Bears take My Block, My Hood, My City students behind the scenes at Halas Hall
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As the Bears pile up accolades in a division-winning season, they’ve made strides in the community off the field too, according to one organizer.
South and West Side teens with the social justice group My Block, My Hood, My City got a look behind the scenes of the team’s Halas Hall practice facility recently, one of the first interactions in what the group’s founder, Jahmal Cole, calls a long-term relationship.
“They not only want to give dollars but develop relationships with our students,” Cole said.
My Block, My Hood, My City was among five organizations with social justice initiatives that received a total of more than $813,000 from the team. That included $291,600 raised by players, $19,550 from coaches and executives and a matching donation of $311,150 from the Bears organization.
The group works with youth in city neighborhoods wracked by poverty and crime and takes them on educational field trips to expose them to different career options and opportunities.
Cole said he was surprised to see team chairman George McCaskey wearing a My Block, My Hood, My City sweatshirt when the group arrived at the Lake Forest training facility with 16 students late last month.
They met with dozens of players and coaches including quarterback Mitch Trubisky, who gave the group tickets to the Bears’ game against the Los Angeles Rams earlier this month.
“Chicago is not a level playing field. They’re not connected to same experience as kids from North Side, and the Bears get that,” Cole said.