Philanthropists, entrepreneurs, and NBA superstars Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul, and Dwyane Wade announced today the launch of the Social Change Fund, dedicated to investing in and supporting organizations that advocate for communities of color through long-term policy solutions, community representation, and narrative change.
Anthony, Paul, and Wade have been passionate and outspoken activists for social justice and equality long before their impactful speech at the 2016 ESPYS calling on their fellow athletes to promote social change. Anthony founded the Carmelo Anthony Foundation over 15 years ago as a vehicle for actionable change focused on community impact and social reform. Anthony continues to be a champion for actionable change around the Black Lives Matter movement and progress for the Black community. The Chris Paul Family Foundation continues to provide resources that enrich and strengthen underserved communities across the country. Paul has demonstrated a strong commitment to advancing HBCUs and creating a pipeline for careers in the industry by bringing Harvard Business School’s Entertainment, Media and Sports course to North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University with the expansion to additional HBCUs in 2021. In addition, he is executive producing an upcoming HBCU basketball docuseries to shine a light on their value in sports and society. Paul is dedicated to revitalizing Black communities’ access to educational, social, and economic opportunities to ensure equal treatment. Since 2003, Wade and his foundation have provided resources and opportunities for youth from underserved communities and disadvantaged backgrounds. Wade remains committed to using his platform to help advance racial justice and LGBTQ equality and effectuate real change.
“Our mission is to address social and economic justice issues facing Black communities and break down the discriminatory barriers to success,” said Paul. “The Social Change Fund will help advance racial equality and opportunity. We will unite with other individuals who share our vision and commitment to use our collective voices and resources to advocate for change and foster a more equitable future.”
The Social Change Fund will primarily focus on critical issues including public safety and criminal justice reform, empowering communities of color by expanding access to voting and civic engagement, increasing Black representation in leadership, and building economic equity for Black people through investment in education, employment, wages, and housing.
“When all else fails to organize us, conditions will,” said Anthony. “We established the Social Change Fund to invest in and support organizations working to champion criminal justice reform, enact policy solutions, and advocate for the human rights of all Black lives now and for generations to come. I stand for everything this Fund and its beneficiaries support and will not stop pushing for progress until we see an end to the systemic racism that the Black community has faced for too long. We will keep on pushing. We will not lose focus.”
The Social Change Fund will initially be funded by contributions from Anthony, Paul, and Wade with the goal to leverage the founders’ influence in sports and entertainment to raise awareness, increase donations, and drive greater impact. Beyond Meat, Goldman Sachs, Laureus Sport for Good USA, Reform Alliance, and Creative Artists Agency’s (CAA) Managing Partners and Agency Board have also signed on to be seed funders and supporters. The Fund welcomes other individual changemakers and corporate sponsors committed to dismantling systemic racism and helping organizations build critical momentum to create equitable treatment and legislation that fosters justice and equality for all.
“The magnitude of racial inequality is staggering with Black lives socially, politically and economically marginalized,” said Wade. “We are committed to supporting organizations that directly represent and benefit the Black community with the Social Change Fund. Our goal is to create a pathway for inclusion and success by deploying the necessary funds and resources to invest in long-term change.”
Anthony, Paul, and Wade will serve on the Fund’s Founders Council, and will help determine funding priorities, elect beneficiaries, and manage relationships with donors and partners. The Social Change Fund will announce advisors and beneficiaries, including community organizations, following the launch to impact all of the Fund’s priorities. Grants will be administered through the Social Change Fund’s 501(c)(3) fiscal sponsor, the Entertainment Industry Foundation, a Charity Navigator Four Star Charity that meets all 20 Better Business Bureau charity standards and carries the GuideStar Platinum Seal of Transparency.
For information on the Social Change Fund, visit https://www.thesocialchangefund.org/
Instagram and Twitter: @Socialchangefnd
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