Colin Kaepernick just took a bold stand to help the people of Standing Rock

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San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick is starting 2017 off by making good on his 2016 pledge to use both his fame and his finances to support social justice causes in the United States.


In October, Kaepernick began donating $100,000 per month to a variety of charitable causes. This week, news broke that his most recent donations included $50,000 for University of California San Francisco's Mni Wiconi Health Clinic Partnership at Standing Rock, in North Dakota—the site of months of protests by the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and its allies against the construction of the Dakota Access oil pipeline through its sacred lands.

On his website, Kaepernick wrote that the money donated will be used to offset salaries for doctors and nurses, and building materials for a mobile medical clinic. The funds will also help pay for medical supplies, and liability insurance.


The clinic was created by the Do No Harm Coalition, a group of several hundred UCSF medical professionals who are "committed to ending racism and state sanctioned violence." According to a crowdfunding page for the initiative, the group began work on the clinic in September of 2016, at the behest of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, and works with a number of partners "to create a space for the imagining and practice of decolonized medicine in order to further the health of the community in the short-term with the expanded population due to pipeline resistance and in the longterm after the encampments have dissolved."

In addition to the Mni Wiconi Health Clinic, Kaepernick also donated $25,000 to both Appetite for Change, a healthy eating initiative in Minneapolis, and the Chicago-based Southsiders Organized for Unity and Liberation social justice organization.

These donations are the latest in Kaepernick's ongoing efforts to address social and racial inequality, which began over the summer when the NFL star refused to stand for the singing of the national anthem. At the time, Kaepernick explained that he was "not going to show pride for a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color."

Since then, a number of other professional athletes began kneeling for the anthem in a sign of solidarity with Kaepernick. In late September, Kaepernick announced he would donate $1 million over the course of 10 months to an assortment of causes and groups. As part of that push, Kaepernick launched a website to track the funds, "to make sure not only that I’m transparent in what I’m doing but that these organizations are transparent with where the money is going as well."

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