For Immediate Release
February 06, 2021
Contact Information

National Urban League

(BPRW) Urban Leaguers Will be "Fans in the Stands" As Part of Nationwide Partnership with NFL's Inspire Change Initiative

A Virtual Event, “Creating Positive Change in Communities of Color,” Explores the Challenges of Dismantling Systemic Racism and Expanding Economic Opportunity

(Black PR Wire) NEW YORK (February 5, 2021) -- When Urban League staffers and program participants tune into Super Bowl LV on Sunday, they’ll be looking for more than spectacular plays and creative commercials: they’ll be scanning the stadium crowd in search of their own faces.

As partners in the NFL’s Inspire Change social justice initiative, staff members and program participants in the Atlanta, Chicago, Jacksonville, New Orleans, Philadelphia affiliates and the National Urban League were invited to be “Fans in the Stands.” The “Fans in the Stands” fan cutout program aims to tell the stories and provide recognition to the heroes and fans (both in attendance and in cutout form) in Tampa Super Bowl Sunday.

About 70 Urban Leaguers submitted their photos, but they’ll have to wait until Sunday to find out if their photos were turned into cardboard cutouts that will occupy the stands at Raymond James Stadium.

“This is a fun aspect of a partnership that has had a dramatic impact on the people and communities we serve, and a creative way to shine a spotlight on the vital work this partnership is achieving,” National Urban League President and CEO Marc H. Morial said. “The COVID pandemic has upended so many lives, and the NFL is helping to put people on a path to financial stability and create stronger communities.”

NFL stars and Urban League affiliate presidents will join Morial and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell for a virtual event, Creating Positive Change in Communities of Color, on Tuesday, February 9th, at 6pm Eastern Time.  The discussion explores the Inspire Change initiative, the league’s ongoing commitment to reducing barriers to opportunity and advancing social justice,   and how it is helping the Urban League deepen its impact in communities across the country.

The National Urban League was awarded an Inspire Change grant from the NFL in January 2020. The  Since the fall, the partnership has allowed five affiliates to expand their Housing Counseling service that help homeowners and renters find and maintain affordable, accessible housing, and their Urban Reentry efforts that help returning citizens who leave the criminal justice system find employment and successfully re-establish themselves in society.

Job loss due to the pandemic has made it harder than ever for people in underserved communities to become homeowners or even remain in the homes they have. The National Urban League’s Comprehensive Housing Counseling provides a range of services that makes housing options more accessible and sustainable for African American and other minority renters, homeowners, and the homeless.

For many Americans, re-entering the workforce after a period of incarceration can be challenging. Communities of color, who are disproportionately represented in the prison system, are particularly hard-hit. The National Urban League, which has served formerly incarcerated adults for more than 50 years, created the Urban Reentry Jobs Program to address this inequity.

“The NFL and the NUL are committed to empowering communities struggling to overcome the economic challenge of the COVID-19 crisis, and the history of systemic disenfranchisement to individuals who need and deserve opportunities to move toward equality,” Morial said.

The National Urban League is a historic civil rights organization dedicated to economic empowerment in order to elevate the standard of living in historically underserved urban communities. The National Urban League spearheads the efforts of its 90 local affiliates through the development of programs, public policy research and advocacy, providing direct services that impact and improve the lives of more than 2 million people annually nationwide. Visit www.nul.organd follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram: @NatUrbanLeague.

Launched in 2018, Inspire Change showcases how NFL players, clubs, owners, and the league work together to reduce barriers to opportunity and advance social justice in communities across the country with focus on the following priority areas: education, economic advancement; police and community relations; and criminal justice reform. Learn more at