Academic journal article Harvard Journal of African American Public Policy

On Giving: An Interview with Charles Woodson

Academic journal article Harvard Journal of African American Public Policy

On Giving: An Interview with Charles Woodson

Article excerpt

Charles Woodson is a pro-bowl cornerback fbrthe Green Bay Packers of the National Football League (NFL). An alumnus of the University of Michigan, Woodson has been the recipient of numerous accolades including the prestigious Heisman Trophy, six NFL pro-bowl selections, two all-pro selections, the defensive rookie of the year award in 1998, the Jim Thorpe award, and most recently, the 2009 Associated Press NFL defensive player of the year award. Recently, Woodson donated $2 million to the University of Michigan's C.S. Mott Children's and Women's Hospital, a 1.1-million-square-foot hospital scheduled to open in 2012.

Fatina Abdrabboh interviewed Charles Woodson on 5 January 2010.

Fatina Abdrabboh is a graduate of the John F. Kennedy School of Governmental Harvard University. Her current research focuses on relations between African Americans and Arab Americans in her native Detroit, Michigan.

HJAAP

Choosing a charity to donate to is not a simple decision. What motivated you to donate $2 million to the University of Michigan hospital?

WOODSON

What motivated me most to donate is life. You see, you are either growing or you are dying. I feel like the older I am getting, I am growing. Different things mean different things to me now. At this point in my career and my life, I have a great deal of money and success. My profession is going strong. I therefore feel like it is the time now to definitely help others in some sort of way. That is why I decided to donate. My time to give back is now and so is my time to help. I am growing.

HIAAP

Some have described your gift as "heroic." Do you feel this is an accurate assessment?

WOODSON

I think the word "hero" is a little strong. There are so many more people who are really heroes in this picture. The doctors and nurses are heroes. They are the people in the trenches; I am here to help them and others. I am not the hero but a small part of a bigger picture.

HJAAP

Do you think other wealthy athletes and entertainers should be encouraged to give back? …

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