the program, which expanded programming in four key areas: Education, Awareness & Funding, Diversity & Inclusion and Activism.
The grant funding, as well as the donations to local causes important to the players through the 'We Stand For' program, make up the Awareness & Funding component of Broncos Inspire Change. Since 2018, the Broncos have directed more than $750,000 to causes and organizations selected by the players to make a difference in the fight for social justice.
BRONCOS SOCIAL JUSTICE FUND 2020 GRANT RECIPIENTS ($40,000 EACH):
Restorative Practices Program - The Conflict Center (Education & Youth)
The Conflict Center equips people with practical skills to navigate, transform and embrace everyday conflict through relationship building in families, schools, workplaces and communities. The Restorative Practices Program trains educators to change school culture related to discipline. The program reduces the school-to-prison pipeline by lowering disproportionately high disciplinary referrals, suspensions and expulsions of children of color, decreasing the odds that students will become involved in the juvenile justice system.
Funding will cover the cost for schools to participate in the three-course training and additional restorative practices throughout the community.
Know Your Rights Training and Education - ACLU of Colorado (Education & Youth)
Know Your Rights training and education is provided by the ACLU of Colorado, the state's oldest and largest civil rights organization. These workshops and speakers are free of charger for community organizations, schools and groups.
Funding will cover the cost to host workshops (virtually or in-person depending on COVID restrictions) throughout the Denver metro area.
Colorado Freedom Fund (Bail & Criminal Justice Reform)
Colorado Freedom Fund (CFF) is a revolving community bond fund working to end wealth-based detention via legislation, litigation and direct action (by paying cash bail). CFF helps to free Coloradans from pretrial incarceration.
Funding will be used to cover cash bail for Coloradans.
Second Chance Center (Bail & Criminal Justice Reform)
Second Chance Center, Inc. (SCC) is a community re-entry program and offers case management, mentoring, education and vital resources to assist formerly incarcerated individuals in reestablishing their lives and becoming successful members of the community. Services include: mentoring, cognitive restructuring, plan development, employment services, housing and transportation, addiction counseling, relationship counseling, fitness training and art therapy.
Funding will be used for services available to formerly incarcerated individuals working towards re-entry.
Second Wind Fund (Community Mental Health Resources)
Suicide is the leading cause of death for youth in Colorado. Second Wind Fund exists to help youth at risk for suicide access professional counseling services by removing financial and social barriers.
Funding will be used to provide therapy sessions and support to at-risk youth. This is the second time Second Wind Fund will receive a Broncos Social Justice Grant (first was in 2019 for $40K).
BRONCOS WE STAND FOR FUNDING ($52,500 TOTAL):
Boys & Girls Clubs of Acadiana (Wide Receiver Diontae Spencer)
The mission of Boys and Girls Clubs of Acadiana (Southern Louisiana) is to enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens. Spencer was a member of the New Iberia Club during his youth.
The Casey Fund (Defensive Lineman Jurrell Casey)
The Casey Fund supports community-based organizations that address the needs of at-risk youth and formerly incarcerated individuals. Co-founded by Casey and his wife Ryann, The Casey Fund continues to expand its programmatic reach in Nashville, Ten., Long Beach, Calif., and Denver.
Denver Public Schools Foundation (Running Backs Coach Curtis Modkins)
Denver Public Schools Foundation was established in recognition of the fact that public funds alone cannot adequately support the ambitious efforts to advance student achievement in Denver Public Schools. Coach Modkins' donation is dedicated to set students up for success while remote learning.
The Justin Simmons Foundation (Safety Justin Simmons)
The Justin Simmons Foundation is dedicated to mentoring young people, promoting the benefits of youth sports, supporting youth education and other charitable initiatives. It was established in 2020 by Simmons and his wife Taryn.
Uplift Organization, Inc. (Cornerback De'Vante Bausby)
Uplift Organization, Inc. is a homeless outreach program that delivers basic human needs, care and compassion to those in need. Uplift provides services in Bausby's hometown of Kansas City, Mo.