The Playbook Initiative with New Balance
Inspired by members of the 2016-17 Celtics roster, the Shamrock Foundation launched an anti-discrimination and bias-prevention program called The Playbook Initiative. The program, which resulted in the creation of a “social playbook”, inspires a dialogue on race, religion, gender, disability and sexual orientation and ultimately equips kids with the tools to intervene in challenging social situations.
Community Partner: Project 351
Project 351 is a youth-led movement of social change that unites an eighth-grade Ambassador from each of Massachusetts’ 351 cities and towns in a transformational year of leadership, service, and civic engagement. Project 351 was founded on the belief that every young person is remarkable and that within them lies the tools, vision, and desire to build a more just, inclusive, and united global community. Over a year’s term, Ambassadors — and the thousands of classmates they engage — demonstrate the power and potential of young people in service, and inspire hope for the future they commit to create.
Project 351 was founded in 2011 in partnership with former Governor Deval Patrick and is currently supported by Governor Charlie Baker. In partnership with youth, educators, and school districts, Project 351 develops a courageous and confident generation of service leaders and the conditions to support systemic change — engaged values-based school communities; a diverse community of mentors to enrich impact; and a network of innovative nonprofit partners focused on solutions to the causes and consequences of poverty.
Project 351 and The Playbook Initiative
The Boston Celtics believed in the vision of Project 351 from the start — a champion for diverse Ambassador leaders and their mission to lead positive social change. Over the last decade, Boston Celtic players and Alumni have joined Ambassadors in service, offering essential lessons in leadership and community building.
In Spring 2019, the partnership expanded in support of the Playbook Initiative, the team’s signature anti-bias, anti-discrimation enrichment and empowerment program. Playbook reflects a shared set of values and a common vision for strong, just, and inclusive communities.
Over the last two years, the Celtics Shamrock Foundation and Project 351 have collaborated to increase the scope and scale of Playbook through a cohort of high school Alumni “Trainers”, each selected for their commitment to social justice and inclusion. Trainers were enriched by workshops, training, and mentorship by Celtics and Project 351 staff. And, gained facilitation and mentorship skills to successfully engage more than 650 middle school students in partnership with a committed school district. Through candid dialogues and greater awareness, middle school participants developed the courage and tools to positively intervene in challenging social situations. Inspired by the example of Celtics players, coaches, and staff, youth committed to lead as upstanders and bridge builders.