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San Francisco 49ers commit 5 million additional dollars for social justice initiatives

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- About a year after investing $1 million in various Bay Area social justice initiatives, the San Francisco 49ers are diving even deeper.

The Niners announced Wednesday they are extending their commitment to support Bay Area non-profits working to advance social justice initiatives for the next 10 years with an additional $5 million in grants behind it.

"We initiated this grant program last year to empower organizations working on the front lines of the battle for racial equality to deliver positive impacts for individuals throughout our community," 49ers CEO Jed York said in a statement. "Our resolve to be a force for change has been strengthened during that time by the relationships our organization has developed with these organizations and the obvious need for continued investment in more programs like these."

The grant extension for the next decade comes after a year in which the Niners say they saw their work with their 10 selected non-profits lead to some significant change. According to the organization, the social justice organizations they've worked with have helped four criminal justice reform bills be signed into law in California, helped exonerate or free five people and reduced the statewide inmate total by 22,000.

Some of the other initiatives include mentoring and leadership development sessions for high school students, meals for more than 3,200 families dealing with food insecurity and job training and financial empowerment sessions for those in need of help.

The 10 organizations the 49ers worked with over the past year are: 100 Black Men of the Bay Area, the African American Community Service Agency, Californians for Safety and Justice, Dream Corps, the Empower Initiative, Operation HOPE Inc., PICO Califnoria, SPAAT, The Innoncence Project and the Players Coalition.

Each of those organizations is eligible to apply for further help from the 49ers' grant. The Niners plan to release details on the next round of grant qualifications later this season, though those chosen will be selected from organizations that focus on the areas of "racial equality in policing, ending mass incarceration or educational and economic advancement for young black people," according to the team.

All submissions will be reviewed in the first part of 2022 and decisions will be made by the 49ers Players Social Justice Council, which is made up of linebackers Azeez Al-Shaair and Fred Warner, defensive lineman Arik Armstead, tight end George Kittle, center Alex Mack, tackle Mike McGlinchey, cornerback Emmanuel Moseley and long snapper Taybor Pepper.