Today, Nike is announcing its plans for Black History Month with a combination of product, charitable efforts, and education.
Three pairs of the Air Force 1 designed by Black creatives will be available for customization through the Nike By You platform. Each sneaker from the trio makes use of a primarily black color scheme, including one with a floral motif and another with wear-away paneling that reveals colors pulled from flags of African and Caribbean countries. The floral pair boasts a bright green midsole with a matching, semi-translucent outsole — while the third of the lot is more muted with a leafy green Swoosh sitting atop a black knit upper.
All three sneakers feature tonal “FM” branding on the heel, a nod to Nike’s Future Movement talk show program hosted by civil rights advocate Janay Future Khan that launched last year. Customization is available through the shoes’ lace dubrae, which can be personalized with a laser-etched message.
More grant money is also on the way — Nike has also announced the 2022 grantees for its $140 million Black Community Commitment. Education-focused organizations Son of a Saint, All Star Code, and Big Brothers and Sisters of America are among the new national recipients, as well as the social justice-oriented Equal Justice Initiative. $2.75 million in grants will also go toward 44 local organizations in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Portland, Memphis, St. Louis, and Boston.
The new series of grants follows $10 million given to national organizations in the past year and an additional $6 million for 82 local organizations in 12 cities. In 2020, Nike committed $40 million to support the Black community on behalf of its brands, and Michael Jordan and Jordan Brand committed to an additional $100 million.
Karol Collymore, Nike’s senior director of Inclusive Community for Social and Community Impact, told Input in an email, “We believe these investments in the Black community deepen and further dimensionalize our long-term efforts to advance equality.”
A release date for Nike’s BHM product collection has yet to be set, but the latest episode of “Future Movement” is scheduled for February 22. Olympic athletes Simone Manuel, Ibtihaj Muhammed, and Dr. John Carlos will take the opportunity to discuss the intersection of sports and activism.