Driving Force Group

Funds & Projects

 
 

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Williams Sisters Fund

Venus and Serena Williams each have a long history of charitable work, from funding schools in developing countries to endowing scholarships for American college students. For the first time, the Williams Sisters Fund allows them to work as a philanthropic team, focusing on their hometown of Compton. Beginning with an endowment to create the Yetunde Price Resource Center, their ongoing work will focus on community building through violence prevention, education, and athletic engagement.


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Torrey Smith Family Fund

NFL wide receiver Torrey Smith founded this fund on a core belief that every young person deserves the opportunity to live up to his or her full potential, regardless of the circumstances into which they were born. Through research and community engagement–as well as Smith’s own experience overcoming obstacles in his youth–the Torrey Smith Family Fund identify areas of disadvantage, and designs smart, effective programs to help even the playing field. Among the Funds many noteworthy initiatives are its mentorship programs like the L.E.V.E.L. Teen Summit, safe spaces like the Baltimore schools Reading Oasis program, and educational resources like scholarships and school supplies.


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Huddle Up

Huddle Up–a Driving Force Group partnership with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation–recognizes the painful reality that young, black men in America have to overcome tremendous obstacles just to make it to the same starting line as their peers. Huddle Up starts early, focusing on community and school engagement for boys in grades K-3, in order to target the black male achievement gap at its root. By bringing together leaders in the school, law enforcement, and parenting communities to honestly assess conditions, Huddle Up is able to promote policies and programs that lift up black males and help put an end to those that hold them back. The ultimate goal is to create the sense of trust, hope, well-being and belonging that each and every student deserves.


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Raise The Barr (Powered by ABF)

Raise the Barr is committed to breaking the cycle of poverty for low-income single parent families by providing single parents access to a quality college or university education. In addition to providing scholarships for tuition and childcare assistance, Raise the Barr collaborates with other charitable organizations and corporate partners to provide single parent families access to a variety of comprehensive community resources. We work together to remove the obstacles to higher education by providing access to such services as affordable safe housing, empowerment and financial literacy training, and job placement and coaching.


James Anderson Fund

When veteran NFL linebacker James Anderson began to explore philanthropic work, he explains, “I always wanted to do more than just write a check. I wanted to do good in the community. I knew Driving Force Group would connect me with the resources and education I needed to play an active role.” Over the last several years, Anderson has done just that, enabling a literacy program in partnership with Scholastic that provided over 12,000 books to students across two states, funding teachers’ classroom wish lists in his hometown of Chesapeake, VA, and supporting the work of Huddle Up. Today, Anderson sits on the Driving Force Group board, where his outreach efforts help inspire a new generation of informed, engaged, and dedicated philanthropists.


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Serena Williams Fund

Serena Williams’ most personal charitable endeavor is fiercely committed to two core goals: Creating equity through education and preventing and easing the pain caused by senseless acts of violence. From her hometown of Compton to countries like Kenya and Jamaica, Williams has used her platform and resources to build and fund schools, to combat racism in communities, and to heal the victims and family members of those affected by violence.


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The Talbert Memorial Fund

On October 27, 1997, Russell Talbert III lost his life to gun violence at the age of 21. Twenty years later, on August 30, 2017, his nephew, Jalen Talbert, lost his life to the same senseless act of gun violence.

While heartbreaking for the Talbert family, this story is too common for black families living in and directly outside of Chicago. Both Russell and Jalen, like many young men, had promising futures and aspirations they will never realize. Both Russell and Jalen, like many other men had loving families, an education, jobs, responsibilities and big hearts. Both Russell and Jalen, like many other men are not nameless, faceless, worthless members of society. They are not a statistic.

The cycle has to stop. The cycle of violence and also cycles of pain and heartbreak the violence leaves behind must stop. To that end, the Talbert Family is joining forces with the Yetunde Price Resource Center created by Venus and Serena Williams, to honor their late sister, also taken by senseless gun violence.

The Resource Center connects victims of violence and their families to the resources they need to help them heal emotionally, financially and spiritually. The funds raised through the Talbert Memorial Fund will be used to create specific programming focused on young males and the healing that is needed to stop this cycle of violence and help ease the pain when acts of senseless violence do occur.


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Yetunde Price Resource Center

The Yetunde Price Resource Center honors the legacy of its namesake, a victim of senseless gun violence, to ensure that those affected by violence either directly or indirectly, have access to resources to help them heal emotionally, physically and financially. The Yetunde Price Resource Center’s approach is defined by three core pillars of action:

  1. Community based case management navigation: Working with individuals to ensure their physical and mental health in the wake or at risk of violent acts. Each case is given dedicated, caring, long term attention to help them cope, heal, and move forward with their lives.
  2. Community Education: Partnering with local schools and law enforcement authorities to provide community programs in violence prevention, resiliency, social problem-solving,and conflict resolution.
  3. Expressive arts therapy: Working with victims and at-risk individuals to prevent and recover from violence through poetry, creative writing, music therapy, dance and movement therapy, and dramatic arts.