Nike Launches Grantmaking Guide & Announces New Black Community Commitment Grant Recipients

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

In the wake of George Floyd’s murder, the Nike Inc. brands — including NBA icon Michael Jordan and Jordan Brand — announced the Black Community Commitment in June 2020. This 10-year commitment was highlighted by a $140 million investment focused on achieving racial equity and eradicating systemic racism.

On Friday, with the Black Community Commitment now in its fourth year, the athletic giant announced its plans for fiscal 2024. This includes the launch of the Nike Social & Community Impact Grantmaking Guide, which the company described as an “open-source playbook” created to offer steps that other companies and funders could use “to take action and catalyze change through their own community investments.”

More from Footwear News

This guide, according to Nike, “aims to encourage other companies and funders to develop participatory grantmaking in their communities, using strategies that are rooted in respect and trust.”

The topics within the guide include its approach to grantee selection, onboarding, investment management and investment transition, which Nike said were all derived from its Black Community Commitment grantmaking insight.

“We focused on supporting our grantees in ways that allowed them the space to drive impact where they, and the communities they serve, needed it most,” Vanessa Garcia-Brito, vice president, chief social and community impact officer at Nike Inc., said in a statement. “This philosophy of participatory philanthropy — which leads with collaborative and community-centered giving — has been critical to the success of the BCC and is now central to how we support community organizations overall.”

Nike confirmed via statement that it has committed $8.6 million so far in its fiscal 2024 to both national and local organizations, with a strong focus on seven U.S. cities: Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Memphis, New York City, Portland, Ore., and St. Louis.

The list of Black Community Commitment grantees for fiscal 2024, which does not include multiyear grantees that have received earlier, ongoing financial support, was also revealed.

Nike broke down the national organizations by category, which includes Economic Empowerment, Education Innovation and Social Justice Reform. Black Girl Ventures, based in Alexandria, Va., is the Economic Empowerment recipient; Oakland, Calif.-based Black Girls Code, All Star Code in New York City and Youth Mentoring Action Network (YMAN) in Los Angeles are the Education Innovation recipients; and the Social Justice Reform recipients include the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation and NAACP Empowerment Programs, both in Washington, D.C.

In terms of the local organizations, the Boston recipients include Citizens for Juvenile Justice (CfJJ); Youth Guidance Boston; and Roca, Inc.

Grant recipients in Chicago include Chicago Scholars; Grow Greater Englewood; Austin Coming Together (ACT); The Bloc; Dion’s Chicago Dream; Young, Black & Lit; The Gray Matter Experience; and Coffee, Hip Hop & Mental Health.

Los Angeles organizations include Our Own; Children Striving Together; ThinkWatts Foundation; LA Jets Track Club; and Yetunde Price Resource Center.

In Memphis alone, Nike is working with 16 organizations. These include Junior Achievement Memphis; Soulsville Foundation; New Ballet Ensemble; HBCU Awareness Foundation; PURE Youth; Streets Ministries; Vance Avenue Youth Development; Schoolseed Foundation for Whitehaven High School Band; Knowledge Quest; Habitat for Humanity Memphis; Black Seeds Urban Farm; Girls Inc; Kudzukian; LITE Memphis; MIFA; and LeMoyne Owen College.

New York City recipients for Nike’s grants include Bronx Community Foundation; Center for NYC Neighborhoods; Dance Theatre of Harlem; Good Call NYC; Harlem Grown; Heart, Body & Soul; The HOPE Program; One Love Community Fridge and Robin Hood Foundation.

Portland grant recipients include Portland Opportunities Industrialization Center; Elevate Oregon; and Word is Bond.

And in St. Louis, the grant recipients include Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis; ArchCity Defenders of St. Louis; Riverview West Florissant Development Corporation; BKM for Life Foundation; and The Sophia Project.

With the addition of these grantees, Nike confirmed it has supported more than 125 nonprofit organizations since the inception of the BCC and is on pace to fulfill its commitment of $40 million since fiscal year 2021.

Nike also stated Jordan and his Jordan Brand imprint will continue its Jordan Black Community Commitment over the next six years by supporting Black-led organizations doing l work in economic justice, education, social justice and narrative change, both locally and nationally.

Specifically for Jordan Brand, the company announced Friday that it is doubling down in the fourth year of commitment with re-investments to national organizations in the focus areas of education and social justice. Jordan Brand stated in an effort to advance protections for Black voters, as well as to elevate the next generation of Black educators, it will make $4.8 million in grant investments to organizations that were awarded grants in previous years.

The social justice organizations Legal Defense Fund (LDF); Black Voters Matter; Florida Rights Restoration Coalition (FRRC); and Formerly Incarcerated, Convicted Peoples and Families Movement (FICPFM). The education organizations include Center for Black Educator Development; DonorsChoose; Hidden Genius Project; and Urban Ed Academy.

What’s more, Jordan brand confirmed it will announce its 2024 community grants in the spring, following its open application call in late 2023.

To celebrate the fourth year of the Black Community Commitment, Nike held an event on Feb. 20 titled Path to Progress in Washington, D.C. at the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Programming for the event, Nike explained, was put together to highlight “sport’s ability to help drive equity and catalyze change,” and the New Ballet Ensemble & School — one of the aforementioned Black Community Commitment grant recipients — performed to showcase this power.

Writer and comedian Baratunde Thurston provided the keynote talk for the event, which also included remarks from Nike Inc. president and chief executive officer John Donahoe, Nike president of geographies and marketplace Craig Williams, Jordan Brand president Sarah Mensah and Garcia-Brito. Athlete attendees included U.S. Olympic track and field hurdler Anna Cockrell, Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts, Los Angeles Sparks point guard Kia Nurse and professional BMX athlete Nigel Sylvester.

Also, the company hosted a panel discussion featuring Nike and Jordan Brand grantees, including D’Wayne Edwards of Pensole Lewis College of Business & Design, Jason Reynolds of StoryCorps, Katie Smythe of New Ballet Ensemble and School and Tona Boyd of the Legal Defense Fund.

About the Author

Peter Verry is the Senior News and Features Editor for Athletic and Outdoor at Footwear News. He oversees coverage of the two fast-paced and ultracompetitive markets, which includes conducting in-depth interviews with industry leaders and writing stories on sneakers and outdoor shoes. He is a lifelong sneaker addict (and shares his newest purchases via @peterverry on Instagram) and spends most of his free time on a trail. He holds an M.A. in journalism from Hofstra University and can be reached at

Best of Footwear News

Sign up for FN's Newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.