The All Stars Project, Inc. (ASP), a national nonprofit organization that sponsors innovative Afterschool Development programs for inner-city youth, and the Jets released the initial lineup of activities planned during 2021 as part of their social justice partnership announced in December.
"Black History Month is a moment to mark the sweeping achievements by so many African Americans and the Black community's central role in the history of our country. It's also a time to take action for social justice, to grow the conversations we have about racism, to overcome ignorance and prejudice," said Gabrielle Kurlander, CEO of the All Stars Project. "That's why our hands-on and make-it-real work in partnership with the New York Jets begins this month. We're excited to be getting underway!"
The ASP/Jets partnership will kick-off the first half of 2021 with the following game plan.
- Operation Conversation. Members of the Jets organization will be part of Operation Conversation, a performance-based program being launched this year by the All Stars Project. The program is designed to bridge the gap between the white community and communities of color by creating performances and conversations that allow diverse people to come together to better understand the experience of racism, and address the impact of the racial divide together.
- Development Coaching. Members of the Jets organization will participate as development coaches in this virtual program that connects hundreds of business professionals and inner-city youth for one-on-one development and directly impacts on the lives of young people as they continue to develop their professional and personal performances.
- Development School for Youth (DSY). In the DSY program, young people from 16 to 21 learn to perform as professionals, and partner with business leaders across the country who conduct development workshops and provide paid summer internships at their companies. The Jets will host a workshop at MetLife Stadium for youth as part of the team's High School Sports Business Day, and DSY participants will be invited to attend a Jets home game. Additionally, Jets representatives, including a player if possible, will speak at the spring 2021 DSY virtual graduation.
- Operation Conversation: Cops & Kids. This police-community relations program was founded by ASP in 2006 and has been run in partnership with the New York Police Department since 2011, and the Newark Police Department since 2017. The Jets and the ASP are planning fall and winter activities that can be hosted at MetLife Stadium and the Atlantic Health Jets Training Facility.*
"The All Stars Project is an organization that has committed to making a difference in our community. The group's ability to put together and execute programs like these is a major reason our Social Justice, Diversity and Inclusion Team identified them as an organization to partner with," said Jesse Linder, Jets VP of Community Relations. "Our entire organization is excited to participate in these events and make a positive impact in our community."
In December, the Jets announced a $1 million donation through the Jets Foundation to four partner organizations as part of the team's social justice, inclusion and diversity efforts. These organizations – The All Stars Project, Innocence Project, New York Urban League and Year Up – all share the goal of reducing barriers and creating opportunities for individuals in need. As part of the partnerships, each organization received $250,000, and Jets players, coaches, and staff will have the opportunity to volunteer their time and expertise with each organization.
*All in-person interaction is pending state and local Covid-19 precautions and restrictions.