EAGAN, Minn. — The Minnesota Vikings and the Wilf family on Wednesday announced a $5 million donation to social justice causes throughout the United States.
Vikings Owner/Chairman Zygi Wilf and Owner/President Mark Wilf told the team's Social Justice Committee this week that the contributions from this fund will be determined in part through collaboration with players.
Funds will be directed toward organizations that fight hate, racism and inequality.
"We continue to be inspired by these players as they advocate for transformational change in this very challenging moment," Mark Wilf said. "We are proud of their efforts to use their platform in an effort to end deep-seated social injustices. Their thoughtful approach and our conversations with them have deeply moved us, certainly in large part because of our family's history and long-standing commitment to human rights, but also because of their steadfast dedication to not sit idly by when they have the ability to make a difference."
This donation builds on a previous commitment of $500,000 by the Wilf family to the Social Justice Committee over the past two years. Those funds have been directed toward scholarships for low-income students, school supplies, legal aid for disadvantaged and underrepresented populations and law enforcement relations.
"Our organization and the players have shown a commitment to these causes over the last several years, but we know we need to and can do more," Zygi Wilf said. "We want this investment to support the many diverse and meaningful social justice efforts throughout our country, but it can only be one piece of our overall work toward having a sustainable impact. Our actions within our communities will be the driving force for creating profound change."
Vikings Chief Operating Officer Andrew Miller announced the donation during a video call in which he, General Manager Rick Spielman, Co-Defensive Coordinator Andre Patterson, Ameer Abdullah, Anthony Harris and Eric Kendricks spoke with members of the media.
The session included reflections on the tragic death of George Floyd and the desire to make meaningful and long-lasting changes to promote social justice and equality.
The Vikings also on Wednesday announced an endowment for the George Floyd Legacy Scholarship with an establishing gift of $125,000 by the Vikings Social Justice Committee.
The Vikings increased their focus on social justice initiatives in 2018 with an initial commitment of $250,000 that was repeated in 2019. Players and staff have often visited agencies that support social justice causes.
Abdullah, Harris and Kendricks were among players who visited All Square last fall to listen to testimonials of employees who are benefitting from the unique nonprofit on Minnehaha Avenue. The Social Justice Committee decided to allocate $35,000 to All Square.
Players have also encouraged youth at the Hennepin County Juvenile Detention Center during group and personal visits.
The following is a breakdown of previous commitments by the Vikings and Wilf family in the past two years toward social justice initiatives:
Player Leadership Team
· Greater Twin Cities United Way - $10,000
· Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid - $30,000
· Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services - $30,000
· Page Education Foundation - $40,000
· Hennepin County Juvenile Detention Center - $40,000
· Project Success - $100,000
Social Justice Committee: Eric Kendricks, Ameer Abdullah, Stephen Weatherly, Anthony Harris, Ameer Abdullah and Alexander Mattison
· St. Paul Police Department Youth Outreach & Programming - $10,000
· Bloomington Police Department Youth Outreach & Programming - $10,000
· Minneapolis Police Department Youth Outreach & Programming - $10,000
· Sheridan Story – $10,000
· Cookie Cart - $10,000
· YouthLink - $10,000
· The Link - $15,000
· St. Paul Public Schools Nutrition Services - $20,000
· Achieve Minneapolis - $20,000
· All Square – $35,000
Project Success - $100,000 ($25,000 remaining due to COVID-19 delay)