Character Team

Project Blind Side Tackles Washington, D.C.

Washington Redskins Chris Draft, The Chris Draft Family Foundation, Town Hall Education Arts Recreation Campus (THEARC) and Legacy Direct recently partnered to host Project Blind Side in Washington D.C.   Nearly 300 youth filled the seats of the THEARC Theater to watch a special screening of the award-winning motion picture The Blind Side. Draft along with panelists, Joe Briggs of the NFLPA, former Vice President of Communications of the Washington Nationals Chartese Burnett, Eric Singletary of Sidwell Friends School and Ashley Bratton of KIPP Charter School led an interactive discussion focused on character, literacy and leadership.

“Our goal here is twofold as it relates to making a meaningful impact in the lives of these young people. We want to give the young people a voice and direction on their road to success,” said Draft who is entering his 13th season in the NFL. “The Blind Side captures so many vital discussion topics. There’s a message of educational disparity that resonates throughout the movie, there’s also themes surrounding leadership, sportsmanship and serving your fellow man. The Blind Side teaches us all life lessons and so we bring it to life through our signature Discussion and a Movie platform.”

Students and teachers agreed that there was a lesson to learn by participating in the recent program.  “It is very important to get to kids early and give them the tools they need to be successful,” said Bratton, who served on the panel and is a teacher at KIPP Charter School. Each student not only engaged in a discussion focused on education and leadership but each youth in attendance received free books to continue reading and learning during the summer months. This community outreach, which focuses on youth reading during the summer break, supports Draft’s and the U.S. Department of Education’s literacy initiatives.

This unique public-private partnership among Draft’s nonprofit organization and Hollywood heavyweights such as ALCON and Warner Brothers has yielded excitement nationwide as the collaborative efforts has empowered The Chris Draft Family Foundation to host Project Blind Side in various markets including Atlanta, San Diego, Los Angeles and more, taking this message of leadership and literacy nationwide . “The great thing about this movie is that it teaches you so many lessons that you didn’t even know you were being taught,” said Briggs. “It showed that even if you come from what some consider a bad background, you can stand on a great foundation with a strong support system and take advantage of the opportunities you have.”

“We are thrilled to be a part of this wonderful program and believe passionately in their mission statement to improve the lives of inter-city youths,” said Andrew Kosove with Alcon Entertainment. 

Draft’s foundation, which was established in 2006, has utilized the “Discussion and a Movie” platform to screen other noteworthy films including Denzel Washington’s ‘The Great Debaters’. “Our Discussion and a Movie initiative allows us to take real life experiences and occurrences portrayed on the silver screen and to actively engage youth in a meaningful discussion about life,” added Draft. “It gives the youth a voice and platform to be heard in a creative and engaging way.”

For more information, to become a sponsor or to bring Project Blind Side to your area visit To find out more about Literacy Leaders and Character Team pages on the Chris Draft Family Foundation website.

Check out recent articles and postings about this special Chris Draft Family Foundation initiative.