The Pittsburgh Steelers and inside linebacker Avery Williamson have announced a $10,000 donation to the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh
Williamson and the Steelers’ contribution is the latest installment in the franchise’s Social Justice Grant program, assisting organizations that are making a difference in the Pittsburgh community.
The @steelers have announced a donation to @ulpgh from @AWilliamson54 with a matching contribution by the team as part of the #Steelers’ Social Justice Grant program to help support community efforts.— Steelers Community Relations (@SteelersCR) January 14, 2021
📝: https://t.co/xzfaUt9bxt pic.twitter.com/B8hJP3vVfW
Williamson attributed a $5,000 donation to the cause, which was matched by the Steelers.
According to their website, The Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh aims to “enable African Americans to secure economic self-reliance, parity and power, and civil rights.”
The Urban League does so through “extra-curricular educational opportunities, health advocacy, housing counseling, parental education” and more.
The organization has also been crucial amidst the on-going COVID-19 pandemic, providing life-saving resources to the disproportionately affected Black community.
Over recent months, the Urban League has assisted thousands of families with mortgage relief and rental assistance, hygiene essentials, employment support and even food for the holidays.
“You had the police community social justice issues, which tie into the race issues, which ties into the pandemic, that really promoted more use of our food pantry, more use and I am pleased to say additional income to help our housing program where we help people with their mortgage, rent and utilities,” President and CEO of the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh Esther Bush told Steelers.com. “Not just through our housing programs which is what we do, but through all of our programs we hear the needs and get the referrals. I am extremely proud that the City of Pittsburgh, as well as Allegheny County, has reached out to us to give us additional funds and service those laid off employees that work in the hourly jobs, restaurants, etc. The Urban League staff are absolutely essential workers when I look at the hundreds of people we have helped during this pandemic.”
For Williamson, the decision to help the Urban League’s mission came easy.
“What they are doing is a great cause and I just wanted to add to it,” said Williamson. “Equal rights are something that has been fought for to achieve for years. I am glad a lot of these situations are being brought up with the injustices. Hopefully all the things going on will make a difference and change the spectrum of racism in America and across the world. It can be an uncomfortable situation to talk about, but it helps break down a lot of barriers. It can make a lot of people’s perspectives change, just having a conversation.”
With the help of the Steelers organization and players like Williamson, the Urban League hopes to continue creating change and serving the community for years to come.
“The Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh has been around for 102 years,” Bush said. “We are pleased that we can lift almost every aspect of the community in an ongoing basis or at some point has really embraced us and brought us closer. Our relationship with the Steelers goes back for some time. When you see a Steelers player choose the Urban League, and he has heard about us or read about us through the work we do every single day, we are hoping what we bring to the community to make the community better, especially for black folks and low income individuals, is making the right impact.”
Steeler fans interested in assisting the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh themselves can visit their website here.