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Apply now! Nonprofits use Eagles Social Justice Fund grants to make a difference in the Philadelphia community

Jamila Harris-Morrison (center) is the Executive Director for ACHIEVEability, one of the nonprofit groups that benefited from the Eagles Social Justice Fund.
Jamila Harris-Morrison (center) is the Executive Director for ACHIEVEability, one of the nonprofit groups that benefited from the Eagles Social Justice Fund.

On the field, the Eagles' goal is to win. Off the field, they are striving to be a fan of change by ending gun violence in Philadelphia.

This weekend, the Eagles join the rest of the country in celebrating Wear Orange Weekend, honoring the victims of gun violence and building communities with those working to end gun violence.

According to the Office of the Controller, gun violence homicides in the City of Philadelphia have decreased by 36 percent since 2023. The city has made great strides since gun violence was at its peak in 2021 but there is still plenty of progress to be made.

Building upon the organization's End Philly Gun Violence initiative, this year's A Fan of Change campaign recognized that while much work is still left to be done, many nonprofits across the region are quietly achieving small wins every day: one yard, one block, one community at a time.

In November, the Eagles awarded $290,250 to Philadelphia-area nonprofit organizations through The Eagles Social Justice Fund of the Philadelphia Foundation. Grants were awarded to nine nonprofits working on solutions to end gun violence in the City of Brotherly Love.

One of those organizations was ACHIEVEability, a West Philadelphia nonprofit working to permanently break the generational cycle of poverty for low-income, single-parent, and homeless families through higher education, affordable housing, supportive services, community and economic development, and accountability.

The organization's 60th Street Strong Coalition was created in 2021 as part of their WorkSmart West Philly initiative to reduce and prevent gun violence in West Philadelphia by providing young adults, ages 14-26, who are impacted or perpetrators of gun violence with an opportunity to receive paid employment training, skills, and mentorship.

Jamila Harris-Morrison is the Executive Director for ACHIEVEability, leading and making a difference in the neighborhood she was born and raised in.

"I think everyone activated in 2020 and 2021 when gun violence really started to soar," Harris-Morrison said. "I think one thing that's been helpful is that there have been people who are living in those communities taking the lead to drive the solutions. There's no shortage of people. The more we can start to work collaboratively and connect the dots, this is the first time that there's been a sustained effort. I think this is something that really changes significantly in the next five to 10 years. There are finally a ton of resources, dedicated strategy, being invested to make gun violence a thing of the past."

Harris-Morrison was recognized in December as the team's recipient of the NFL Changemaker Award, which is handed to individuals making a difference across the NFL Inspire Change initiative's four focus areas: education, economic advancement, police-community relations, and criminal justice reform. Along with the nomination, the Eagles donated an extra $10,000 to ACHIEVEability and sent Harris-Morrison on a trip to Super Bowl LVIII in Las Vegas.

Another Philadelphia-area nonprofit that received a grant through the Eagles Social Justice Fund was PAR-Recycle Works. The organization is an electronics recycler that provides transitional employment to individuals returning from prison.

While deconstructing electronics and destroying data to generate revenue and pay for their employees, PAR-Recycle Works is committed to providing skills and opportunities, building safer communities, and contributing to stronger families.

Per the United States Department of Justice, more than 68 percent of people leaving prison will be reincarcerated within three years of their release. PAR-Recycle Works' goal is to significantly lower that number in Philadelphia while increasing the employment rate for formerly incarcerated people and keeping the community safer.

"PAR-Recycle Works is grateful for a grant we received from the Eagles Social Justice Fund supporting our program that deters our program participants (previously incarcerated individuals) from recidivating and engaging in violence," said Maurice Jones, PAR-Recycle Works General Manager. "We provide them with an immediate paid job as an electronic recycling technician, along with meaningful training and mentoring on a pathway to full-time, permanent employment."

When provided with a grant from the Eagles Social Justice Fund, nonprofits begin a formidable partnership and relationship with the Eagles, attacking issues within the community that range from gun violence to environmental sustainability.

PAR-Recycle Works has partnered in the past with Go Green, the Eagles’ sustainability initiative, through its electronic recycling program.

"Our partnership with the Eagles has been a win-win opportunity because fans were able to participate in the Eagles' Go Green program by donating and recycling old electronics, while also supporting PAR's environmental and social justice missions," Jones said. "We encourage other nonprofits to apply with the chance to develop a meaningful relationship."

To be eligible to apply, all organizations must be classified as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization or have a qualifying fiscal sponsor, have at least one full-time employee, be located in and provide services to the Eagles market (Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware tri-state area), and have and enforce a nondiscrimination policy that applies to employees, volunteers, and recipients of services.

The number of grants given out for the 2024 season will be determined by the amount of money in the Eagles Social Justice Fund. Nonprofits should request funding based on the amount they need for the project they are proposing or asking the Fund to support. Grants typically do not exceed $50,000.

All nonprofit organizations that meet the minimum requirements are encouraged to complete the online application form to be considered for a grant from the Eagles Social Justice Fund.

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