Thanks to the NFL, Place4Grace and the Anti-Recidivism Coalition, nearly 30 kids received recorded messages from their incarcerated fathers.
During the 2021/2022 football season, the National Football League (NFL) and Cisco Systems partnered to address the digital divide for kids across the country. The NFL Inspire Change campaign is a year-round effort supporting social justice. The campaign is open to all teams and players.
The campaign is focusing on four key areas:
- economic advancement
- community-police relations
- criminal justice reform.
Social change initiatives are part of new effort
The Inspire Change Campaign includes a variety of social justice heroes, personally selected by players, based on their positive impact.
Since Super Bowl LVI 2022 was held at SoFi stadium in Inglewood, the NFL reached out to the Place4Grace and Anti-Recidivism Collation (ARC) to honor both organizations for their positive impact in California.
Who they are and what they do
The Place4Grace and ARC focus on restorative justice for the incarcerated, their loved ones, and communities.
The Place4Grace, founded in 2009, seeks to restore families. They do this while also advocating for children impacted by incarceration.
Their programs focus on:
- family reunification
- providing an environment for extended parent-child bonding time
To ensure communities are safe, healthy, and whole, ARC empowers formerly and currently incarcerated people to thrive. They provide a support network and comprehensive reentry services, while advocating for policy change.
NFL, non-profits helped kids see surprise messages
As part of the overall effort, the NFL invited Place4Grace and ARC to bring children who have participated in their programs. Attending the special event were 30 kids, ranging from ages 5 to 18. They toured the brand-new NFL Network studios across from SoFi stadium, where the Super Bowl kicked off just days later. The kids also spent time with NFL Network talent and filmed their own videos in the studios.
As a surprise, while in the NFL studios, the kids watched heartfelt messages filmed by their incarcerated parents. The dads shared messages of love and support, encouraging their children to stay on a positive path.
Part of the NFL’s goal is to ensure children of incarcerated parents have an easy way to stay in touch, while also helping them achieve academic success. Therefore, all children in attendance received laptops, printers, and mobile hotspots provided by the NFL and Cisco. These tools will help them succeed in school while also maintaining family bonds.
Watch the video messages below:
By David Maldonado, Deputy Chief, Office of External Affairs