The Green Bay Packers have announced Pearl Webster as the team’s 2023 “Inspire Change Changemaker Award” recipient. Webster will be recognized at Sunday afternoon’s game for going above and beyond in her pursuit of social justice.
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 community justice reform.
Webster, a nurse and member of the Oneida Nation, was nominated for her remarkable persistence and visionary work transforming a former accounting building into the Safe Shelter for families in crisis. Her life has been dedicated to the health and well-being of others, especially for the Oneida people. As of 2021, 36% of homeless families in Green Bay were Native American and Safe Shelter serves this population, as well as others in greater Green Bay.
“We are pleased to honor Pearl with this award,” said Packers President/CEO Mark Murphy. “Her dedication to serving others has allowed her to have an incredible impact in the community throughout her life and career. We’re proud to highlight her work addressing a critical need in our area and providing a safe, comfortable place for families in crisis.”
In the initial stages of her professional nursing career, Webster stood out by leading a tuberculosis screening initiative for the Oneida community, contributing to the local elimination of a disease that had caused significant harm. She also pioneered roles such as establishing a Department of Occupational Health within the Oneida Nation for its employees and mentoring aspiring nursing professionals at the College of Menominee Nation.
Recipient of the 2022 Northeast Wisconsin Remarkable Woman Award, Webster established the Safe Shelter in 2021 for families in crisis to improve their housing and living situations. Safe Shelter serves both the local Oneida community and the greater Green Bay area. The shelter has a capacity of 60 residents and offers a variety of accommodations to meet the needs of its diverse population, along with mentorship and resources. Families stay in rooms that accommodate two to nine people, while single men and women are housed in separate dormitories when space is available.
The shelter’s facilities are designed to promote comfort and well-being. A bright and spacious playroom provides a welcoming space for children, while a handicapped-accessible ramp ensures access for all residents. A fully equipped kitchen provides residents with the means to prepare nutritious meals. Conveniently located washers and dryers are also available for residents’ use. The shelter is located near grocery and variety stores and is also close to bus lines.
In addition to receiving special recognition at the Inspire Change game, Webster will receive a $10,000 donation from the NFL Foundation to benefit Safe Shelter.