Amer-I-Can Foundation Receives 2 Year Grant From W.K. Kellogg Foundation


Contact: Flo Wiley

(646) 721 4735



$653,100 to Establish Programs at Hancock Prep & William B. Dickerson

(New York, NY, April 8, 2010) The Amer-I-Can Foundation for Social Change, Inc., founded in 1988 by National Football League (NFL) Hall of Famer, Hollywood film icon and lifelong community activist Jim Brown, today announced the award of a two-year $653,100 grant from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation that he will accept in Detroit, Mich. at a news conference on Tuesday April 20, 2010.


Jim Brown, President and Founder of Amer-I-Can, said, “We truly appreciate the opportunity to bring our life-skills and community services to the men and women of Detroit and New York. Amer-I-Can has proven success in changing negative behavior in some of our neighborhoods and communities. We have a demonstrated track record in working with incarcerated individuals helping them with goal setting and proper decision making. In the public school system, we have produced improved attendance records and grade point averages, as well as lowered incidences of disciplinary action.”


The grant was awarded in response to a proposal by Amer-I-Can of New York to provide the two-year Amer-I-Can Life Skills Training Program in Michigan at Hancock Preparatory School in Detroit, Mich. and Wayne County Jail’s William B. Dickerson Correctional Facility for Women in Hamtramck, Mich,, and also in New York at JVL Wildcat Academy Charter High School in the Bronx, and Bedford Academy High School in Brooklyn.


Walter Beach III, CEO of Amer-I-Can of New York, said, “In Amer-I-Can, we believe that the failure in personal development and low self-esteem are at the heart of the problems in our community. We believe that self-esteem can only be raised when an individual achieves success through self-determination.” Jim Brown and Beach, a Pontiac, Mich. native, are former Cleveland Browns © teammates.


The Amer-I-Can curriculum is a 60-hour, 15 chapter, life management skills/self-improvement training program. The incarcerated women at William B. Dickerson will also receive training in financial literacy and entrepreneurship, co-presented by YoungBIZ-Michigan. Beth Roberts, acting on behalf of the William B. Dickerson Correctional Facility and Al Lucy of YoungBIZ-Michigan, provided input in the proposal.


“This program gives marginalized young people a real opportunity to achieve educational and economic success. We cannot afford to accept the diminished life options and outcomes that so many young people of color face,” said Dr. Gail Christopher, Vice President for Programs at the W. K. Kellogg Foundation. “Programs such as Amer-I-Can provide another way for young people of color, particularly men and boys, to change the trajectory of where they are headed. We must not give up on them – and they must not give up on us. Opportunities like Amer-I-Can work toward that goal and require our support.”


Established in 1930, the W. K. Kellogg Foundation supports children, families and communities as they strengthen and create conditions that propel vulnerable children to achieve success as individuals and as contributors to the larger community and society. Grants are concentrated in the United States, Latin America and the Caribbean, and southern Africa. For further information please visit the Foundation’s website at


The Amer-I-Can Foundation for Social Change, Inc. was founded in 1988 by Jim Brown upon the belief that self-esteem is the key to improving one’s decision-making process and achieving success through self-determination. The Amer-I-Can Life Skills Training program has been successfully implemented in prisons, jails, juvenile probation camps, middle schools, high schools, colleges, universities, businesses and communities. For more information please visit the Foundation’s website at