Nike, Inc. announces 2023 Black Community Commitment grantees

The commitment began in June 2020 after the murder of George Floyd.

On Wednesday, Nike Inc. announced $8.9 million in new investments this year across 53 national and local nonprofit organizations focused on education innovation, economic empowerment and social justice.

Courtesy of Nike, Inc.

According to the official website, Nike, Inc.’s Black Community Commitment began in June 2020, after the murder of George Floyd.

Nike, Converse, Jordan Brand and Michael Jordan committed a combined $140 million over 10 years to invest in and support organizations focused on economic empowerment, education and social justice to address racial inequality for Black Americans.

The 2023 New National Grantees include BUILD: whose mission is to ignite the power of youth in under-resourced communities to build career success, entrepreneurial mindsets, and opportunity; Fearless Foundation which invests in women of color-led businesses seeking pre-seed, seed level, or series A financing and the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation: a 501(c)(3), non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to increasing civic engagement and voter participation in Black and underserved communities.

TheGrio attended Nike, Inc.’s Black Community Commitment event last week at its NYC headquarters and caught up with Karol Collymore, senior director of inclusive community for social & community impact at Nike, Inc., where she shared what it means to lead this type of work.

Nike Senior Director of Inclusive Community for Social & Community Impact, Karol Collymore (L) moderating a panel at Nike Inc’.s
Black Community Commitment event with BCC partners: Dr. Patrice Johnson, Chief Program Officer, Black Girls Code; Dr. Lena Green, Executive Director, The H.O.P.E. Center and Melanie Campbell, President & CEO, National Coalition on Black Civic Participation on Feb. 8, 2023.
(Courtesy of Nike, Inc.)

On a personal level, to be able to do this work, it’s a combination of my career up until now,” Collymore tells theGrio. “I think all of us as Black people bring part of ourselves to work, and this is a place where I can bring 100% of myself to work, 100% of my skills, talents, abilities, connections, drive to help everyone into this space that is really helping people who look like me.”

“We have seven amazing teammates across our seven cities who are also doing this work, who are also Black Americans, who feel deeply affected by what happens here sometimes. And they’re all constant professionals in philanthropy and community, in government, in corporate spaces.”

Collymore explained how she feels utilizing “all of these superpowers” in this work to help those who live in the community. “It means the world to me,” she said.

“We are shoes and style and sport and energy and all of these things, but that only comes from community,” she continues. 

“It’s important to give back in the places and spaces that you live and you work and you play. And I think Nike does that in such a beautiful way. Our Black Community Commitment is evident of that.”

During the panel discussion moderated by Collymore, BCC partners shared how the company has benefited from the support of Nike, Inc.

(L-R): Dr. Lena Green, Executive Director, The H.O.P.E. Center, Dr. Patrice Johnson, Chief Program Officer, Black Girls Code, Melanie Campbell, President & CEO, National Coalition on Black Civic Participation at Nike, Inc. NYC Headquarters for BCC Event.
(Courtesy of Nike, Inc.)

For Dr. Patrice Johnson, Chief Program Officer, Black Girls Code, collaborating with Nike, Inc. for a hackathon (a social coding event that brings computer programmers and other interested people together to improve upon or build a new software program) allowed them to help their girls better understand some of the fun, real-world applications for a career in coding. Ninety seven percent of girls felt empowered and supported by the Nike mentors.

Dr. Lena Green, executive director at The H.O.P.E. Center (Healing On Purpose and Evolving) is the manifestation of Senior Pastor Michael A. Walrond’s vision: to effectively support the vast mental health needs of the parishioners of First Corinthian Baptist Church, and the Harlem community at large. The H.O.P.E. Center was able to create a program specifically for teens called Thrive. It’s focused on suicide prevention for Black and Latinx youth.

Melanie Campbell, president and CEO, National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, revealed they created a program called Healthy, Wealthy, Wise.

“We focus on health, wellness, education and empowerment in addition to advocacy, organizing and civic engagement,” said Campbell.

“We do advocacy and civic engagement and then we empower and help folks see and own their power. If we aren’t addressing holistic well-being — mind, body, spirit — in civil rights and social justice work, then we aren’t addressing the whole of our community needs, especially those dealing with anxiety and stress.”

To learn more about Nike, Inc.’s commitment to the Black community along with the full list of 2023 Renewed National Grantees and 2023 City-Specific Grantees, click here.

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