LOUDOUN COUNTY, Va. – The Washington Football Team announced today several of its programs and initiatives to celebrate Black History Month. Throughout the month of February, the team will focus efforts on impactful initiatives that align with the organization's commitment to engaging with the African American community throughout the DC Metro Area. The pillars of all the team's efforts will focus on education, sports and activism, and community.
"The legacy of Black America is one of resilience, perseverance, hope and triumph," said Washington Football Team president Jason Wright. "We celebrate these characteristics this month by investing our time and talent in efforts that meaningfully advance equity for Black Americans, socially and economically. As a team with a number of senior Black leaders in a league where the majority of the athletes are Black, we want to seize the opportunity and role model what it means to make an enduring, year-round commitment to Black empowerment starting with activities this month."
The Washington Football Team is forging a strategic partnership with EverFi and Boys & Girls Clubs of America to bring an African American History program to students in the DC Metro area through EverFi's digital education platform. The goal of this strategic partnership is to educate and encourage kids and teens of all races and backgrounds to have difficult conversations and use their voices to create positive change. 306: African-American History is a digital course developed by EverFi that brings to life a number of the important leaders and events whose impact changed the fabric of American life. This strategic partnership is a result of Boys & Girls Clubs of America's Breaking Down Barriers strategy, addressing racism and inequity across the country, and the NFL's overall commitment to social justice.
The Washington Football Team's Black Engagement Network (B.E.N) launched the Shop Black initiative in December to highlight black-owned small businesses serving the DMV region. Since its inception, the Shop Black directory has highlighted numerous small business in our community. Throughout the month of February, businesses will continue to be added to the directory with a focus on black-owned restaurants and other culinary-based businesses that have been heavily impacted by COVID-19. Participating businesses will have a listing on the Washington Football website that includes a photo, brief description and click-thru to their website. The directory will be live throughout the month of February. There is no deadline for businesses to apply. Please visit www.washingtonfootball.com/shopblack to shop the full list of participating businesses.
This month the Black Engagement Network will also officially launch its website, which will serve as a destination to learn about all the Washington Football Team and B.E.N's Black History Month programs and initiatives as well as social justice and diversity & inclusion initiatives throughout February and beyond.
B.E.N's Educator of the Month program is designed to recognize minority educators in the Washington Football market who are going above and beyond their job title to make a positive difference in their students' lives while also impacting the school and greater community. Launched in September 2020, each monthly winner receives a Washington Football Team swag pack with Washington apparel items, gift cards and various items educators will be able to use during their time of virtual teaching. February's winner will be announced later this month. Previous winners and the nomination form can be found on the Washington B.E.N website.
The Black Engagement Network is the Washington Football Team's affinity group open to all Washington Football Team employees and is designed to develop, acquire and retain Black talent while also while getting involved and serving the DMV community. The Washington Football Team is first NFL team to implement its own B.E.N initiative. Since its inception in June, B.E.N has contributed to the advancement of the Washington Football Team's black employees as well as members of the community. B.E.N's vision is to create a diverse and inclusive culture within the NFL for employees at every level.
More programming and activations will be announced throughout the year as part of the Washington Football Team's commitment to the African American community. Any questions regarding these programs and initiatives should be directed to Jessie Johnson of Washington Public Relations at 703-726-7077 or Jessie.Johnson@washingtonfootball.com.