IJM Hosts NFL and CFL Football Players through NFLPA Externship Experience
Wednesday, March 31, 2021, WASHINGTON, D.C. — International Justice Mission (IJM) enthusiastically welcomed Eric Rowe and Geremy Davis for a week-long virtual externship as an extension of IJM’s ongoing partnership with the NFL Players Association (NFLPA).
This is the third year that IJM has hosted an NFLPA extern – Sam Acho (2018), Joel Heath (2020) and Brian Parker (2020) previously participated in the program bringing new and unique perspectives to the team. Through the NFLPA externship, players experience the workplace outside of a professional football setting to enhance their future career potential, all while learning about IJM’s work at a deeper level and bringing a boost of energy and new knowledge to the teams they work with.
Eric Rowe is a safety for the Miami Dolphins and represented IJM on his cleats during the 2020 season’s “My Cause My Cleats” campaign. During his time at IJM, he worked with IJM’s Northern Triangle team on a grant proposition to protect women and children from violence.
“My experience with IJM from the start was very informative as they showed me their day-to-day operations. I learned so much from every aspect from how they conduct rescue operations, to aftercare of survivors, to helping transform justice systems and more,” said Rowe. “The only factor that would have made this experience better would to be to meet these great individuals face-to-face. I am glad I got the opportunity to join and be a part of this organization.”
Geremy Davis is a wide receiver for the Toronto Argonauts and has been an active member of IJM’s Team Freedom for many years. Geremy has visited several IJM field offices gaining firsthand knowledge of IJM’s casework and devoted his externship to working with the North America Partnerships Team and creating a Bible study for pro athlete families.
"My time with IJM was amazing,” said Davis. “By experiencing the day-to-day activities of the organization, I was able to use my perspective to help advocate to bring an end to human trafficking, not simply participate from afar. It was important to me to get out of my comfort zone to speak and work with the IJM Partnerships team to determine how I can play a part in ending human trafficking.”
This opportunity for partnership with these professional athletes would not have been possible without the NFLPA. The ability to continue the externship in the midst of a global pandemic by adapting to a remote environment has proven to be another successful experience.
“We are grateful Eric and Geremy devoted some of their coveted offseason time to work with IJM,” said Donald Brown, Director of Team Freedom Partnerships: Pro Athletes Ending Slavery. “IJM continues to benefit from participation in the NFLPA’s externship program as players bring fresh points of view and ideas to the team, and we thoroughly enjoyed collaborating together to advance the mission of protecting people in poverty from violence.”
"NFLPA externs have consistently had a significant impact on the work giving their time and talents to the IJM team," said Jaclynn Willert, Founder of Team Freedom Partnerships: Pro Athletes Ending Slavery. "We look forward each year to being a host organization, and we are honored to continue partnering with the NFLPA."
About International Justice Mission:
International Justice Mission is a global organization that protects people in poverty from violence. IJM partners with local authorities in 21 program offices in 13 countries to combat slavery, violence against women and children, and other forms of abuse against people who are poor. IJM works to rescue and restore victims, hold perpetrators accountable, and help strengthen public justice systems. Learn more at IJM.org.
About IJM’s Team Freedom Program:
Team Freedom, IJM’s team of pro athlete families, has partners in the NFL, MLB, NHL, US Soccer, NBA, CPL and Olympics who are committed to using the global power and influence of sport in IJM’s work to protect people in poverty from human trafficking, slavery and other forms of violence. Since Team Freedom’s launch in 2014, Team Freedom players and their families have advocated for survivors, traveled internationally to meet with IJM front line teams and brought the work of IJM in front of tens of millions of people. They have also raised significant funds to support the work - in 2020 alone, Team Freedom raised over $3 million.