The Houston Texans announced plans for a special groundbreaking project for Third Ward's Jack Yates High School which will be unveiled later this week.
The Texans, the NFL Foundation and the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) will award $450,000 to renovate and resurface the high school football field located at Jack Yates High School. The project seeks to address the shortage of clean, safe and accessible athletic fields in Third Ward Houston.
The Texans also announced that they will be donating their artificial playing surface from NRG Stadium to be installed at Yates for this project, providing an extra in-kind donation valued at $1,250,000, and continuing the tradition of donating the Texans former playing surface to a community cause. The donation and installation of the turf is in partnership with the Harris County Sports & Convention Corporation-NRG Park, Harris County Precinct One Commissioner Rodney Ellis and Hellas Construction, Inc.
The check for the donation will be presented in a ceremony to Jack Yates High School with remarks from public officials and supporters on Friday, May 28 at 3:00 p.m.
"The Houston Texans are proud to work with our partners to support the renovation of the Jack Yates High School Athletic Field," said Texans Chairman and CEO Cal McNair. "Our hope is that this field enriches a love of sports across the youth in the historic Third Ward, prompting the next generation of student athletes and leaders. We are grateful to be a part of this project and believe it will become an integral pillar of the community for decades to come."
The Texans continued and amplified their work with social justice in conjunction with the NFL's Inspire Change initiative to help reduce social barriers and create opportunities for all Houstonians. McNair and the organization vowed to use their Texans platform to create awareness of systemic racism, empower Black leaders and educate the Texans community over the course of the past year.
In 2020, Cal and Hannah McNair, who serves as vice president of the Houston Texans Foundation, along with Co-Founder and Senior Chair Janice McNair released their "Conversations for Change" video series on HoustonTexans.com with various guests, from Romeo Crennel to Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner among others. The McNair family held candid conversations with guests who shared their personal experiences to shine a light on the struggles within the Black community.
The Houston Texans Foundation first launched the Houston Texans Social Justice Fund in January 2019. In the first year of the program, the Texans donated $100,000 to three local nonprofits: 8 Million Stories, Restoring Justice and the YMCA of Greater Houston Teen L.I.F.E. Programs. These organizations support youth and provide legal services for underprivileged citizens. In 2020, the grant program was renewed and the Texans distributed another $100,000 in grants. In addition to the three partners, the Texas Civil Rights Project was also added with each of the four partners receiving $25,000 in grants and support from Texans players and staff in their efforts to create change.
During the 2020 election, the Texans launched their "We Are Texans, We are Voters" initiative. The Texans partnered with NRG Park and the Harris County Clerk's Office to encourage fans and the Houston community to do their civic duty and take part in the election process. NRG Park, which houses NRG Stadium and NRG Arena, was designated as the election headquarters for the Harris County Clerk's Office and for the 2020 presidential election. NRG Arena also served as an early voting and Election Day location.
The Texans have continued their work with the Houston Police Department on its relational policing efforts, supporting the Greater Houston Police Activities League (GHPAL), also known as the "PAL" program, which pairs officers with youth for mentoring, sports, and academic coaching. In January, Texans defensive lineman Jacob Martin and Texans Legend N.D. Kalu continued the conversation on social justice with Houston Police Department (HPD) officers and local Houston-area teens for a 45-minute conversation and Q-and-A. The mission of this event, as part of the Texans' partnership with the GHPAL was to help create positive relationships between youth and police officers and is part of the HPD's relational policing initiatives.
Other recent events included a YMCA Houston Equity Innovation Center Sunday Supper, a virtual round-table event that continued important conversations in Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy. On the eve of MLK Day, Sunday Supper brought diverse individuals from the community together to discuss racial issues, community unity, and collective action inspired by Dr. King's vision. Former Texans safety Michael Thomas, the Texans' 2020 Walter Payton Man of the Year nominee for his contributions to social justice and racial equality causes, was one of the panelists during the event.
In observance of Black History Month, the Houston Texans launched an organization-wide initiative aimed at educating staff about the role of notable Black Houstonians and their impact in history, community, business, education, sports and entertainment. Texans staff were able to watch and ask questions during a virtual education series where guest speakers, including local historians, community leaders and elected officials, led discussions on a variety of topics related to Black History in Houston. Texans staff also received celebratory gift boxes promoting goods and services from local Black-owned businesses.
This year, the Texans also launched The B.O.L.D. Awards presented by Coca-Cola, to recognize Black, Outstanding Leaders and Doers making a difference throughout the Greater Houston area. The B.O.L.D. Awards celebrate African Americans who are positively influencing the city through community engagement, business development or entrepreneurship, social equity, nonprofits (philanthropy), civil service or a rising young leader. Five winners will be selected and a $5,000 donation will be made in their name to a nonprofit organization of their choice. Additionally, award winners will be recognized in the fall of 2021 and have their story featured on Houston Texans media channels. The deadline to nominate is Friday, June 18.
The Texans also wrapped up their ninth annual Texans Care Volunteer Day last Saturday. Over 600 volunteers, including players, executives, Texans employees and fans, signed up to make an impact in the community and give back to Houstonians.
"I am proud of our recent efforts and look forward to strengthening the impact we will make in the future," McNair said.
The Houston Texans, the NFL Foundation and Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) will be awarding $450,000 to renovate and resurface the athletic field located at Jack Yates High School. The project seeks to address the shortage of clean, safe and accessible athletic fields in Third Ward Houston. Additionally, the Harris County Sports & Convention Corporation-NRG Park, Harris County Precinct One Commissioner Rodney Ellis, Hellas Construction, Inc. and the Houston Texans also announced that they will be donating the Texans' artificial playing surface from NRG Stadium to be installed at Yates for this project, providing an extra in-kind donation valued at $1,250,000, and continuing the tradition of donating the Texans former playing surface to a community cause.