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Players Coalition to present grants totaling $2 million to six non-profits

ATLANTA -- Continuing its mission to improve social justice and racial equality, the Players Coalition charitable foundation will present six grants totaling $2 million to nonprofit organizations on Wednesday.

"The Players Coalition is proud to partner with our 2019 grantee organizations, working on a national scale but focused in communities impacted the most," former Pro Bowl wide receiver Anquan Boldin, co-founder of the coalition, said in a statement. "Our goal has always been to work hand in hand with groups that can provide evidence-based solutions to achieve change and make a lasting difference on impacted citizens."

The organizations receiving grants are the National Juvenile Defender Center, the Communities In Schools program, the Justice Collaborative, Year Up, the Center for Policing Equity and the Advancement Project National Office.

During recent meetings with coalition co-founders Malcolm Jenkins and Boldin, the group's members advocated for each of the grant recipients. The players explained how the funds would help the organizations in furthering their efforts to promote, among other things, bail reform and juvenile justice reform.

The coalition is also focused on the importance of voting to effect positive change and in trying to help bridge the nation's economic divide.

In the run-up to the process of determining which organizations would benefit from the grants, players were actively involved in both working with and promoting the groups they most wanted the coalition to back financially.

"In the past year, we've been shocked to see how some of our youth, especially youth of color, are being thrown into our juvenile and criminal court systems," New England Patriots safety Devin McCourty said. "In working with the National Juvenile Defender Center, players will help educate and seek justice for kids."

Year Up is an organization that helps young adults move from minimum-wage jobs to meaningful careers in just one year.

"We want to help close the opportunity divide," Carolina Panthers wide receiver Torrey Smith said. "There are motivated youth who simply need a leg up."