On June 5, NIKE, Inc. committed $40 million over the next four years, on behalf of the Nike, Jordan and Converse brands collectively, to invest in and support organizations focused on social justice, education and economic empowerment to address racial inequality.
Dismantling systemic injustice requires urgent action, sustained engagement and collaboration with partners that are doing transformative work to achieve this goal. To help advance these efforts, NIKE, Inc. today announced three new partnerships with national organizations dedicated to ending systemic racism and working to evoke long-lasting change: the NAACP Empowerment Programs, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) and Black Girls CODE. Each of the organizations will receive a $1 million grant.
NAACP Empowerment Programs, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) and Black Girls CODE will each receive a $1 million grant.
These initial partners are part of NIKE, Inc.’s commitment to driving long-term change. We will share new strategic partnerships in this area in the future.
The NAACP is the nation’s foremost, largest and most widely recognized civil rights organization. With more than 2,200 units and branches across the nation, along with well over 2 million activists, the NAACP has been at the forefront of pivotal moments in the fight for civil rights and social justice.
The charitable entity of the NAACP, NAACP Empowerment Programs focuses on training, education and advocacy at the national and local levels against a mission of ensuring the political, educational, social and economic equality of rights of all persons.
“Today, we are pleased to partner with NIKE, Inc. as we continue the fight for social justice. Just a couple of years ago, Nike famously encouraged everyone to ‘Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.’ Their support for the NAACP will help us run programs and movements that will improve communities across the country. We are encouraged by their dedication to freedom and justice, especially at this critical time,” says Derrick Johnson, NAACP President and CEO.
LDF, which was founded by Thurgood Marshall before he became the first Black U.S. Supreme Court Justice, is the nation’s premier civil rights law organization. It employs litigation, advocacy and public education to advance its mission to achieve racial justice, equality and an inclusive society. Over the past 80 years, LDF has fought for structural changes to expand democracy and eliminate disparities.
Through its many transformative cases, such as Brown v. Board of Education, the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision that overturned the “separate but equal” doctrine that underpinned legal segregation, LDF has changed the very fabric of American democracy. Today, LDF fights to expand and protect civil rights so that our nation’s promise of racial equity and justice can become a reality for all Americans.
The NAACP Empowerment Programs and LDF share a legacy of fighting for equal rights. Rooted in response to anti-Black violence in the U.S., they became two separate organizations in 1957.
Black Girls CODE is dedicated to changing the narrative surrounding racial and gender diversity in STEM by educating and empowering girls and young women of color to step into the industry. Founder Kimberly Bryant started the organization 10 years ago with seed money from her 401(k) and a desire to change the face of technology so that girls like her daughter could see themselves reflected in the STEM space.
Black Girls CODE empowers girls of color ages 7 to 17 to become innovators in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields. Through a mix of classes, camps and events, the organization provides Black girls and young women with the in-demand computer science and technology skills required in jobs within the rapidly growing tech industry.
“Our goal is to train 1 million girls by 2040, but that’s the first step in increasing the number of women of color in STEM fields. We want to expand Black Girls CODE into a life-long support network to help retention rates in tech. Support from NIKE, Inc. helps us increase the number of students we can reach through online training and build a network to continue engaging with our alumnae,” says Kimberly Bryant, Founder and Executive Director of Black Girls CODE.
Other Strategic Partnerships & Investments
NIKE, Inc. will continue to support long-time community partners, such as the Jackie Robinson Foundation, PeacePlayers and the National Civil Rights Museum (Memphis, Tenn.). Converse also recently committed $100,000 to both the Equal Justice Initiative and LDF. The Until We All Win community grant program, created in 2019, will continue to provide a total of $4 million each year to nonprofits working to level the playing field for the eight communities represented by our NikeUNITED Networks.
Jordan Brand and Michael Jordan pledged an additional $100 million over 10 years, with a focus on education, awareness and action to eliminate opportunity gaps for Black Americans. More details on Michael Jordan and the Jordan Brand’s investments are here.