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Community Advocacy Organization

Founder and CEO of Downtown Boxing Gym Khali Sweeney honored as the Lions' 2023 Inspire Changemaker

Courtesy Photo-Khali Sweeney, founder, and CEO of Downtown Boxing Gym (DBG)


The Detroit Lions recognized Khali Sweeney, founder, and CEO of Downtown Boxing Gym (DBG), as the 2023 Inspire Change Changemaker Award recipient for going above and beyond in the pursuit of social justice at the annual Inspire Change game on December 16 for their victory against the Denver Broncos.

The Changemaker Award recognizes individuals in each NFL team market making a difference in their community across Inspire Change's four focus areas: education, economic advancement, police-community relations, and criminal justice reform.

Since 2007, DBG has been providing free academic and athletic programs to students in the community ranging from ages 8-18, with continuing mentorship and care through age 25. Students stay with DBG for consecutive years to provide a long-term, personal, and all-inclusive support system with the ability to make a lifelong impact.

Sweeney was inspired to start DBG by his own challenging academic and life experiences and has been honored as a CNN Hero Top 10 Finalist in 2017 as well as the Governor's Service Award for Mentor of the Year in 2018.

In addition to the special recognition at the Inspire Change game and the surprise of Super Bowl LVIII tickets, Sweeney received a $10,000 donation from the NFL Foundation for DBG.

For more information on the 2023 Changemaker recipients, visit

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