It’s the Season of Giving, and in proper spirit, the NBA Foundation has announced its seventh round of grantees. Like the league’s 30 teams, the introduction of round seven’s new organizations spread from coast to coast, each with unique and impactful initiatives aligning with the Foundation’s goal: furthering economic power in the Black community. This round introduces 12 grantees and a $4.8 million grant docket, while the Foundation has given $57 million and 170 grants in total.
Created in 2020, the NBA foundation started with a $300 million commitment for the next 10 years by the 30 team governors. In an October interview, Greg Taylor, executive director of the Foundation added, “We want to strengthen the organizations that we’re partnering with, and we want to accelerate outcomes for young people around employment and jobs – particularly for Black youth.”
Here’s a look at some of the work the newest grantees are doing in their communities.
Avenues for Justice is a New York-based program dedicated to providing resources to keep young people away from crime.
“The vision of the NBA Foundation overlaps with the goals of Avenues for Justice and will allow us to expand our programming of skills training, mentorship, and job training for underrepresented youth and young adults,” said Alanna Rutherford, Board Chair of Avenues for Justice. “By providing the means to establish a solid economic foundation, the NBA Foundation’s grant will assist in achieving Avenue for Justice’s mission to divert underrepresented court-involved and at-risk New York City youth from lives of crime.”
More than 1,000 miles south, STEM NOLA is helping students of color in and outside of the classroom.
“Just as a college education is oftentimes the prerequisite for entry into the best and fastest-growing careers, having skills in STEM allows students the ability to compete in a global society and have 21st-century career success,” said Dr. Calvin Mackie, STEM NOLA Founder & CEO. “These funds will give us the opportunity to further invest in developing the next generation of creators, innovators and entrepreneurs with these essential skills, and we greatly appreciate the support of the NBA Foundation for making a commitment to supporting our efforts to further our mission.”
In Michigan, Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit takes a creative approach.
“We are honored to partner with the NBA Foundation to expand opportunities, connections, and pathways that advance equity of opportunity for Detroit-area youth in arts and post-secondary education, including paid creative sector leadership roles,” explained DeLashea Strawder, Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit’s Executive & Artistic Director. “This investment will expand the number of youth voices amplified through transformative arts experiences and I look forward with great anticipation to the impact these creative changemakers will have on our world.”
Kim Mazzuca, 10,000 Degrees President & CEO, sums up not only the goal of her organization, but of the Foundation at large.
“We are working diligently to ameliorate systemic racial inequities and grow the next generation of leaders,” Mazzuca said. “We are so grateful for this NBA Foundation funding, which will allow us to deepen Black student engagement and increase their opportunities for education, career, and economic advancement.”
Below is a full list of the new grant recipients:
10,000 Degrees, Avenues for Justice, Inc., Action for Boston Community Development, Inc., Baton Rouge Youth Coalition, Inc., Bottom Line, Center for Black Educator Development, Drive Change, Inc., ELSO Inc., Kenwood Oakland Community Organization, Mosaic Youth Theater of Detroit, PeerForward, STEM NOLA