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Athletes First and EVERFI Unite to Launch Nationwide Interactive African American History Education Program

credit: Eric Haynes

Athletes First (“A1”), the world’s largest and most powerful NFL agency, announced a strategic partnership with EVERFI Inc., the leading social impact education provider, to deliver one of the most comprehensive African American History learning opportunities to thousands of students across America. The program will launch in 30 schools across the greater Los Angeles and New York City areas in the coming weeks, with Athletes First Partners (A1’s sister agency), rolling out the New York initiative. The goal is to present the program to thousands of young students, many mentored by Athletes First athletes and coaches, in the next year.

EVERFI’s interactive 306 – African American History™ course will introduce students to important historical events and leaders and will be inspired by the leadership, strength, intellect, and creativity of the women and men that shaped African American History. The goal of the initiative is for students to use these learnings and inspirations in striving to discover their own personal motivations and work toward their own individual successes.

“Discrimination and systemic racism have for far too long sown division in our communities and created social and economic inequities that are unjust and simply unacceptable,” said Brian Murphy, Athletes First CEO. “Our Athletes First family – including our players and coaches – cannot simply stand on the sidelines, but instead must act now. To do so, we decided to start with our country’s younger generation who have little to no bias as they begin their education process. 306 – African American History will enhance and augment the student’s current curriculum, and members of the A1 family will also interact with the students to bring this education to life.”

306 – African American History offers five interactive lessons framed to teach the importance of civic engagement so that students may develop into future community leaders. This digital course is designed to address the skills and proficiencies outlined in the Common Core State Standards for writing and literacy in History and Social Studies, as well as individual states’ standards for US History.

“African American influence can be found at the core of American life and communicating these stories is foundational to building shared values and inspiring today’s youth to become tomorrow’s leaders,” said EVERFI Co-Founder and President, Jon Chapman. “Together with Athletes First, we have the opportunity to advance and expand upon African American history education across the country and provide students with more accurate, balanced, and comprehensive accounts of Black experiences.”

At launch, players involved in the program will include: David Long (L.A. Rams), Anthony Barr (Minnesota Vikings), Matthias Farley (N.Y. Jets), Derwin James (L.A. Chargers), and Casey Hayward (L.A. Chargers), with the plan to expand names and engagement into 2021 and beyond. They will be able to include commentary in the digital course, and also through virtual and in-person student engagement events.

“I am excited to support this project and am hopeful that it will create positive changes in the education system of our youth,” said Derwin James, All Pro safety who was a Chargers first round pick from Florida State University in 2018. “I’m proud to be a part of Athletes First, an agency that sees the value and importance of educating our next generation in this way.”