Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Social Justice Champion Award
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Social Justice Champion Finalist: Jrue Holiday
Jrue and his wife, Lauren, also partnered with the Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation to identify small, women- and Black-owned businesses most in need of assistance.
A longtime advocate for social justice, this past year Jrue Holiday focused on creating economic opportunity and empowerment in communities of color. Last summer, Holiday pledged the remainder of his 2020 NBA salary to create The Jrue and Lauren Holiday Social Justice Fund, which seeks to combat systemic racism and increase economic equality by providing funding and support to Black-led organizations and businesses.
Earlier this season, the fund announced support for 25 nonprofits and historically Black institutions, as well as 23 Black-owned small businesses in Los Angeles, New Orleans and Indianapolis.
In the fall of 2020, Jrue and his wife, Lauren, also partnered with the Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation to identify small, women- and Black-owned businesses most in need of assistance. After reviewing grant requests, the Holiday family announced funding for seven local businesses in January: Amri Counseling Services, Carter’s Quality Care, Hands at Home, Jamaican Season Island Restaurant, Kid’s Kingdom, Legacy Home Health Services and The SW.
Beyond financial support, the Holidays provide coaching for the JLH Fund grantees to expand funding opportunities and community engagement and work with Microsoft’s Nonprofit Tech Acceleration for Black & African American Communities so that all recipients can also receive technology and support services.
— Jrue Holiday (@Jrue_Holiday11) May 17, 2021
In Spring 2021, the Holidays opened the second round of applications and surprised a young man battling sickle cell anemia with tickets to a Bucks game in efforts to support the young man and bring awareness to the disorder that disproportionately impacts Black Americans. Holiday has selected EXPO of Wisconsin as the recipient of his donation.