Detroit PAL, connecting youth to police officers 

"Detroit Police Athletic League if you think about it, it's origins it was founded by a time like this where you had people or Juveniles come into the police precinct in greater numbers," said Robert Jamerson with Detroit PAL. "So, they saw that and they said let's do something for them and they developed this sports league and it surrounded them with these interactions with police officers."

They are the frontline workers that have never gone away, but now more than ever, Detroit PAL needs to continue its mission of bringing DPD mentorship and youth sports to the communities they serve. 

"One of the most valuable things that takes place is that it gives them a positive exposure with police," Jamerson said. "So when you think about police relations a lot of times, they're coming to an environment where it's already agitated, its already a negative view of what they're doing and the perceptions and experiences that even some of the adults may have had could have caused those kids to come up and have a certain type of mindset. So what police athletic does for these kids is that it causes them to unlearn some of those things and really find an appreciation for these police officers and what we're encouraged by is that it also helps the police officers to be able to understand the importance of dialogue and communicating with this generation who may ask more questions and allows them to train their officers on how to interact with them."

"Justice system isn't where it needs to be," said Dallas Cowboys Jourdan Lewis. "We definitely need to improve on that. Education in certain cities need to increase and we're trying to put something in place at PAL where we can tackle both."

Lewis, who played cornerback for the Wolverines and now with the Dallas Cowboys, grew up playing football with PAL, and while it's been more than 10 years since he was in the program, the lessons he learned both on and off the field remain indelible. 

"Just seeing positive black males in my life either in the force or having just a regular day job, it just put in me that we can do this," Lewis said. "Whether it's football or any other endeavor that I want to pursue in my life, I understand that it's possible and that representation is second to none when you see somebody that's just like you and they're giving their time back. So when they gave their time back, it was a no brainer for me to go back and just have my camps or anything that I can contribute to PAL, I'm there for them."

Founded in 1968, PAL's programs serve more than 10,000 Detroit area youth every year, extending well beyond sports. 

But in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and the movement against police brutality, the police athletic league needs all help.