Basketball great Michael Jordan has faced criticism for his philanthropy and lack of activism throughout his career. However in recent years, MJ and his Jordan Brand have been vocal and supportive of the plight of Black people in America. Last June, Jordan Brand announced The Black Community Commitment, a 10-year, $100 million dedication to the Black community to fight systemic racism through a focus on social justice, education and awareness and economic justice.
On Friday (May 28), MJ and Jordan Brand announced its latest grant recipients in a Nike News release. The three programs at the forefront of “cultivating the Black experience to the wider public” are the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, Morehouse College and the Ida B. Wells Society for Investigative Reporting. This round, the hefty donations amount to $6 million over three years, with $1 million awarded to Morehouse College and the Ida B. Wells Society for Investigative Reporting and $3 million for the NMAAHC.
“Our grantees’ critical work includes education about Black history, improving the way Black stories are told, expanding sports journalism education and opportunity for students at HBCUs, and promoting leadership development among journalists and storytellers,” the release reads.
“Education is crucial for understanding the Black experience today,” Jordan said. “We want to help people understand the truth of our past, and help tell the stories that will shape our future.”
“We’ve seen this past year the impact of education and awareness on the issue of racism. When people understand what we’re fighting against, and the history behind it, we can better unite as a powerful force for change,” Craig Williams, President of Jordan Brand added.
This round of donations arrives after Jordan brand coughed up $1 million for the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. and the Formerly Incarcerated & Convicted People and Families Movement last July. It also awarded $500,000 to Black Voters Matter to support reformative initiatives for the Black community.