Steps by major companies and organizations are still being taken to ignite change and empower the Black community.
On Wednesday, the NBA Board of Governors — in partnership with the National Basketball Players Association — announced that it will be contributing $300 million toward establishing the first-ever NBA Foundation dedicated to strengthening the Black community economically in an official press release.
“On behalf of the NBA Board of Governors, I am thrilled to announce the creation of the NBA Foundation,” said NBA Board of Governors Chairman and Toronto Raptors Governor Larry Tanenbaum, according to the press release. “All NBA team governors recognize our unique position to effect change and we are committed to supporting and empowering young Black men and women in each of our team markets as well as communities across the U.S. and Canada.”
The foundation’s mission is to strengthen access and extend support for high school, higher education, and “career-ready” Black men and women and help organizations that offer skills training, mentorship, coaching, and pipeline development.
Additionally, as a public charity, the foundation will collaborate with the media and marketing partners to establish additional programming and funding sources that “deepen the NBA family’s commitment to racial equality and social justice.”
“The creation of this foundation is an important step in developing more opportunities for the Black community,” said NBPA President Chris Paul. “I am proud of our league and our players for their commitment to this long-term fight for equality and justice, and I know we will continue to find ways to keep pushing for meaningful institutional change.”
To strategically put more opportunities in place for the Black community, the foundation will focus on three important employment transition points that include: “obtaining a first job, securing employment following high school or college, and career advancement once employed.”
According to the press release, with the funding, the NBA foundation plans to not only “grow” but “enhance” national and local organizations that focus on education and employment, “including through investment in youth employment and internship programs, STEM fields, job shadows and apprenticeships, development pathways outside of traditional higher education, career placement, professional mentorship, networking and specific partnerships with Historically Black Colleges and Universities.”
The 30 NBA team owners will put in $30 million as a collective to develop the charitable foundation that extends throughout the league over the next 10 years, according to the official release.
“We are dedicated to using the collective resources of the 30 teams, the players and the league to drive meaningful economic opportunities for Black Americans,” said NBA Commissioner Adam Silver in the announcement. “We believe that through focused programs in our team markets and nationally, together with clear and specific performance measures, we can advance our shared goals of creating substantial economic mobility within the Black community.”
Of the 30 NBA teams, the makeup of the NBA Foundation’s Board of Directors will include four board seats for the NBA Board of Governors, three board seats for players and executives from the NBPA, and one board seat for the league office. The board will handle business affairs and provide direction.