KABOOM! Launches 25 in 5 Initiative to raise $250 Million towards Mission to End Playspace Inequity; Receives $14 Million Donation from MacKenzie Scott

Nonprofit responds to the urgent needs facing children, especially in communities of color, during ongoing COVID-19 crisis; Donation is the first significant investment in the KABOOM! 25 in 5 Initiative to End Playspace Inequity in 25 places within the next five years

Washington D.C. (January 20, 2022) · 

Today, KABOOM!, the national nonprofit committed to ending playspace inequity for good, announced the launch of the KABOOM! 25 in 5 Initiative to End Playspace Inequity, their five-year, $250 million plan to accelerate efforts towards achieving playspace equity across the United States. A $14 million gift from MacKenzie Scott allows KABOOM! to immediately begin work in several places, to be announced over the next few months.

The harsh realities of how childhood is endangered has never been more apparent as the world enters a third year of the pandemic. The ongoing COVID-19 crisis has threatened the livelihood of communities, including schools and public spaces, and stifled their ability to allow kids to enjoy what it means to be a kid. In the past three years, many young children have never experienced, and older kids may not remember what it’s like to freely participate in extracurricular activities or simply play on a playground with their peers without limitations, caution, or fear. The impact of the pandemic has weakened the physical, social, and emotional health of all children who are growing up under the weight of the pandemic. But this is especially true in Black and Brown communities that are already bearing the brunt of disinvestment and lack of resources due to the underlying effects of systemic racism.

Addressing the needs of kids is urgent, and creating safe spaces for them to heal and recover is critical to their well-being. KABOOM! is bringing people and resources together to invest in children, prioritizing efforts to eliminate the inequities that prevent healthy childhoods for the kids who are often denied opportunities to thrive.

The KABOOM! 25 in 5 Initiative to End Playspace Inequity raises the urgency of addressing the immediate and long-term needs of kids by creating a roadmap to end playspace inequity, accelerating progress within 25 priority places in the next five years. KABOOM! works to end playspace inequity so that every child can experience the same benefits and have access to the same opportunities to thrive that places to play provide.

KABOOM! plans to raise $250 million for the 25 in 5 Initiative to End Playspace Inequity, bringing together diverse partners to drive resources to local places with limited access to quality playspaces. The gift from MacKenzie Scott is the first significant funding to accelerate progress towards the goals of the Initiative.

“Our children are facing unprecedented challenges, making our mission that much more urgent, requiring the sustained commitment and support for kids and communities that are often denied opportunities,” said Lysa Ratliff, CEO of KABOOM!. “We are making great progress, but we can’t do it alone – we need the partnership of funders, communities, nonprofits, municipal agencies, and other organizations that support kids. Playspace equity is achievable in our lifetime, and together, we can work to end playspace inequity for good.”

KABOOM! is the national nonprofit committed to ending playspace inequity – the reality that quality places to play are not available to every child, especially in communities of color. Since 1996, KABOOM! has partnered with kids and communities to create or transform 17,000+ playspaces and ensure that nearly 12 million kids have equitable access to the crucial benefits and opportunities that playspaces offer. In 2022, KABOOM! launched the 25 in 5 Initiative to End Playspace Inequity, the $250 million plan to accelerate its mission in 25 high-priority locations over five years. Learn more at and join the conversation at,, and LinkedIn.