The Players Coalition Teams Up with Center for Policing Equity to Engage Youth and Build Trust in the Criminal Justice System

March 27 2018

Center for Policing Equity (CPE) is teaming up with the Players Coalition, an independent organization comprised of professional athletes across leagues focused on improving social justice and racial equality in our country, to launch a new initiative aimed at engaging America’s youth, the Young Justice Nerds. The Young Justice Nerds awards (YJN) are a ‘first of their kind’ competition to celebrate high school and college students across the country doing the work of promoting improvements in criminal justice.

“The energy and aspirations of our nation’s youth have always been the North Star for social reform. Over the past four years they have marched, organized, volunteered, stood up, and taken a knee for the sake of a better future—a future we owe them,” said Dr. Phillip Atiba Goff, CPE President and Co-Founder. “As CPE continues to lead the nation on data-driven approaches to police reform, we could not be happier to partner with the Players Coalition to recognize this generation of committed leaders and to lift up the work they are already doing to perfect our democracy."

Professional athletes from around the country will tape short videos aimed at increasing participation across the country. The videos will be shared on social media and sent to school districts nationwide. NFL Super Bowl Champion and Players Coalition Co-Founder, Anquan Boldin is featured in the first released video. “There is nothing more important than making sure that our youth are protected and celebrated—especially when they are taking the initiative to shape their futures,” Boldin said. “I am so proud of what these students are doing and so excited that they are using their intelligence and passions to make their communities safer and fair.”

The goal of the YJN Competition is to lift up the passions, genius, and inspiration young people have for justice. Winners will receive prizes, a trip to Washington, D.C., and a chance to meet all the NFL players from the videos. Awards will be presented during the Science of Justice Awards Dinner - the closing event to CPE’s 2018 biennial convening - on Thursday, May 3rd, 2018. The deadline to apply for the YJN competition is April 9th.



Players Coalition is an independent 501c3 organization, working with professional athletes across leagues on improving social justice and racial equality in our country. Our work is focused on three key areas: Police & Community Relations, Criminal Justice Reform and Education & Economic Advancement.


Center for Policing Equity is the nation’s leading think and action tank on racial justice and policing. In an era of political divisiveness and social unrest, CPE believes collaboration with law enforcement and communities is imperative. CPE has worked for 10 years to hold police and their communities accountable and build trust in cities and states across the country. By providing evidence-based analytic tools and up-to-date research, CPE’s work amplifies the need for a broader bipartisan movement for criminal justice reform.