November 1, 2019
ESPN, in collaboration with Under Armour and Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) has announced a new initiative to award grants totaling $256,500 to help transform vacant lots into sports, recreation and play spaces in Atlanta, Detroit, Oakland and Toledo, OH.
The 13 awards are part of ESPN’s RePlay initiative. The program seeks to help local organizations and residents plan and implement revitalization projects that transform vacant spaces into safe, quality places for youth and community.
The awards include planning grants ranging from $7,500 to $10,000 to nine community organizations and one municipality, and $75,000 implementation grants to two groups. All are intended to help revitalize vacant spaces, which present great opportunities for access to safe, healthy recreation.
“At ESPN, we’re committed to providing access to and empowerment through sports for all people, especially in underserved communities where places to play sports aren’t always available,” said Kevin Martinez, vice president of corporate citizenship at ESPN.
“RePlay aims to turn these vacant lots into play spaces that act as vibrant hubs at the heart of their communities. Together with Under Armour, LISC and local residents, we’re excited to transform these vacant properties into valuable community assets, allowing youth to access sports so they can take advantage of all of its benefits.”
There are an average of two vacant buildings for every 1,000 residents in 60 U.S. cities with populations over 100,000, according to American research group Brookings Institution.
As part of the program, two $75,000 implementation grants will go to Soccer in the Streets in Atlanta, and 360 Detroit Inc. in Detroit.
Additionally, nine $10,000 planning grants will go to EastSide Arts Alliance, in Oakland; Fam1st Family Foundation, in Oakland; PushPush Film and Theater Inc. and Seedworks, in Decatur, GA.; Cody Rouge Community Action Alliance, in Detroit; Bridging Communities Inc., in Detroit; Heritage Works in Detroit; Demographic Inspirations-Detroit, in Detroit; The City of Toledo, in Toledo, OH. and Toledo-Lucas County Police Athletic League, in Toledo.
Lastly, two planning grants of $7,500 and $9,000 will go to NeighborWorks, in Toledo.
“There is no greater team than our communities,” said Stacey Ullrich, head of social responsibility and community affairs at Under Armour. “Utilizing the innovative spirit and passion of our community leaders to transform and activate vacant lots creates an opportunity to share a sense of belonging and responsibility, while making our communities better. Together with ESPN and LISC, we look forward to expanding our footprint into additional cities and partnering with more organizations so that we can continue to make an impact.”
For comments, questions or concerns, please contact David Cohen