TAMPA, Fla. (January 18, 2021) - Today, the Tampa Bay Super Bowl LV Host Committee unveiled three separate initiatives, all united under the Forever 55 Legacy Program’s Systemic Justice pillar and aimed at addressing racial inequities and driving transformative change. Systemic racism is responsible for disparities in many “success indicators,” including wealth, the criminal justice system, employment, housing, healthcare, politics, and education. A 25-member committee representing civic and community leaders collaborated to develop comprehensive programs on community policing, financial literacy, and empowering transformative community conversations through a six-part series called Huddle for Change.
“Our Systemic Justice Advisory Committee played an integral role in the launch of these dynamic programs and developing problem-solving strategies that will strengthen and unify our community forever,“ said Claire Lessinger, Chief Operating Officer of the Tampa Bay Super Bowl LV Host Committee. “We are extremely proud of the work that has been done but we can’t wait to track the everlasting impact these initiatives will have on our community, for years to come.”
Huddle for Change is a partnership between the Host Committee, NFL Inspire Change, Community Tampa Bay, and the University of South Florida to welcome community members and local leaders to participate in an open and honest discussion. The dialogue will center around critical topics such as the wealth gap, mental health, physical well-being, community policing, education, and ultimately inspire and positively affect change on a local level. Today at 4 p.m. EST, the initiative will host its first Huddle for Change, a virtual discussion featuring representatives from each host organization and community activists, Ed Narain, ErrDaisha Floyd and KJ Sails.
In partnership with the United Way Suncoast and PNC Bank, the Systemic Justice initiative will also introduce a comprehensive financial literacy program to help eliminate opportunity barriers in disadvantaged communities. The program will provide financial coaching and match savings incentives for 20 pre-identified families that are motivated to enhance their financial skills and build or rebuild a foundation for future success. Program participants will receive training, support services, resources as well as access to match funding to help meet their financial goals while learning essential savings and investing strategies.
The Community Policing initiative aims to build a collaborative environment between youth and law enforcement, particularly those in Black and Brown communities. As part of the program, Derrick Brooks Charities will host CPR (Community-Police Relationship) events focused on bridging gaps, improving communication, and fostering relationships. The activities will be education and awareness driven, seeking to foster foundational conversations that help develop a framework for building trust.
“Over the past year, our communities were gripped by social unrest. But, even amid very challenging times, we saw conversations unfold that, although uncomfortable, were necessary,” said LaKendria Robinson, Director of Business Connect and Community Outreach of the Tampa Bay Super Bowl LV Host Committee. “Our hope is that through this initiative, we can find progress through communication, help combat injustice, and empower a community to drive transformative solutions.”
These social justice initiatives are a part of Forever 55, a social legacy program representing the everlasting impression that Super Bowl LV will leave on the Tampa Bay community. Together, the NFL and the Tampa Bay Super Bowl LV Host Committee, alongside community and civic partners, will collaborate in intentional and strategic ways to create, implement and support long-lasting initiatives throughout our community. A $2 million investment by the local Host Committee and the NFL will focus on pillars that best reflect our community's needs. The six pillars include Early Childhood Education, Families, Food Insecurity, Health and Wellness, Sustainability and Systemic Justice.