Miami Dolphins create social justice scholarship program
The Miami Dolphins recently announced a new social justice-themed scholarship that will cover four years of tuition for one student, along with a “social justice grant program.”
In a Thursday press release, the team said it would be putting aside funds for a “Project Change Scholarship” for incoming college freshmen, which will select one recipient annually and pay for their college tuition over a four-year period.
"It was important to Stephen Ross, our players, and members of the organization to use sports as a way to drive social progress and make substantial change in our community."
According to the release, The Dolphins are looking for students in the Miami area who have maintained a 3.0 GPA and completed at least 40 hours of community service in social justice programs per semester in high school, requiring applicants to write an essay on how the scholarship will help them effect “change” in the community.
“What social justice change do you want to see in your community and how will this scholarship help you achieve that change?” the application prompts, specifying a February 28 deadline for submission.
Funding for both the scholarship and the “Social Justice Grant Program” is supplied by the Dolphins’ “Social Justice Fund,” which is “a yearly fund for advocacy and social justice programs created by Miami Dolphins Owner Stephen Ross and Miami Dolphins players.”
Jason Jenkins, the senior vice president of communications and community affairs for the team, told Campus Reform that the team is introducing both of these programs as part of a broader commitment to social-justice issues launched near the end of last year.
“When we launched these programs last November, the goal was to identify and recognize groups focused on community engagement, education, and justice reform,” said Jenkins. “It was important to Stephen Ross, our players, and members of the organization to use sports as a way to drive social progress and make substantial change in our community.”
Jenkins noted that “these initiatives are separate than the NFL,” but said the team is “in constant communication with them on these efforts.”
According to Jenkins, the introduction of these programs builds on the team’s existing relationship with the Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality (RISE), whose mission is one of “harnessing the unifying power of sports to improve race relations and drive social progress.”
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