Philadelphia’s deadliest year on record took place in 2021. There were 562 homicides, a 13% increase from the 499 in 2020.
It has long been said that there is a correlation between poverty, lack of access, and violence, especially in Black communities.
As people of color — more specifically Black people — are disproportionately affected by the gun violence plaguing the city (80% of fatal shootings), the Philadelphia Eagles have announced an “End Philly Gun Violence” campaign.
According to a news release sent out by the team, they are “launching a targeted, multifaceted anti-gun violence campaign in conjunction with area-based nonprofits and the City of Philadelphia.”
Through the Eagles Social Justice Fund, 32 nonprofit organizations will receive $316,600 in grants. Some of the players involved include Shaun Bradley, Dallas Goedert, Brandon Graham, Anthony Harris, Jordan Howard, Avonte Maddox, Rodney McLeod, Miles Sanders and K’Von Wallace.
The funds are coming from one-to-one matching donations from the players.
The grants range from $15,000 to $1,000. They are going to organizations that address poverty, ending gun violence, education equality, workforce development, police and community relations reform, youth sports, mentoring, supporting formerly incarcerated women and parenting resources.
“It hurts to see so much heartache and suffering in our communities as a result of these senseless acts of violence,” said Eagles safety Rodney McLeod. “We are losing family members, friends, mentors, role models and future leaders because of the gun violence in our streets. No one should ever have to live in fear of going to school, hanging out at the playground, or just walking out the front door. Yet, for so many in our communities, they do. It’s been a privilege to work with city leaders and organizations during this process who are just as committed to ending gun violence as we are.”
On top of the Eagles Social Justice Fund monies, the team has partnered with the city of Philadelphia to create EndPhillyGunViolence.com, a website that will serve as a tool to provide young people information towards help.
“I am inspired by our players for the way they have leveraged the Eagles Social Justice Fund this year to address one of our city’s most concerning issues — gun violence,” said Jeffrey Lurie, Philadelphia Eagles chairman and CEO. “I stand with them in their efforts and am grateful for those who have joined us in helping to create safer, more equitable communities for all Philadelphians to live in peacefully.”
Since establishing the Eagles Social Justice Fund in 2018, over $1.6 million has been given to area organizations focused on education, community and police relations, improving the criminal justice system, and other initiatives targeting poverty, racial equality and workforce development.
The following organizations received grants:
• ACHIEVEABILITY $15,000
• Chester Community Coalition $15,000
• Education Law Center $15,000
• ManUpPHL $15,000
• Big Brothers Big Sisters-Independence $10,600
• 100 Black Men-Philadelphia Chapter $10,000
• Community Legal Services $10,000
• Drexel University Center for Nonviolence and Social Justice $10,000
• Face to Face $10,000
• FathersRead365 $10,000
• Frontline Dads Inc. $10,000
• Girls on the Run Philadelphia $10,000
• MenzFit $10,000
• New Leash on Life USA $10,000
• Pennsylvania Innocence Project $10,000
• Philadelphia Auto and Parole Inc. $10,000
• Philadelphia Futures $10,000
• Philadelphia Youth Network $10,000
• Police Athletic League of Philadelphia $10,000
• Sankofa Healing Studio $10,000
• Steppingstone Scholars $10,000
• Summer Search Philadelphia $10,000
• The Anthony Harris Foundation Inc. $10,000
• United Way of Delaware $10,000
• University of Pennsylvania Netter Center for Community Partnerships $10,000
• Why Not Prosper $10,000
• Youth Sentencing & Reentry Project $10,000
• Youth Service Inc. $10,000
• Change Our Future Foundation $10,000
• Philadelphia Youth Football Academy $5,000
• Strawberry Mansion Area Renaissance Trust Corporation $5,000
• Motivating Young Moms $1,000