The San Francisco 49ers Make Two Year Commitment to Support SPAAT’s Efforts to Advance Racial Justice Through Education in Oakland Unified School District

PRESS RELEASE Saturday, September 12, 2020Contact: John SasakiCommunications Director 510-214-2080[email protected]
Oakland, CA — The Student Program for Academic and Athletic Transitioning (SPAAT), a key organization for helping Oakland’s student-athletes prepare for college and career, is announcing a major new partnership with the Bay Area’s one remaining NFL football team. The San Francisco 49ers have entered into an agreement with SPAAT for a two year grant which will be used to support SPAAT’s cause of advancing racial justice through education in Oakland.
SPAAT is one of a number of organizations that will share a total of $1 million in funding. This grant from the 49ers will be used to support the expansion of SPAAT’s College and Career Sports Performance Initiative (CCSPI), a district wide collaborative initiative spanning across eight middle schools and high schools in Oakland Unified School District. Because 90% of the students in CCSPI are African American and receive free and reduced priced lunches, this funding will advance SPAAT’s continuing efforts to promote social, racial, and educational justice.

The grant will help improve the quality of CCSPI’s wraparound services, support the creation of virtual platforms to connect to students, and help in the development of a COVID Response Plan that aligns with the District’s Distance Learning Plan.“SPAAT was founded in 2003 to end the athletic exploitation of Black students and athletes in education by empowering them to envision life beyond sports,” said SPAAT CEO Harold Pearson. “Funds from the San Francisco 49ers will enable SPAAT to further develop the next generation of leaders through the College & Career Sports Performance Initiative, which we plan to expand to every high school and middle school in Oakland.”

“SPAAT does outstanding work for the young people of Oakland, but their mission takes critical funding,” said OUSD Superintendent Kyla Johnson-Trammell. “It is always great to see major high profile organizations such as the San Francisco 49ers step up to support our students. I know this grant will help get many of them well on their way to college and a career they love. We thank the 49ers and wish them the best of luck as they begin a new season.”###


The Student Program for Academic & Athletic Transitioning (SPAAT) is an Oakland-based nonprofit organization that uses the power of sport to systematically transform lives at the individual level and to create positive change in the greater community. The mission of SPAAT is to increase the number of students and athletes prepared for success in college, careers, and life after sports. SPAAT’s programs serve students ages 12-19 who are passionate about their sport but struggle academically. The innovative curriculum creates a college-environment culture and provides student-athletes with the knowledge and support they need to make informed decisions about their academic futures. Each year, SPAAT makes a life-changing difference for hundreds of Bay Area student-athletes, and, since 2003, has assisted student-athletes in securing millions of dollars in collegiate academic and athletic scholarships.

SPAAT Media Contact: Ericka Jenkins, [email protected]; 510-836-9999, Facebook/Instagram: @spaatup 

About the San Francisco 49ers
The San Francisco 49ers, owned by Denise and John York, currently play in the NFC West division and have won five Super Bowl trophies including Super Bowl XVI, XIX, XXIII, XXIV and XXIX. The franchise also has seven conference championships and 20 divisional championships and was the first major league professional sports team to be based in San Francisco more than 70 years ago. In recognition of their unparalleled commitment to the community, the 49ers were the winners of the ESPN Humanitarian Sports Team of the Year in 2017 and the Beyond Sport 2015 Sport Team of the Year. The 49ers’ objective is to provide support to national and local Bay Area nonprofit organizations who are currently engaged in effective strategies for improving racial equity, with a focus on the African-American community, in three key areas: (1) policing, (2) the criminal justice system beyond policing, and (3) education and economic opportunity. 
About the Oakland Unified School DistrictIn California’s most diverse city, Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) is dedicated to creating a learning environment where “Every Student Thrives!” More than half of our students speak a non-English language at home. And each of our 81 schools is staffed with talented individuals uniting around a common set of values: Students First, Equity, Excellence, Integrity, Cultural Responsiveness and Joy. We are committed to preparing all students for college, career and community success. 

To learn more about OUSD’s Full Service Community District focused on academic achievement while serving the whole child in safe schools, please visit and follow us @OUSDnews.
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