Vikings announce social justice initiatives team is focusing on amid 2020 season

Rebecca Omastiak
Updated: September 08, 2020 06:15 PM
Created: September 08, 2020 08:50 AM

Tuesday, the Minnesota Vikings announced the team is distributing $1 million to three specific social justice initiatives.

In June, the team and the Wilf family announced a $5 million donation to social justice causes throughout the United States.

Vikings, Wilf family donate $5 million to social justice causes

This $1 million portion of the $5 million total will go to the following:

  • Voter education and registration: The team is launching a video series to encourage fans to vote, as well as direct them to voting resources. The team is also planning to help obtain personal protective equipment for polling workers throughout Minnesota.
  • Educational curriculum on racism and Black history: This year, the Vikings will expand its existing 306 Black History curriculum from 12 to 24 schools, in the effort to reach thousands of students. The team is also planning to host a series of "Critical Conversation" sessions with state high school athletics programs to address the issues of racism and injustice.
  • Law enforcement and criminal justice reform: The team is expanding its partnership with All Square, which is a nonprofit with a focus on resources for the formerly incarcerated. The team will be contributing to the nonprofit's Fellow & Fellow Alum Fund.

Additionally, the team announced Mimi Kol-Balfour was the inaugural recipient of the team's George Floyd Legacy Scholarship. Kol-Balfour is a graduate of Southwest High School and will be attending Barnard College this fall, according to the team.

"It's going to take all of us, for real, like I said, it's not going to happen overnight but we have to do something, if you're doing nothing, that's not good enough," said Vikings linebacker Eric Kendricks.

Kendricks is one of the players speaking out to urge fan to learn more about their new social justice campaign and ways to get involved.

"I'm thankful that me and my teammates and the Vikings have been making major steps, we are doing things to try to help this, we're trying to get in the community, we're trying to reach people the best we can," Kendricks said.

Getting fans to register to vote is another one of the team's new efforts to bring about change in the community.

Vikings Be The Change

"As I've gotten older, I've realized how important that is in every city for us. As citizens with a right to vote, we need to make sure we get out and vote, not only for the elections but for the small ones that really have more of an impact on our communities," Vikings running back Alexander Mattison said.

"Sports has the power to create change," said Brett Taber, the Vikings executive director of social impact. "You'll be seeing more of our players speaking out and taking action — trying to be the change in the community that they want to see."

"We are proud of the foundation Vikings players have established over the last several years, actively engaging our community, but we are all aware of the imperative work that needs to continue," Mark Wilf, Vikings owner and team president, said in a statement. "We are unified in working to create meaningful and substantial change and believe these initiatives will help us move forward."


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