SHOWTIME(R) AND PARAMOUNT GLOBAL'S CONTENT FOR CHANGE INITIATIVE ANNOUNCE $300,000 DONATION TO MINNEAPOLIS NORTH COMMUNITY HIGH SCHOOL ON BEHALF OF "BOYS IN BLUE"
Funds Establish Multi-Year Scholarship Program
NEW YORK - January 25, 2023 - Today, SHOWTIME in partnership with Paramount Global's Content for Change initiative announced a $300,000 donation to North Community High School, the focus of the new docuseries BOYS IN BLUE from Pete Berg, spotlighting the school and its football team during the 2021 season as the players come of age in the aftermath of the Minneapolis police killing of George Floyd. The funds establish a multi-year scholarship program to help students continue their education and build a more equitable community in North Minneapolis.
Over the next six years, the scholarships will be awarded to 22 graduating North Community High School seniors, designated for students and football players. Four $10,000 scholarships will be awarded beginning this year. Additionally, the school will receive $10,000 in an annual grant dedicated to providing additional resources such as school supplies, after-school activities and field trips. The scholarships and grants will be administered through Achieve Twin Cities, the nonprofit foundation for Minneapolis Public Schools that aims to rally community support and deliver best-in-class programs to inspire and equip Minneapolis and Saint Paul young people for careers, college and life.
"On behalf of the Polar Football team and North High School community, we are truly grateful for the financial investment for our young scholars," said Charles Adams III, Head Football Coach, North Community High School. "We know that going to college is a dream for many but not always a reality. Thank you for helping our young Polars get closer to their dreams."
As a part of Paramount Global's Content for Change initiative, BOYS IN BLUE continues the company's mission to harness the power of storytelling to challenge stereotypes, shift perceptions and create meaningful change. The complex relationship between the young, predominately Black high school athletes and their police officer football coaches and mentors examined in BOYS IN BLUE represents the epitome of what Content for Change hopes to share with viewers. Content for Change aims to break down the narratives that allow for racism and hate to exist through a diversity of representation in programming and production.
"We're thrilled to support the legacy of North Community High School by investing in students as they continue their education and pursue their talents, "said Crystal Barnes, Senior Vice President of Corporate Social Responsibility and ESG, Paramount Global. "Providing long-term positive impact beyond our shows is a guiding principle behind the Content for Change mission. We are proud to work with Achieve Twin Cities to make this possible, an organization that shares a commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion as well as supporting their community."
BOYS IN BLUE focuses on North Community High School's Polars football team, where mostly Black student-athletes are coached and mentored by members of the Minneapolis Police Department. The series follows the team as they navigate life after the tragic police killing of Floyd, a milestone event in American history that set off a national movement for social justice and police reform. Despite their differences, the officers and students find common ground on the field and kinship in the drive to win a state championship, establishing what they believe is a safe harbor from the violence and civil unrest of their community. As players and coaches return to the field with visions of championship glory, their sense of normalcy and optimism are tested like never before.
The series premiered on Friday, January 6, and episodes will air each Friday at 8 p.m. ET/PT. All four episodes are available on demand and on streaming platforms for SHOWTIME subscribers, and the first episode is available for free viewing on Sho.com, Showtime.com, as well as across multiple SHOWTIME partner platforms including YouTube.
The series is directed by Emmy(R)-winning filmmaker Peter Berg, who also executive produced via Film 45 with partners Matthew Goldberg and Brandon Carroll, alongside Rob Ford. The series is produced by Mandon Lovett and co-executive produced by Emily Webster Jackson, Giselle Rodriguez, Ryan Schiavo and Andre Gary.
Paramount's Content for Change is a global companywide, cross-brand initiative that seeks to harness the power of content to counteract racism, bias, stereotypes, and all forms of hate. Informed and inspired by BET's groundbreaking campaign, Content for Change applies scientific research, rigor, and data to transform the entire creative ecosystem across three pillars - the content the company produces, the creative supply chain that powers it, and the culture that underpins everything Paramount does. For more information, go to www.contentforchange.paramount.com
Achieve Twin Cities rallies community support and delivers best-in-class programs to inspire and equip young people in Minneapolis and Saint Paul for careers, college and life. Their vision is that all students have full and equitable access to postsecondary education and career opportunities, resulting in a more just and vibrant community. Achieve Twin Cities directs career and college readiness services in 28 Minneapolis Public Schools and Saint Paul Public Schools high schools, provides internship opportunities for high school and college students, hosts EDTalks and other public engagement events, and serves as the nonprofit foundation for Minneapolis Public Schools. Learn more at www.achievetwincities.org.
Showtime Networks Inc. (SNI), a wholly owned subsidiary of Paramount, owns and operates the premium service SHOWTIME(R), which features critically acclaimed original series, provocative documentaries, box-office hit films, comedy and music specials and hard-hitting sports. SHOWTIME is available as a stand-alone streaming service across all major streaming devices and Showtime.com, as well as via cable, DBS, telco and streaming video providers. SNI also operates the premium services THE MOVIE CHANNEL(TM) and FLIX(R), as well as on demand versions of all three brands. SNI markets and distributes sports and entertainment events for exhibition to subscribers on a pay-per-view basis through SHOWTIME PPV(R). For more information, go to www.SHO.com.