NFL awards Just City with $200,000 grant

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. –The NFL awarded Just City, a Memphis organization that fights for fairness in the criminal justice system, a $200,000 grant Friday.

Josh Spickler is the executive director of Just City, an organization founded just six years ago that tackles criminal justice and police reform. Friday, he talked with WREG about this weekend’s “Journey for Justice” symposium with the National Civil Rights Museum.

“One of great things about the symposium is how it does tie the current state of things and the need for change,” Spickler said.

The mission and work of Just City has not gone unnoticed, grabbing the attention and scoring big with the NFL.

Spickler admits he was surprised, especially with the NFL’s response to player protests over racial inequality and police brutality.

“An organization like the National Football League just a few ago was pushing its player to keep quiet and not speak up about thing they know were not right because of where they group and the experiences they have,” Spickler said. “When groups like the National Football League come out to support a group like Just City in a city that’s not an NFL city, I think that shows progress, and that it shows that unfairness is becoming real to people.”

Just City will use the money for its Clean Slate fund, the Memphis Community Bail Fund and Court Watch.

Just City is one of 13 organizations across the country to receive this new grant from the NFL. The money will also help with the non-profit’s annual budget of $600,000.

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