Non-profit news: NFL Hall of Famer Willie Lanier’s Six Million Dollar HBCU Promise

Former Kansas City Chief, Willie Lanier wants level the playing field

Associated Press/Willie Lanier

KANSAS CITY, KANSAS, UNITED STATES, February 11, 2023 / — NFL Hall of Famer Willie Lanier’s Six Million Dollar HBCU Promise

Lanier’s dream powers on in “Hail Mary” fundraising effort amid Black History Month.

In 2020, Willie Lanier launched the Field of Dreams program as a promise to improve football facilities at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs.) He teamed up with FieldTurf (the synthetic turf division of Tarkett Sports Company) and Huntington Bank to embark on his mission to level the playing field between predominantly white institutions and HBCUs.

The program kicked off with a brand-new turf field being donated to Virginia Union University, followed by fields at Central State University, Morehouse College, West Virginia State, Livingston College, and Jackson State – headed by coach Deion Sanders. This program is managed by the Honey Bear Project, named after Lanier’s “bear hug” on game days. However, funding fell short, leaving five schools with million-dollar debts.

According to Honey Bear Project CEO Nadia Sellers, Lanier contacted the National Football League to seek support for his program through their multi-million dollar social justice funds.

“The Field of Dreams program is looking for individuals and corporate partners to continue Lanier’s mission,” Sellers shared. Despite unfavorable circumstances, Sellers is optimistic that new pledges of financial support can bring this HBCU dream to fruition – especially in light of Black History Month. Donations to the cause can be made online at

Founded on the principles of hope, kindness, and belief in the human spirit, The Honey Bear Project is a 501c3 organization aimed at uplifting all levels of society. Their programs include HBCU student scholarships, Inner city college/career planning, and re-entry programs for women.


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