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Nike’s Jordan Brand opens applications for its $100M fund to Black communities

Michael Jordan and his namesake brand made the commitment last summer during the BLM protests.

Former NBA star and owner of Charlotte Hornets team Michael Jordan looks on as he addresses a press conference ahead of the NBA basketball match between Milwaukee Bucks and Charlotte Hornets at The AccorHotels Arena in Paris on January 24, 2020. (Photo by FRANCK FIFE / AFP) (Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images)
FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images

Amid the Black Lives Matter protests last summer, Michael Jordan and Jordan Brand announced it would donate $100 million over the next ten years to help fight racial inequality. As part of that commitment, the two parties have opened a Community Grants program that will donate a total of $1 million to local grassroots organizations.

Applications for the grants are open from today until April 30, and recipients will be chosen by an advisory board made up of Jordan Brand employees and members of the Michael Jordan Family Office. Specifically, the program is encouraging applications from 501(C)(3) organizations working to help the Black community and with a budget of $3 million per year or less.

Those interested in applying can do so through a portal at YourCause.

“Since announcing our commitment to the Black community in June of 2020, we’ve been focused on two things — action and impact,” Craig Williams, President of Jordan Brand, said in a press release. “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.

Jordan Brand

Where’s the rest of the $100 million going? — A month after making the pledge in June, Jordan Brand followed up with the specifics of its plan. The three key areas where it will focus are in social and economic justice, as well as education and awareness.

The first round of donations of $500,000 or $1 million each to the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, the Formerly Incarcerated & Convicted People and Families Movement, and Black Voters Matter.

“I’m all in with Jordan Brand, the Jordan family and our partners, who share a commitment to address the historical inequality that continues to plague Black communities in the U.S.,” Michael Jordan said in July. “There is a long history of oppression against Black Americans that holds us back from full participation in American society. We understand that one of the main ways we can change systemic racism is at the polls. We know it will take time for us to create the change we want to see, but we are working quickly to take action for the Black community’s voice to be heard.”

While many brand statements during the Black Lives Matter protests rang hallow, Jordan Brand has shown its commitment to the cause is quite serious and robust. Jordan himself may not have been a visible activist during his playing career, but his money is going where it counts.