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Press release content from Globe Newswire. The AP news staff was not involved in its creation.

Prison Fellowship Partners with Walmart to Launch the Opportunity Kids Collaborative

November 2, 2021 GMT

Atlanta, GA, Nov. 02, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Prison Fellowship ®, the nation’s largest Christian nonprofit serving prisoners, former prisoners, and their families—in partnership with Walmart’s Center for Racial Equity —is launching the Opportunity Kids Collaborative, a nationwide movement geared at connecting children in distressed communities of color to a network of support. The commencement of the effort will be marked by an Angel Tree Sports Camp in Atlanta, GA, on Sunday, November 7, 2021.  

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Opportunity Kids Kick-Off Event—Atlanta, GA, Sunday, November 7, 2021 

Who:      Prison Fellowship Angel Tree®, Walmart’s Center for Racial Equity, and the Atlanta Police Athletic League

What:    The launch of the Opportunity Kids Collaborative, commemorated by an Angel Tree Sports Camp for more than 100 kids of incarcerated parents in the Greater Atlanta area

When:    Sunday, November 7, 2021, beginning at 11:00am until 3:00pm.

Where:    Anderson Park, 120 Anderson Av. NW, Atlanta, GA 30314    

Speakers:     Frank Murphy, former NFL wide receiver, author, and returning citizen  and Shaun Alexander, former NFL running back and current Prison Fellowship Board member 

The Prison Fellowship Angel Tree Sports Camp event will include a day of training in two forms: various football positions, taught by coaches in the Atlanta Police Athletic League; and spiritual encouragement for children and their caregivers—conducted by Prison Fellowship staff and church volunteers in the Atlanta area. 

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“We are so thrilled to be partnering with Walmart and its Center for Racial Equity to help create a collaboration of corporate, community, and faith-based partners—working together to help kids move from vulnerable beginnings to victorious futures,” said James Ackerman, President and CEO of Prison Fellowship.  “Opportunity Kids are children aged 18 and under who, through no fault of their own, may struggle to flourish and realize their potential. They contain the spark inherent in all human beings: the potential to grow into healthy, productive adults using their unique gifts to contribute to the communities in which they live.” 

“This new collaboration with the Walmart Center for Racial Equity helps build relationships with like-minded individuals and organizations who contribute and work toward shared goals,” said Natika Washington, Vice President of Corporate Partnerships of Prison Fellowship.  “Prison Fellowship is uniquely positioned to partner with local churches, corporations, and other organizations who want to come alongside struggling families and children to provide support, encouragement, and connection.” 

“Our work aims to create systems change, which means addressing the root cause of the problem and redesigning the parts of the system that contribute to Black Americans being disproportionately more likely to be incarcerated,” said Marvin Carr, Director for Racial Equity, Walmart.org. “We know this change will take time and a steady flow of resources, which is why we’re building national networks to create and scale up community-based prevention efforts. We are excited that Prison Fellowship is leading one of these networks: the Opportunity Kids network.”  

Opportunity Kids

Opportunity Kids are children aged 18 and under who, through no fault of their own, may struggle to flourish. They contain the spark inherent in all human beings: the potential to grow into healthy, productive adults using their unique gifts to contribute to the communities in which they live. But Opportunity Kids face challenges that threaten their potential, from poverty to racism to family instability. If not mitigated, circumstances like these can lead to adverse outcomes like low school performance and substance abuse. But with our support, Opportunity Kids can thrive. Spearheaded by Prison Fellowship through the generous investment of Walmart, the Opportunity Kids Collaborative is a network of corporate, community, and faith-based partners working together to provide this support, beginning in five cities:  Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, and San Bernardino. 

Prison Fellowship

Prison Fellowship is the nation’s largest outreach to prisoners, former prisoners, and their families, and a leading voice for criminal justice reform. With more than 45 years of experience helping restore men and women behind bars, Prison Fellowship advocates for federal and state criminal justice reforms that transform those responsible for crime, validate victims, and encourage communities to play a role in creating a safe, redemptive, and just society. 

Walmart

In 1962, Sam Walton opened the doors of the first Walmart. He recognized the value of bringing affordable products to people in small towns. Walmart has been helping people save money – and live better – ever since. In 1982, the Walmart Foundation was created to help support the communities Walmart serves. Together, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation generally provide more than $1 billion in cash and in-kind annual giving. We focus on areas where we can do the most good - combining the unique strengths of the business alongside our philanthropy. Our ability to draw on Walmart business strengths, providing more than just funding, enables our philanthropy to deliver greater societal impact.


Jim Forbes Prison Fellowship 703-554-8540 jim_forbes@pfm.org