In a tribute to Black History Month, the Los Angeles Chargers are proud to celebrate the rich achievements of the Black community and acknowledge their impactful contributions throughout the month of February.
Through a series of engaging programs, the Chargers will utilize their platform to highlight Black excellence across various domains, including education, art, music, sports, and business. The team will collaborate with nonprofit organizations, local youth, and civic leaders for the following initiatives:
BOLTS BOOKS & ART HISTORY
The Chargers Impact Fund is set to host more than 40 young athletes from the Snoop Youth Football League, immersing them in the Bolts Book Club. This program, designed to cultivate a love for reading and enhance literacy rates, will focus on the intersection between football and civil rights. As part of this enriching experience, the youth-athletes will tour the Kinsey African American Art and History Collection Exhibition at SoFi Stadium, featuring works from acclaimed artist and former Chargers guard, Ernie Barnes.
Bolt Academy scholars, a collaborative effort between the Los Angeles Chargers Impact Fund, Inglewood Unified School District, and Brotherhood Crusade, will embark on a guided tour of the immersive and interactive Hip-Hop America: The Mixtape Exhibit at the GRAMMY Museum in Los Angeles. This experience will celebrate the global impact and influence of hip-hop culture.
A video series will take center stage, featuring the Compton Cowboys, Black Surfers Collective, and Crenshaw Skate Club. This exploration will delve into the unique and inspiring contributions of these organizations within the Angelenos community. Additionally, the Chargers will shine a spotlight on the achievements of African Americans in sports through a weekly employee spotlight and stories highlighting impactful former players, including legends like Jim Hill, Ernie Barnes, and kicker Herb Travenio.
"We believe diversity, inclusion, and the understanding of our country's history is important to remember and reflect on not only throughout the month of February but always," said James Collins, Vice President, Cultural Programs & Development. "This month we are focused on encouraging youth to seek knowledge and honor the contributions of the Black community. We are all one, and together we must build on that to bring forth a welcoming and caring nation where everyone feels like part of a community and all things seem possible."
While February is designated as Black History Month, the Chargers remain committed to identifying meaningful ways to support communities through funding, volunteer opportunities, and impactful messaging year-round. This commitment is evident through team and Chargers Impact Fund led programs like Bolt Academy and Bolts Book Club, as well as support for organizations such as Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Los Angeles, Brotherhood Crusade and Liberty Hill Foundation.
Launched in 2021, the Bolt Academy is a unique six-month after school program which builds career readiness and leadership skills. To date, 43 students have successfully completed the program. Following the completion of the curriculum the students work for the Club during the season on gamedays in various departments to receive a behind-the-scenes look at the business of sports.
Through a partnership with the Boys & Girls Club of Metro Los Angeles, the team launched two literacy programs in 2023: Bolts Book Club and Rhymes with Reason. The Bolts Book Club aims to foster creativity through language and comprehension skill development and encourage an early love for reading books for elementary students. Rhymes with Reason—a digital platform—will help nurture creativity, enhance vocabulary and foster language acquisition through music. Over the course of several years, the Chargers have contributed a $400,000 capital investment aimed at revitalizing field and teen spaces at several clubhouses. The support extends beyond infrastructure improvements, as it also helped bolster the club's educational enrichment programming.
Additionally, on a mission to inspire an affinity for reading and help increase literacy rates in local children, the Chargers Impact Fund provides free books to students in Southern California schools. Over 12,000 books have been distributed to local youth by the organization since 2020, and numbers will continue to grow.
The Chargers provide ample support both on and off the field for youth athletes across Southern California. With an emphasis on mental health and well-being the team, in partnership with EverFi, invited two 13U teams from Snoop Youth Football League who were headed to the championship to a seminar developing their leadership abilities, character traits and provided mental health awareness and resources.
Continuing to underscore the importance of providing an outlet to youth athletes, the team most recently, have partnered with music icon Snoop Dogg and NFL veteran wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh to launch the new Snoop and Housh Flag Football League that will kick off in March 2024.
Through the Chargers' Takeout Tuesday program, the team partnered with PepsiCo for the second year to support Black- and Hispanic-owned restaurants in Los Angeles through its Pepsi Dig In and Juntos Crecemos platforms. Chargers running back Joshua Kelley surprised three local restaurants with a $10,000 donation each and consumers were invited for free lunches at each spot, courtesy of Pepsi – all as part of the LA Chargers' Takeout Tuesday which aims to raise awareness of the diverse restaurants that feed our local communities.
To learn more about the Chargers' Black History Month initiatives please visit chargers.com/bhm
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