NBA Foundation Announces First Recipients of Grants to Empower the Black Community

Members of the New Orleans Pelicans and Utah Jazz kneel before a Black Lives Matter logo before the start of their game at HP Field House at ESPN Wide World Of Sports Complex on July 30, 2020 in Reunion, Florida.
Members of the New Orleans Pelicans and Utah Jazz kneel before a Black Lives Matter logo before the start of their game at HP Field House at ESPN Wide World Of Sports Complex on July 30, 2020 in Reunion, Florida.
Photo: Ashley Landis-Pool (Getty Images)

On the same day that the NBA Foundation named Greg Taylor its first-ever executive director, it also made another major announcement as part of its mission to advance economic empowerment within the Black community.

On Thursday, it announced initial recipients of grants totaling $2 million to seven organizations that “provide skills training, mentorship, coaching and pipeline development for high school, college-aged, job-ready and mid-career Black men and women in communities across the United States and Canada”:

As we previously reported in The Root back in August, the NBA’s board of governors and the National Basketball Players Association partnered to create the NBA Foundation in order to “help Black men and women with obtaining jobs, securing employment following school and with career advancement.”

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“Given the resources and incredible platform of the NBA, we have the power to ideate, implement and support substantive policies that reflect the core principles of equality and justice we embrace,” Michelle Roberts, the NBPA’s executive director, said at the time. “This Foundation will provide a framework for us to stay committed and accountable to these principles.”

Aside from establishing the NBA Foundation itself, the league also announced plans to invest as much as $300 million into empowering the Black community over the course of the next 10 years, and this $2 million grant serves as the first donation that the NBA Foundation has made toward that cause.

“Incredible news just before the Holidays begin!” exalt’s official account tweeted on Thursday. “We are honored and humbled to be apart of this new endeavor through the NBA Foundation! From all of us at Exalt, @nba thank you so much for supporting our mission to re-engage court involved you with their love for learning!”

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While increased awareness of social justice issues impacting our community is important, it’s subsequent actions that will truly convey how committed the NBA is to these causes.

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Congratulations to all seven grant recipients and we look forward to hearing how the NBA will remain involved in helping Black folks to flourish.

Menace to supremacy. Founder of Extraordinary Ideas and co-host and producer of The Extraordinary Negroes podcast. Impatiently waiting for ya'll to stop putting sugar in grits.

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