Malcolm Jenkins wears many hats, most famously the hat of safety for the Eagles.

But for him, reforming the criminal justice system -- positive change for black and brown communities -- is a hat he wears proudly but not for the accolades he receives.

At the Community College of Philadelphia Black and Gold gala Wednesday, Jenkins was presented with the Community Hero Award for his service in advancing education, economic advancement in low income communities, criminal justice reform, and police community relations. Jenkins is also a member on the Community College of Philadelphia College Foundation Board -- they host the annual gala to raise money for scholarships.

“This is a huge honor for me,” Jenkins said. “It’s very humbling to think CCP thought that much of me."

Over the last four years, he has left his mark on bettering communities in the inner city. The Players Coalition, under his leadership as co-founder, wheeled away $90 million from the billion-dollar NFL empire. Those funds went toward inner city communities. He said none of that would be possible if he didn’t have friends and family supporting him.

“Heroes need support,” Jenkins said. “It’s not about the beacon or face. It’s about all of those who support those efforts, and I thank everybody for being in here because you all are the support for people like myself. The work that we’re doing is very important.”

Jenkins said he was happy to bring Philadelphia its first Super Bowl but rattled off the impact incarceration has on entire communities. He tied the impacts of incarceration to the influx in gentrification, creating visible hyper-segregated pockets throughout the city.

“Those are the things that motivate me to do what I do,” Jenkins said. “CCP is something in the city that I’m proud of. It is one of those vehicles I think can be used to make this city a more equitable city. And bring opportunity to people who have since been marginalized in a circumstance that they couldn’t really control.”

Jenkins has spent endless hours over the last four years pushing for change at the State and local levels. He has made several trips to the state capital to speak with lawmakers. His latest efforts include abolishing minimum sentencing and the cash bail system.

Eagles' safety Malcolm Jenkins waits in the wings as a video tribute plays on large screens, before he goes onstage to accept the Community Hero Award from Community College of Philadelphia.
TOM GRALISH / Staff Photographer
Eagles' safety Malcolm Jenkins waits in the wings as a video tribute plays on large screens, before he goes onstage to accept the Community Hero Award from Community College of Philadelphia.