NBA legend Michael Jordan is furthering his efforts to support grassroots organizations driving change in underserved communities. According to Nike, an Oakland-based nonprofit dedicated to addressing the racial wealth gap was among the inaugural recipients of Jordan’s community grants.
In 2020, the 14-time NBA All-Star announced he would donate $100 million to nonprofit organizations centered on advancing racial justice and social equality. As part of the effort—that he’s leading in partnership with the Jordan Brand—he unveiled the Black Community Commitment Grant Program. Through the initiative, he has distributed $1 million to 18 nonprofits throughout the country that have an operating budget under $3 million.
The Oakland Black Business Fund—an organization whose mission is rooted in Black economic empowerment—was amongst one of the nonprofits to receive endowments. OBBF provides resources for Black entrepreneurs so their businesses can thrive in an ever-growing economy. OBBF Co-Founder Trevor Parham says he’s grateful for the support of the Jordan Brand and the endowment will be instrumental in helping advance the transformative initiatives they’re leading. “OBBF has had the opportunity to partner with some of the country’s leading companies and financial institutions to support Black entrepreneurs in the Bay Area while addressing systemic biases that perpetuate the funding gap for Black businesses,” he said. “We are grateful to the Jordan Brand for their support as we continue to cultivate a resilient and sustainable ecosystem of local Black businesses based on a proven model that improves neighborhoods, creates jobs, builds wealth, and provides strong and meaningful financial returns to our communities.”
Jordan says he wants to use the grant program to support hyper-local nonprofits that are leading impactful work but often face barriers when trying to secure funding. “Action over words is the foundation of our Black Community Commitment,” Jordan said in a statement. “These 18 organizations put action over words every day to make their communities a better place. Each of these groups has demonstrated the courage to make a difference at the local level and I could not be more proud to support the work they are doing.” Other inaugural recipients included the Community Foundation of Greater Flint, the Los Angeles-based Alliance for Higher Education in Prison and City Startup Labs in North Carolina. Jordan and the Jordan Brand plan to distribute the grants annually.
News about the Black Community Commitment Grant Program comes months after the Jordan Brand donated $1 million to Morehouse College to empower the next generation of sports journalists.