ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — As February begins, the Broncos are continuing their push against systemic racism by contributing a $5,000 donation to The Denver Foundation's Black Resilience in Colorado fund on behalf of the team's Inspire Change program.
The BRIC fund, which was started in 2020, is somewhat new on the scene, but already it has granted almost $500,000 in investments into Black-led and Black-serving nonprofit organizations in the Denver metro area. Broncos players initially voiced support for the fund during conversations surrounding the team's Social Justice Fund donations last season.
In recognition of Black History Month and reflecting upon the history and accomplishments by African-Americans, the team decided to make the additional donation.
"I feel like that's a perfect initiative of trying to give back and [provide] help for the Black community," Alexander Johnson said. "… And it shows what Black Americans have had to go through, from the time America was started till now, where we've had to overcome so much. Obviously overcoming slavery and then after that, we've got systemic racism or systemic injustice that's brought upon or put over top of you that you've still got to keep fighting, still got to overcome at this time."
Just the phrase "Black Resilience" is striking in how much significance and weight it holds when considering the institutional powers and systemic obstacles that Black Americans and people of color have overcome and persisted through in centuries of slavery, decades of Jim Crow laws, segregation and other patterns of discrimination.
"Never giving up, going through everything that us as a race have went through and still coming out strong and keep fighting for what's right and what we deserve," Lloyd Cushenberry III said of what the phrase means to him. "We've came a long ways and we have a long way to go, but I know that we've got to keep fighting and keep being resilient, and that's just what this is all about."
The BRIC fund highlights five major emerging areas to address in the community: health, housing, job retention and transition, racial justice and youth. Among the issues or needs are racial trauma, COVID-related loss of benefits, involuntary housing displacement, access to housing for low-income people, access to living wage jobs, advocacy for racial justice, law and policy reform and youth-led programs.