The words “They Believed Before We Built” are emblazoned on a column at the entry of the new Sports and Learning Campus in Louisville, Kentucky. Beneath those words is another sign that reads “Meijer.”
One year ago, we chose the Louisville Urban League as one of 22 agencies across our footprint to share in a $5 million investment in bringing about a future of hope, equality and respect in our Black and African American communities. They put our support to incredible use, opening the state of the art Sports and Learning Campus in February.
Built on a vacant lot that had previously sat abandoned for a decade, the complex is meant to attract spending and create jobs into one of the poorest zip codes in Kentucky.
“We serve a community that has felt abandoned and invisible,” said Sadiqa N. Reynolds, President and CEO of the Louisville Urban League. “Our partnership with Meijer is yet another step in the direction of recognition and opportunity. The Louisville Urban League’s focus on jobs, justice, education, health and housing is stronger because of partners like you. I know it seems too optimistic, but together not only can we change a community, but we can change a world. Let's keep going.”
The Sports and Learning Campus features state of the art indoor and outdoor track facilities, as well as educational spaces. In the opening month, the facility hosted runners and spectators from 22 states and three countries, with every event at capacity. It will encourage local students to participate in track and field, a sport that, compared to all other major sports, produces students with the highest grades, lowest truancy, and highest likelihood of attending college.
The facility was built with support of the Black and African American community in mind from the beginning, representing the highest Black spend in Kentucky history with more than 40 percent of all dollars spent with Black firms. Now that it’s open, the facility is expected to generate $47 million in economic impact in its local community.
In addition to our investment one year ago, Meijer also chose the Louisville Urban League to be one of 19 Urban League affiliates across the Midwest to share in a $1 million donation in April. We are pleased to continue to support their incredible work.