The NBA Foundation is working to make impactful strides in the social justice sector for its inaugural year.
Just one year after the Milwaukee Bucks held a strike following the police shooting of Jacob Blake, the NBA has demonstrated a better understanding of what it means to invest in social-justice-driven philanthropy. In doing so, it’s putting its money where it’s needed most to uplift the next generation of Black leaders.
According to an announcement from the NBA, the league’s newly-created foundation celebrated its one-year anniversary last week by distributing $6 million to 22 different organizations who aim to “create employment opportunities, further career advancement and drive economic empowerment for Black youth.” These grant recipients — including Black Girl Ventures — were a part of the foundation’s third round of grant funding to be given out in its first year.
As part of its one-year anniversary, the NBA Foundation announced 22 new grants totaling $6 million today to help create employment opportunities, further career advancement and drive greater economic empowerment for Black youth.
— NBA Foundation (@NBAFoundation) August 6, 2021
“We’re thrilled to celebrate our one-year anniversary by awarding 22 deserving organizations with new grants that will further their efforts and our shared mission to create short- and long-term opportunity for Black young people,” NBA Foundation Executive Director Greg Taylor said in a statement. “The commitment shown by NBA players, teams and governors in our inaugural year has been inspiring, and we look forward to deepening our efforts and operating with intention to reach more youth in additional cities in the years to come.”
The NBA reports that Taylor and his team have played a significant role in the NBA Foundation’s efforts to award grants as part of the league’s collective $300 million commitment to address racial inequality in the U.S. over the next 10 years. To date, the organization has distributed 40 grants to nonprofit organizations so far, totaling to $11 million.
As part of its third round of grants, the NBA Foundation has awarded All Star Code — a nonprofit computer science organization creating economic opportunity for young Black and Latino men — a six-figure grant to support their web development and leadership training programs. The new funding will reportedly help the group scale nationally and reach 100,000 students over the next decade.
As far as immediate next steps for the NBA Foundation go, Taylor tells the NBA that the organization’s goal for the remainder of the year is to award $30 million in grants. Looking ahead, the NBA Foundation hopes its next slate of goals will enable it to continue investing in the futures of Black youth across the country.
“I think it is about forming really strategic partnerships with organizations that have been leading in the economic opportunity for Black youth space much longer than we have. I think that’s one,” he shared in a recent interview. “I think, two, we continue to spread the word about the NBA Foundation, recognizing we’re a brand-new philanthropy. So, many folks don’t know about us. We want to get the brand reputation, our effectiveness, and our efficiency out, our reputation out for everyone to know.”
“Then, I think we’re gonna really dig into our core strategy,” he adds. “We want to really take a deep dive into what are those meaningful and effective family-sustaining jobs that we can help these young people find ways and inroads into. What’s next is about meaningful employment opportunities. Certainly, we’re going to deepen our partnerships around the work.”
For more information about the NBA Foundation and its initiatives, click here.
Editorial note: This article has been updated since published.