Our Story

The Lassiter family has always been committed to serving the communities. In May  1999, NFL Safety for the Arizona Cardinals, Kwamie Lassiter and his wife Ericka, created the Lassiter T.A.C.K.L.E Foundation, Teaching All Children to Kickoff Leadership through Education, to help children with the challenges they face in school. T.A.C.K.L.E. focused on providing available educational resources and addressing critical issues that may have affected learning for underserved students.

In 2014, T.A.C.K.L.E. was established as a nonprofit organization and the name changed to The Kwamie Lassiter Foundation to broaden our impact in the community and to include specific health issues, as well as, factors in education.  The mission of The Kwamie Lassiter Foundation is to be committed to providing opportunities that promote comprehensive awareness of Sickle Cell Anemia Disease while also continuing to target the way children are motivated to inspire leadership through education.

Kwamie Bio

Kwamie was born in Hampton, VA and raised in Newport News, Virginia, He was his mother, Darial Lassiter Cockerham,  oldest of four. Growing up, his grandparents’, Roscoe, Sr. & Fannie Lassiter’s home was always special to him. He always thought it was a great place where family was first and where he learned Christian values. His passion to give back undoubtedly comes from watching his grandparents take care of the world with a lot of love, compassion and understanding. He continued observing this from his grandparents even through his adult age. What was most impressive to him was that they did all of this without a great deal of financial means. As he got older, he finally understood it was God who made it all possible. It was very clear to him that helping and giving back was imperative.

Kwamie attended Menchville High School in Newport News before heading to the University of Kansas where he studied Communication/ Public Relations with a great stop in between while receiving an Associate of Arts at Butler County Community College (Go Grizzlies!).  

After playing football at the University of Kansas from 1991 to 1994, he was signed by the Arizona Cardinals as an undrafted free agent in 1995. 

Kwamie played for the Arizona Cardinals from 1995–2002, San Diego Chargers in 2003 and St. Louis Rams in 2004. He finished my career with 650 tackles, 25 interceptions (two for touchdowns) and four sacks. Awarded All-Pro and Pro Bowl alternate during his 10 years as an undrafted free agent.

After his football. Kwamie coached some of the top college athletes entering the NFL draft  at Athlete’s Performance. He coached at Mesa Community College in Mesa, Arizona.  After his first year coaching the defensive backs, both safeties and corners,  the next year he was hired as the defensive coordinator. He served as President of the. NFL Alumni Chapter of Arizona 

Kwamie resided in Chandler, AZ until his passing in January 2019.  He was an avid golfer and very involved in community supporting various local charities. His wife Ericka and his children continue to keep Kwamie’s legacy alive and will continue his vision through The Kwamie Lassiter Foundation.  

Board Members

Ericka Lassiter


Melody Cline-Valdes

Patricia Reyes

Victor Sanchez

Ernest Spivey Jr.

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