The NFL has designated Weeks 17 and 18 of the 2021 regular season as Inspire Change games across the league, highlighting social justice efforts in the community.
The Houston Texans' final game of the 2021 season will not only cap off football, but also another year of tremendous community events. Check out some of the highlights of the Texans 2021 Inspire Change initiative:
Awarding $400,000 to 15 local nonprofits through Inspire Change Grant
On Giving Tuesday, Nov. 30, the Texans, ConocoPhillips, Coca-Cola Southwest Beverages and Miller Lite awarded $400,000 through the Inspire Change Grant to 15 local nonprofits and educational programs working to make a difference in the Houston community. The recipients were surprised at a breakfast at NRG Stadium with Texans players, Vice President of the Houston Texans Foundation Hannah McNair and Texans Legends. The Texans announced the creation of the Inspire Change Grant Fund in September to aid programs, seed projects and create partnerships that support social justice and racial equity efforts.
Representatives from the Inspire Change Grant selection committee met to review the 114 applications received. The committee selected 15 local nonprofits and educational programs that exemplify the mission of inspiring change within the community. Learn more here.
Books Between Kids
Books Between Kids, a nonprofit that distributes books to economically-disadvantaged children, is one of the 15 nonprofits that received a grant through the $400,000 Inspire Change Grant fund to create change in Houston. In celebration of the grant, on Tuesday, Dec. 14, the Houston Texans took part in a book distribution event at James DeAnda Elementary School. Texans DB Jonathan Owens and DL Roy Lopez alongside Texans Cheerleaders helped each student select six books to take home and keep free of charge. Books Between Kids received a $25,000 Inspire Change Grant from the Texans, ConocoPhillips, Coca-Cola Southwest Beverages and Miller Lite to help get books in the hands of at-risk students across the city. Learn more here.
Youth Kwanzaa event at SHAPE Community Center
The Houston Texans helped celebrate Kwanzaa with Inspire Change Grant recipient, SHAPE Community Center. SHAPE was recently the recipient of a $50,000 grant from the Texans, ConocoPhillips, Coca-Cola Southwest Beverages and Miller Lite to support their work in the community with youth. Texans Cheerleaders took part in the short presentation about Kwanzaa centered around the principle of Kujichagulia (Self-Determination) helping to light the candles and joined kids for special activities. The Texans also provided giveaways, lunch and an ice cream truck for attendees. Learn more here.
PAL PLAY 60 Kit Distribution at Emancipation Park
This summer, Texans Legend Wade Smith, Chief of Police Troy Finner, Houston Texans Cheerleaders and TORO joined Houston Police Officers to give away 300 PLAY 60 kits to youth in the community at Emancipation Park through the HPD Greater Houston Police Activities League (GHPAL). Houston youth received kits filled with footballs, jump ropes, sidewalk chalk and more. The Texans have awarded $30,000 in grants to the GHPAL program to support police-community relations. Learn more here.
YMCA Freedom Tour
Texans Legend Moran Norris and Texans staff joined YMCA Teen LIFE participants on the Freedom Tour to learn about the history of African Americans in Houston and to tour landmarks in the Historic Third Ward community. As proud supporters of the YMCA Equity Innovation Center and YMCA Teen LIFE programs, the Texans also provided lunch for all participants on both days of the tour that kicked off on July 7. Learn more here.
George Floyd Remembrance Walk
The Houston Texans volunteered at a remembrance walk to honor the life and legacy of Houston native George Floyd on June 5. Dozens of local supporters, along with activists from across the world, walked side-by-side with Floyd's loved ones from McGregor Park in Third Ward to his alma mater, Jack Yates High School. Learn more here.
PAL Virtual Dialogue on Social Justice and Relational Policing
Texans LB Jacob Martin and Legend ND Kalu joined Houston Police Department Executive Assistant Chief Troy Finner, and teens from the Greater Houston Police Activities League (GHPAL) program for a virtual dialogue on social justice and relational policing on January 27, 2021. Teens had the opportunity to ask the panelists questions and engage in a meaningful conversation about policing.
During the first year of the NFL's Inspire Change initiative in 2019, the Houston Texans Social Justice Fund awarded $100,000 in grants to three nonprofits in the greater Houston area which support youth and provide legal services for underprivileged citizens – the YMCA of Greater Houston, 8 Million Stories and Restoring Justice. The grant program was renewed in 2020 and the Texans awarded an additional $100,000. Texas Civil Rights Project also received funds in 2020 to aid its efforts.
For the NFL's Inspire Change Week, the Houston Texans will host the fifteen Inspire Change Grant recipients for a special recognition on the field as the Texans take on the Tennessee Titans in Week 18. Sunday's kickoff is set for noon CT. Click here for tickets.
On Giving Tuesday, the Houston Texans, ConocoPhillips, Coca-Cola Southwest Beverages and Miller Lite awarded $400,000 through the Inspire Change Grant Fund to 15 local nonprofits and educational programs working to make a difference in the Houston community. The recipients were surprised at a breakfast this morning at NRG Stadium with Vice President of the Houston Texans Foundation Hannah McNair, Texans players and Texans Legends. Learn more.