Pelicans Brandon Ingram visits Youth Empowerment Project

NBA Foundation announces $2 million in inaugural grants to support economic and career advancement in black communities

Pelicans governor Gayle Benson serves on the first-ever NBA Foundation Board of Directors

DECEMBER 17, 2020

The NBA Foundation today announced a total of $2 million in inaugural grants that will drive economic empowerment in Black communities through employment and career advancement. Seven organizations – exalt, Management Leadership for Tomorrow, Marcus Graham Project, Operation DREAM, TEAM Inc., The Knowledge House and the Youth Empowerment Project – have been selected as the recipients of the first grants from the Foundation. The organizations align with the NBA Foundation’s mission to provide skills training, mentorship, coaching and pipeline development for high school, college-aged, job-ready and mid-career Black men and women in communities across the United States and Canada. These inaugural grants aim to increase education and employment access in Black communities, as well as enhance and grow the work of these national and local organizations.

On October 9, New Orleans Pelicans Governor Gayle Benson was selected to serve on the NBA Foundation Board of Directors. Benson and the seven other inaugural board members will provide strategic direction with respect to programming and grantmaking as well as oversee the organization’s activities, working directly with all 30 NBA teams and their governors to support and facilitate sustainable initiatives in team markets.

Below is a full list of the grantees:

exalt
exalt is an organization based in New York City that elevates expectations of personal success for court-involved youth through a culturally relevant curriculum that emphasizes Critical Pedagogy, 1-on-1 support and paid-internships, and ensures they have an opportunity to advance in the areas of education, employability and criminal justice system avoidance.

Management Leadership for Tomorrow
Management Leadership for Tomorrow (MLT) is an organization that is changing the face of leadership across employer America and driving breakthrough results for individuals and institutions by providing a high-performance playbook, sports-like professional coaching and an accelerating network of peers and mentors for more than 10,000 students and professionals of color.

Marcus Graham Project
The Marcus Graham Project (MGP) is a national organization focused on developing the next generation of diverse leaders in advertising, media and marketing through training, mentorship and professional development opportunities to ensure the industry is more inclusive and better reflects the diverse world we live in.

Operation DREAM
Operation DREAM provides developmental opportunities, mentoring and employment readiness support for more than 250 young men of color in Milwaukee through programs that correspond to the age-appropriate development needs of participants.

TEAM Inc.
Tech Exposure & Access through Mentoring Inc. (TEAM), based in Oakland, Calif., is focused on empowering students using their passion for sports to build new STEM skills and expand opportunities for their futures.

The Knowledge House
The Knowledge House (TKH) is a New York City-based organization that builds an education-to-employment pipeline in underserved neighborhoods by empowering young people with the 21st century skills needed to launch careers or ventures that will have an uplifting impact in their communities.

Youth Empowerment Project
Youth Empowerment Project (YEP) is a New Orleans-based organization that annually serves more than one thousand children and young adults through community-based education, mentoring, employment readiness and enrichment programs.

The NBA Foundation will continue to collaborate with all 30 teams, their affiliated charitable organizations and the NBPA to support national and local organizations in communities across the U.S. and Canada. Over the next 10 years, the 30 NBA team governors will collectively contribute $30 million annually in initial funding, and the Foundation will work strategically with marketing and media partners to develop additional funding sources.

To learn more about the NBA Foundation, please visit www.nbafoundation.com.

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