NFL Players and Former Juvenile Offenders Team Up for Super Bowl Pop-Up Dinner

Good News Notes:

Café Momentum — an award-winning nonprofit restaurant that provides 12-month paid internships and life-changing support to young people exiting the juvenile justice system — teamed up with the Players Coalition, a nonprofit founded by NFL players Anquan Boldin and Malcolm Jenkins.

The restaurant is dedicated to making an impact on social justice and racial inequality, along with Stand Together Foundationa philanthropic organization committed to breaking the cycle of poverty in America by driving change from within communities, to bring its innovative model to the Super Bowl.

The invite-only pop-up dinner and black-carpet event downtown at Rossoblu brought together athletes, including NFL Legend, Players Coalition Member and Stand Together Ambassador Shaun Alexander; Players Coalition Task Force Member and New Orleans Saints Linebacker Demario Davis; criminal justice reform advocates Alice Marie Johnson and Michael “Harry O” Harris; local lawmakers; and community partners to enjoy a three-course meal prepared and served by L.A. justice system-involved youth. Café Momentum partnered with the Anti-Recidivism Coalition (ARC), which works to end mass incarceration in California and to empower formerly and currently incarcerated people to thrive, to give these local youth the opportunity to experience the transformative Café Momentum model.

Throughout the evening — emceed by former NFL linebacker and Stand Together Ambassador Dhani Jone — guests witnessed how the right care and support can empower justice-involved youth to become contributing members of society. Shaun Alexander delivered remarks along with Momentum Ambassadors, and leaders from Café Momentum and Stand Together Foundation, according to a press release.

Momentum Advisory Collective (M.A.C.) — the parent company driving Café Momentum’s national expansion with support from Stand Together Foundation — saw the Super Bowl as an exciting stage to build community support for opening a Café Momentum restaurant in Los Angeles by 2024.

“These young people should not be defined by their worst mistakes. We’re committed to providing them with support and opportunities to realize their full potential,” said Chad Houser, founder and CEO of Café Momentum and M.A.C.

“In supporting Café Momentum here at the Super Bowl, professional athletes are helping us show these youth that they matter. With committed partners like the Players Coalition and Stand Together Foundation, we are transforming lives and the way we think about juvenile justice in our country.”

This dinner is the latest collaboration between Café Momentum, Players Coalition, and Stand Together Foundation. The partners have hosted previous events with NFL athletes, including a pop-up dinner in Miami for Super Bowl LIV.

“Café Momentum shows what is possible when you put the right system of support around young people who have made mistakes early in life and believe in their potential,” said NFL Legend, Stand Together Ambassador, and Players Coalition Member Shaun Alexander.

“The NFL Family and Players Coalition have also embraced this transformational organization and we thank the Stand Together Foundation for how they are helping Café Momentum expand their important work across the country.”

“Players Coalition is proud to partner with Café Momentum and like-minded organizations to bring out the best in youth exiting the youth justice system,” said New Orleans Saints Linebacker and Players Coalition Task Force Member, Demario Davis.

“The future of these young men and women is important. They deserve equal access to opportunities that help them reach their full potential and by working hand-in-hand with the NFL to Inspire Change, Café Momentum, and Stand Together, we all hope to engage a conversation around youth justice and the potential for programs like these to transform young lives.”

“Stand Together is excited to be back at the Super Bowl with Players Coalition, NFL’s Inspire Change initiative, Café Momentum, and Momentum Advisory Collective. Once you experience Café Momentum and see what the young men and women coming out of juvenile detention are capable of, you can’t help but see how broken the current system is,” said Brian Hooks, CEO of Stand Together….”

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