IBJ Podcast: Why the Irsays are spending millions on ‘Kicking the Stigma’ effort


In 2020, Colts owners Jim Irsay and daughters Kalen Jackson, Carlie Irsay-Gordon and Casey Foyt launched the “Kicking the Stigma” campaign to boost awareness about mental illness and raise money to help not-for-profits expand addiction and mental health treatment.

Since then, the effort has committed more than $16 million to local and national organizations—and most of that was donated directly by the Irsay family. The Irsays have created and paid to broadcast several national public service announcements, many featuring prominent celebrities and athletes, including Snoop Dogg, Rob Lowe, Mike Epps, Carson Daily and Peyton Manning.

More than a dozen organizations have received game-changing grants, and the Irsays recently donated $3 million to Indiana University to create a research institute to study mental health issues.

Jackson is a vice chair in the Colts organization, overseeing operations and community relations, including the club’s philanthropic efforts. That includes overseeing the Kicking the Stigma campaign.

She talked with host Mason King about why the family decided to focus on mental health, what they’ve learned about the problem along the way and how they got so many celebrities to participate.

Click here to find the IBJ Podcast each Monday. You can also subscribe at iTunesGoogle PlayTune In, Spotify and anyplace you find podcasts. Here are some of our recent episodes:

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Looking for another podcast to try? Check out IBJ’s The Freedom Forum with Angela B. Freeman, a monthly discussion about diversity and inclusion in central Indiana’s business community.

Looking for another podcast to try? Check out IBJ’s The Freedom Forum with Angela B. Freeman, a monthly discussion about diversity and inclusion in central Indiana’s business community.

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