Community Passageways and Creative Justice Youth and Staff Join Seahawks Pregame Huddle Via Microsoft Teams

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Last summer, when the murder of George Floyd helped spark nationwide protests as well as a needed math over racism in America, Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner reached out to Nikkita Oliver, executive director of Creative Justice, a Seattle nonprofit which builds a community with the young people most affected by the pipeline from school to prison.

It started a relationship between Creative Justice and the Seahawks which not only led to financial donations from the team, but also to a real and ongoing connection between an NFL team and the community within. which it is.

That connection continued on Sunday before the Seahawks’ final home game of the 2021 season, with staff and youth from Creative Justice and Community Passageways, a Seattle nonprofit that “creates alternatives incarceration of youth and young adults by rebuilding our communities through committed relationships centered on love, compassion and consistency “- join the Seahawks players for the Microsoft Pregame Huddle, a virtual tour before -match which allowed guests to interact with the team via the Microsoft Surface Hub located at the end of the tunnel, players arrive in the southwest corner of Lumen Field.

With Seahawks legend Luke Willson joining the teams’ call as a surprise visitor, the youngsters of the call, including many aspiring athletes themselves, were not only able to hear the current Seahawks as they stood. were preparing for the game, but learning more from Willson about what it takes to perform at the highest level.

“It’s really great to learn how the players warm up, what each group of players means to the team, or what they do, or why they do it,” said Oliver. “I think young people really appreciate it.”

Among the young people of the Teams call was Josiah Burnley, who was one of the recipients of scholarships from the Seahawks Players Equality & Justice For All Action Fund. Wagner recently surprised Burnley on Christmas morning with a trip to the Super Bowl as part of the team’s Delta Community Captain program.

And while a chance to mingle, at least virtually, is exciting for teens and young adults, Sunday’s Microsoft Pregame Huddle is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the Seahawks’ commitment to the game. to fight for racial equity and to support young people in the community. .

Over the past two years, the Seahawks have supported several short documentaries that tell the story of organizations such as Community Passageways, Choose 180 and Creative Justice, and have awarded social justice grants to various local nonprofits. . Most recently, the Seahawks have committed $ 500,000 over the next five years for the development of the Youth Success Center, which will provide housing and vital resources for BIPOC youth in South Seattle. The project, which is being developed by Africatown Community Land Trust in Seattle’s Columbia City neighborhood, will ultimately be owned by Community Passageways with Creative Justice as its operational and service provider.

“We are really excited that the Seahawks are interested in a relationship with the communities that do this work,” said Oliver. “They aren’t just interested in a one-time transactional donation. It has been really powerful to build with the Seahawks as a community partner, as a member of our community and not just from a philanthropy perspective.

“So while the $ 500,000 over five years is really exciting, what’s also exciting are the conversations going on about how the Seahawks might want to get involved with their long-term Youth Achievement Center. life and service to our communities. It’s just a different angle than most large institutions take. A lot of companies would make a one-time donation and move on, but the Seahawks have shown an interest in doing something that will last, and they’re really focused on building relationships. “

Oliver continued, “And I have to thank Bobby Wagner. I met him in 2020, right after the first uprising, linked to George Floyd. He immediately became interested in determining which community organizations are doing work, and how could he be involved in supporting the youth. He’s really been an integral part of the Seahawks’ choice to build that deeper relationship.

“It’s really wonderful to see how the Seahawks organization has fostered, nurtured and developed relationships, not just with Creative Justice, not just with Community Passageways, but really, it seems to build deeper relationships in the community. I wish more organizations would follow the lead of what communities are doing for ourselves, and would be willing to get involved and support this work. I think that’s really powerful.


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