In June of last year, during the heart of the Black Lives Matter protests, the historically apolitical Michael Jordan and his Jordan Brand issued the simple yet powerful message, “Black lives matter. This isn’t a controversial statement,” and pledged $100 million towards Black communities over the next decade. Starting yesterday, in collaboration with the nonprofit Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, the first wave of that initiative has begun.
By the end of April 2021, neighborhood organizations focusing on the improvement and protection of Black Americans are invited to apply for the inaugural cycle of The Community Grants Program. To qualify, they have to be operating with an annual budget of $3 million or less, and they must also be 501(c)(3) organizations based in the United States.
Last year, after the BLM protests had well entered their 100th day in Portland, OR, and six days after the acquittal of all police officers involved in Breonna Taylor’s killing, the Jordan Brand’s Craig Williams stated, “We know our commitment requires action, not just words, and we already see signs that change is possible when inspiration meets action.” He went on to say, “We will continue to do our part to create actionable and meaningful change to bring equal justice and opportunity for Black people and all people of color.” Donations were made by the Jordan Brand to its national partners towards that commitment, including Black Voters Matter, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF), and the Formerly Incarcerated Convicted People & Families Movement (FICPFM).
With this first new step, president Williams and the Jordan brand have started to follow through on the promise on its own end. “Since announcing our commitment to the Black community in June of 2020,” he wrote about the grants program, “we’ve been focused on two things — action and impact. I’m excited about the impact these grants will have in local communities. We know that when we create positive change for the Black community, it benefits everyone.”
If you’re part of a community organization geared towards the advancement of Black people and meets the qualifications, submit your application here before April 30 and contribute towards that positive change.