LISC announced today that community organizations in seven cities across the country will receive grants totaling $150,000 to refurbish neighborhood basketball courts. The grants are part of the ESPN/LISC Home Court Program that provides nonprofit, neighborhood-based organizations with financing and technical assistance to improve the quality, safety and accessibility of local basketball courts in selected markets.
LISC has teamed up with Maestro Cares Foundation, Good Bunny Foundation and Cubs Charities to revive damaged Little League fields in Puerto Rico and, in the process, help revitalize communities still scarred from devastating 2017 hurricanes. Music icons Marc Anthony and Bad Bunny are leading the funding, with Chicago Cubs star Javier Báez and UNICEF USA joining the effort to restore these cultural hubs.
We first published this story about the RVA League for Safer Streets and its co-founders, Jawad Abdu and Paul Taylor, in January. Sadly, Jawad Abdu died of a heart attack on July 13, 2019. We are reposting the article to commemorate Abdu's work and commitment to his community, which will be carried forward by his partners Taylor and Robert Morris. In less than three years, the RVA League for Safer Streets, a basketball-plus-education program for young men from Richmond communities with high crime rates, has had an extraordinary peace-making impact in the lives of participants—and on the city at large. Its founders were informed by experience and insight wrought by decades behind bars, which is why the League is dedicated to keeping people out of prison, and helping those who are returning to become successful members of their communities. The article that follows contains audio quotes from the League's founders about pivotal experiences in their lives in and outside of prison.
For 13 summers running, Hoops in the Hood has offered a safe, healthy and enriching outlet for Chicago children in nearly 20 historically under-invested neighborhoods. With support from LISC and State Farm, the program has had a tranformative impact on its participants, and their communities.
The NFL Foundation/LISC Grassroots Field Grant Program announced grants totaling $3 million to newly build or significantly renovate fields in parks, schools or at community organizations in 14 cities from Brooklyn to Houston and Racine, WI to Indian Trail, NC. The funds will be used for improvements such as irrigation systems, lights, bleachers, scoreboards and more. About a partnership that has lasted 20 years, Alexia Gallagher, executive director of the NFL Foundation stated: “With more than one million youth using these fields, which provide safe places for families to come together and participate in sports, the benefits of the NFL Foundation/LISC Grassroots Field Grant Program are indisputable.”