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When Colin Kaepernick’s charity, Know Your Rights Camp, began to grow quickly, he partnered with the Entertainment Industry Foundation, an organization many athletes and entertainers have come to rely on to help run their philanthropies. Upon EIF’s 80th anniversary, the former NFL quarterback spoke with The Hollywood Reporter about that partnership, and the event that sparked his charity work.
What motivated you to create Know Your Rights Camp?
My partner, Nessa, and I founded Know Your Rights Camp (KYRC) in December 2015 in the wake of the police lynching of Mario Woods in the Bayview neighborhood of San Francisco. [No officers were charged for the shooting death of Woods, but his family reached an out-of-court settlement with the city of San Francisco.] As a direct response to police terrorism against Black and brown communities, our organization provides young people with the legal, cultural and neighborhood resources to fight back against police violence and systemic oppression. Our core offering is our traveling, daylong, site-based camp.
As we travel from city to city, we partner with local nonprofits and community organizers to resource youths with what they need to survive and thrive in a world that doesn’t always have their best interests at heart. We hosted our first camp in downtown Oakland in October 2016, and since then, we’ve organized eight additional camps. We hosted our most recent camp in April 2022 in Las Vegas.
What do you consider the organization’s most important achievements?
Our impact has been intentionally and strategically broad. At the outset of the pandemic in early 2020 — and with the health and safety of the youth we serve in mind — we temporarily halted our in-person camps for 24 months and established several survival programs focused on supporting Black and brown communities disproportionately impacted by the violence of the dual pandemics: COVID-19 and police terrorism.
Above all, I’m proud of how we’ve weaved together multiple initiatives to support and protect our communities as conditions on the ground continue to change.
Why did you partner with the Entertainment Industry Foundation in creating your organization?
As Know Your Rights Camp started to expand, we often heard about EIF’s reputation in the philanthropic community from many different people we respected. When we met with Nicole Sexton and her team for the first time, it was immediately clear to us why so many of the top philanthropic groups work with them in the fiscal sponsor arrangement. All members of the EIF team are dedicated and passionate about working with their fiscal partners. The EIF team has been with us every step of the way as we’ve launched important initiatives like our Legal Defense Initiative, our bail fund, our Autopsy Initiative and beyond. I’m confident that we’ll continue to do great things together and look forward to what the future holds.
A version of this story first appeared in the June 22 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to subscribe.
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