Michael Jordan, together with his eponymous Jordan Brand, has announced a new set of financial initiatives for Black excellence.
In a press release announcement, it was revealed that they’ve issued grants to three renowned institutions: Morehouse College, a popular Historically Black College and University; Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African American History and Culture; and Ida B. Wells Society for Investigative Reporting.
Jordan will be donating $3 million to the Smithsonian over the course of three years. He will be donating $1 million over two years to Morehouse, and he will be donating $1 million over two years to the Ida B. Wells Society.
“Education is crucial for understanding the Black experience today,” says Michael Jordan in the press release announcement. “We want to help people understand the truth of our past, and help tell the stories that will shape our future.”
Legendary director Spike Lee, a 1979 graduate of Morehouse College, said that Michael Jordan’s commitment to these Black institutions is to be commended. He also said that he hopes it inspires other Black celebrities to follow suit.
“These grants will be well-spent,” he said in the press release announcement. “There’s going to be a rich legacy of storytellers who will be supported by these programs. Many people are influenced to think a certain way about Black folks based on what they see on television and in Hollywood. We’ve got to tell our story.”
For their part, the Ida B. Wells Foundation said that they will use the grant to fund opportunities for students looking to become investigative journalists, and to provide professional development programs for professional journalists in the field.
As for the Smithsonian, they will be using their grant to expand the Museum’s Talking About Race web portal and Let’s Talk speaker series, helping millions of online visitors explore ways to talk about race and racialized identity.