Lions announce 2022 Inspire Change grantees

Detroit Lions Academy

Detroit Lions Academy enrolls students in grades 6-8 that have faced challenges learning and engaging in traditional education settings. Students attending the Detroit Lions Academy directly benefit from the Detroit Lions’ active presence within the community, including mentorship from the Detroit Lions Women’s Association and players, gaining first-hand enrichment experiences, and participating in activities and programs facilitated through the Detroit Lions Foundation. Detroit Lions Academy will receive funding to provide wraparound services to help tackle academic and personal obstacles to help students get back to grade level. 

Detroit Justice Center

Detroit Justice Center (DJC) is an innovative non-profit organization working alongside communities to create economic opportunities, transform the justice system and promote equitable and just cities. DJC provides desperately-needed legal services to Detroiters impacted by the criminal justice system – helping clients remain out of jail, hold onto jobs and stable housing, and keep their families intact. Recognizing the need for systemic solutions, DJC also facilitates Know Your Rights programming in schools to teach individuals about various types of police interactions and what rights they might have in each circumstance. Funding from Detroit Lions Inspire Change will support youth programming and “Know Your Rights” sessions.

Downtown Boxing Gym

Since 2007, Downtown Boxing Gym (DBG) has been teaching valuable life lessons to students growing up in Detroit’s toughest neighborhoods – inside and outside the classroom and boxing ring. By providing mentorship, tutoring, enrichment programs, college and career readiness, socio-emotional skills building, and basic needs support (transportation and food), the organization creates a lasting impact that ripples out across the community. DBG currently serves more than 150 students between the ages of 8 and 18. Students come from 30 different zip codes and 57 schools across Detroit and nearby suburbs. Funding from Detroit Lions Inspire Change will provide college and career readiness support for DBG students.

Empowerment Plan

Empowerment Plan aims to elevate families from the generational cycle of homelessness by hiring single parents from local homeless shelters and providing them training and full-time employment manufacturing sleeping bag coats for the homeless population. The organization also provides necessary resources for the seamstresses to continue their education, find permanent housing, and regain their independence. Since 2012, 95 individuals have been provided with employment at Empowerment Plan as seamstresses and 55,000+ coats have been distributed globally. The EMPWR Coat is a water-resistant jacket, which can transform into a sleeping bag and be worn as an over-the-shoulder bag when not in use. Empowerment Plan works with community organizations to provide GED courses, counseling, financial literacy classes, and professional development seminars for their employees. Funding from Detroit Lions Inspire Change will support Empowerment Plan’s mission to provide full time employment and supportive services to help break the generational cycle of homelessness.

Family Assistance for Renaissance Men (F.A.R.M.)

Family Assistance for Renaissance Men (F.A.R.M.) is a non-profit organization focused on the rehabilitation and reuniting of fathers with their children. F.A.R.M. offers a five-part program to men in the metro Detroit area to assist them with barriers preventing them from carrying out their roles and responsibilities as father to their children. Additional F.A.R.M. services include Father Accountability Mentoring, Father and Child Relationship Building, Education and Skill Building Training, Legal Assistance and Child Support Help, and housing assistance. Funding from Detroit Lions Inspire Change will support expansion of mentoring services, relationship strengthening and child support assistance for single fathers.

Pure Heart Foundation

Pure Heart Foundation was designed to break the cycle of generational incarceration by providing support services that will strategically benefit the child of an incarcerated parent and family. Through Pure Heart Foundation, each child of an incarcerated parent has a chance to be heard, supported, and encouraged to navigate life despite their circumstance. Pure Heart Foundation has developed a program that will ensure children of incarcerated parents will perform at their best capacity. Funding from Detroit Lions Inspire Change will provide mental health programming to Pure Heart Foundation scholars.

Scholastic Book Fairs

Scholastic Book Fairs aims to help the most vulnerable school populations achieve book access and equity. Through a partnership with Scholastic Book Fairs, Detroit Lions Inspire Change will provide free books to youth in Detroit to help build their home libraries and encourage reading. The access to books during this pandemic through normal means has been closed off, which is why building home libraries is more critical than ever.