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Michael Jordan's Donation of $100 Million Could Help HBCUs Thrive and Help Level the Playing Field...
Posted By: Loren Moss on June 15, 2020

Michael Jordan, along with Nike’s Jordan Brand has pledged to donate $100 million dollars over the next ten years to fight racism. The money is destined he says, to social groups, but it’s up in the air who specifically will be recipients of the goodly sum.

“We haven’t yet figured which vehicles to utilize, but it’s first about making an effort. It’s not just money. It’s the act of calling on all of us to take a look at ourselves. That’s an important start,” said Jordan when talking with the Charlotte Observer.

So what if Jordan allocated a decent portion of that $100 million to scholarships and resources for HBCUs? After all, Historically Black Colleges and Universities were created as a response to systemic racism that prevented black Americans from accessing a post-secondary education in existing colleges and universities in the United States. Such colleges and universities today continue to battle racism by providing a safe, nurturing alternative to students, working to ensure their success in a supportive environment.

And contrary to what many falsely believe, they welcome white students, international students and all nationalities and ethnicities. Michael Jordan, are you listening?

And Mr. Jordan, since you aren’t sure which vehicles to utilize, here is an idea that won’t even take much of that $100 million dollar commitment: Help support a HBCU establish a competitive Division 1 basketball program.

In the real world we know that to be competitive in Division 1 Football requires Pentagon-style budgets, far more than $100 million dollars, which wouldn’t even cover coaching staff salaries at a school like Ohio State or Alabama. But basketball is a different story, small schools can compete. Villanova, Georgetown, Wake Forest, Xavier; small, even tiny schools that have had major programs and championships to show for it.

Furthermore Mr. Jordan: You know hoops! You wouldn’t be expected to come coach, but your presence would be felt on campus, on the training court—and in recruiting. What kind of statement would it make to America and the rest of the world to see an HBCU team reign over the Big Dance?

Let there be no mistake, we want to include both men and women’s basketball teams in this. The symbolic good done would be a multiplier felt across graduations, attendance, exposure, reputation, and the example it would set. Beyond this, the successful graduates will go on to serve as examples on and off the court. A few might go on to the NBA, or certainly to play in foreign leagues, but perhaps even more importantly, those that go into business, academics as a profession, or public service will also be fruits borne by this effort.

Maybe Jordan can help the HBCUs produce the next MJ, or by default, an increase in educated black professionals graduating from HBCUs as a result of his efforts...

Help them “be like Mike.”
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