Miami – The Miami Dolphins FOOTBALL UNITES™ program partnered with the 5000 Role Models of Excellence Project for the second consecutive year to host a conference at Hard Rock Stadium designed to promote positive interaction between youth and law enforcement on Monday, May 20, 2019. The conference featured Miami Dolphins representatives, alumni including Donald Brown, Troy Drayton, Nat Moore and Troy Stradford, hundreds of South Florida high school students as well as law enforcement from 28 jurisdictions throughout South Florida.
"We are so grateful to the Miami Dolphins and to the police and law enforcement of this community for being here with hundreds of boys of color and with our police agencies to help break the tension that exists between boys of colors and police officers," Congresswoman Frederica S Wilson said. "We are here working on this issue, hoping to resolve an understanding so we can lessen the conflicts that occur between boys of color and the police. We know that sports unites the community and the Dolphins have proven that by uniting the community behind this important issue."
"Through our FOOTBALL UNITES™ program, we are trying to use football to bring people together to create an understanding and to have dialogue," Miami Dolphins Vice Chair, President & Chief Executive Officer Tom Garfinkel said. "I think in our country right now we need more stability and getting police officers and youth together to create relationships and have meaningful dialogue is half the battle. The Miami Dolphins believe football is something that can unify people and bring people together and we are fortunate to work with Congresswoman Wilson and the 5000 Role Models of Excellence Project on these important initiatives."
As part of the Miami Dolphins "Teamwork at Work" platform to level the playing field through the power of teamwork to inspire a healthier, more educated and united South Florida community, the team tapped 5000 Role Models of Excellence as one of its 2019 community partners and programs for FOOTBALL UNITES™. Through continued preexisting programming in addition to incorporating 5000 Role Models of Excellence into FOOTBALL UNITES™ programming, these social justice initiatives have impacted over 10,000 role model youth.
The team's social justice initiative of FOOTBALL UNITES™ has a goal to be inclusive of the diversity and aware of the intersections that make up South Florida, uniting groups of different races, genders, sexual orientations, identities, abilities and faith around the power of football. These programs connect to the NFL's Inspire Change platform, showcasing the collaborative efforts of players, owners and the league to create positive change in communities across the country and work with RISE – the Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality -- to eliminate racial discrimination, champion social justice and improve race relations.