Indy Racial Equity Pledge

Colts

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OUR PLEDGE TO THE COMMUNITY

The mission of the Indianapolis Colts is to entertain, inspire, and unite by winning the right way – meaning we value our off-the-field work in the community just as much as we what we do on the field. As such, we believe that racism and injustice are real issues that need immediate attention from government, law enforcement, businesses, and everyday people. In 2018, the Colts launched Breaking Barriers, through which Colts players, coaches, and staff pledged to use their platforms to support efforts that foster community dialogue, improve police-community relations, provide economic and educational opportunities for underserved communities, and work to end racism. We renew this pledge because Indiana is our home, and as our mission states, we always will strive to make our home a better place to live, work, and raise a family – for all of us.

PLEDGE 1

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The Colts aim to create a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace.

Focus Areas: Workplace

The Colts created a new staff position, Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, that will work across all organizational departments on social responsibility, hiring, supplier diversity, education and training, and other internal efforts.

In 2020, to promote awareness and dialogue about Black history throughout our organization, the team formally recognized “Juneteenth” – the June 19 holiday celebrating the end of slavery in the United States after the Civil War – as a permanent company holiday.

PROGRESS

2021

Since the start of 2021, the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion has launched a series of DEI-related trainings and ongoing educational opportunities for all Indianapolis Colts employees. Through the implementation of both active and passive programming, content has been curated to introduce the intersections and complexities of identity, expression, gender, race, ethnicity, age, military status, and service, among many other topical areas.

Additionally, in August, a 5-part DEI certificate program was introduced internally for all employees. The DEI Certificate Program was created to serve as a foundation builder for the Club in the DEI space to establish a philosophical approach to doing the work, and a game plan for moving forward. As employees progress through the series of trainings, they are being introduced to new knowledge, expanding their existing knowledge, and engaging in opportunities to provoke thought and commit to the process of learning, unlearning, and relearning.

Moreover, the Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion is also actively working across all organizational departments on projects related to social responsibility, hiring, and supplier diversity, among other internal efforts. Through these efforts we were able to create and successfully introduce the club’s first-ever comprehensive DEI strategic plan, which we are currently implementing.

PLEDGE 2

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The Colts will highlight and support community organizations that are creating and fostering positive changes in diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Focus Areas: Health, Criminal Justice, Education, Prosperity

Earlier this year, Colts players and staff reaffirmed their commitment to inspiring positive change and social justice by working to address several community challenges – including improving community-police relations, expanding food access, promoting voter registration and education, and supporting local students and schools – in 2020 and beyond. As such, Colts players, coaches, and staff will continue to host and take part in events that bring diverse groups of Hoosiers together to have these conversations about important community issues. For example, over the past several seasons, the Colts have hosted events that bring community members and law enforcement together to promote dialogue between officers and the neighborhoods they serve. More events are planned for 2020 and beyond. In addition, our new Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion will be tasked with working with stakeholders and partners on external efforts to support and promote diversity, equity, and inclusion throughout the community. The team is also partnering with Gleaners Food Bank on regular events that shine a light on food access challenges that plague many Indianapolis neighborhoods. At the outset of the 2020 coronavirus health emergency, Colts Owner & CEO Jim Irsay personally led a community fundraising drive, raising more than $1.3 million in less than 48 hours to provide emergency meals to people in need. What’s more, the team also created the Colts Players Action Fund for Equality that has supported community organizations that are working toward diversity, equity, and inclusion throughout the community. The Irsay family kicked off the fund with a $100,000 donation.

PROGRESS

2021

The Indianapolis Colts kicked off the 2021 regular season and Colts Community Tuesdays by partnering with American Family Insurance for a “School Uniform Blitz” at Eleanor Skillen Elementary School #34.

Colts players took more than 350 students on a “shopping experience” in the school gym, where kids picked out their own outfits, provided by American Family Insurance. Each student picked out a short-sleeve and a long-sleeve polo shirt, pants, a belt, socks, and a toiletry kit, helping to eliminate school clothing as a barrier to students getting to and staying in school.

Looking at the successes from last year, the organization will continue to build off of momentum and efforts created last year by the Colts Players Action Fund for Equality. This fund was created to support community organizations that are working toward diversity, equity, and inclusion throughout the community.

In addition, our new Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion has been committed to working with stakeholders and partners on external efforts to support and promote diversity, equity, and inclusion throughout the community. These efforts have included the development of new partnerships and employee-focused programs. The Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion also hosted a suite during training camp. The goal was to bring together community partners across the city, demographics, and sectors to encourage more cross-cultural communication and collaborations in the spirit of inclusivity.

PLEDGE 3

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The Colts and the Irsay Family seek to provide more educational opportunities for our community’s minority students.

Focus Areas: Education

The Colts and the Irsay Family created the Irsay Family Impact Scholarship, which when fully established, will cover the costs of a four-year education at Indiana University (or the equivalent of four years of IU tuition at another college) for a talented minority student with a financial need every year. The scholarship also will cover costs associated with high school college preparation, which could include tutoring costs or tuition assistance at a college prep high school. In total, the scholarship will cover eight years of education costs for each recipient. Beginning with the eighth year, there will be eight scholars in the program at any given time. More details about eligibility and the application and selection process will be announced in the near future.

Additionally in 2020, the Colts made a significant a gift to the Center for Leadership Development, the Indianapolis nonprofit that for four decades has transformed the lives of Black youth, to help expand its headquarters on the west side of Indianapolis, establish satellite locations in high crime, low-income areas, and increase program participation to 6,500 youth annually.

The Colts are also contributors to the IPS Educational Equity Fund, which funded e-learning materials and resources for students who were learning from home this past year due to the coronavirus health emergency.

PROGRESS

2021

The Colts and the Irsay Family Impact Scholarship awarded its second recipient earlier this year. We are currently in year three of the scholarship cycle and are working with community partners to identify and recognize the 2022’s recipient. The Irsay Family Impact Scholarship when fully established, will cover the costs of a four-year education at Indiana University (or the equivalent of four years of IU tuition at another college) for a talented minority student with a financial need every year. The scholarship also will cover costs associated with high school college preparation, which could include tutoring costs or tuition assistance at a college prep high school. In total, the scholarship will cover eight years of education costs for each recipient.

Additionally, the Colts have continued to support the Center for Leadership Development in their pursuit to establish satellite locations. The Colts are also committed to continuing to contribute to the IPS Educational Equity Fund.

Join us in the important work of creating racial equity in Central Indiana.

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