Nike debuted on Monday its latest Black History Month collection and announced the latest grantee recipients for the company’s $140 million commitment to supporting the Black community, made back in 2020.
The athleticwear retailer introduced the initiative in response to George Floyd’s murder, as many companies made commitments to offer support many hadn’t otherwise been giving. In June 2020, Nike committed $40 million to support organizations centered on social justice, education and racial inequality over the next four years and Michael Jordan and the Jordan Brand on the same day announced a $100 million contribution over the next 10 years to support organizations dedicated to racial equality, social justice and greater access to education.
This year, the company is doling out a total of $7.75 million to invest in the Black community.
Along with a team of community leaders, Nike selected new grantee recipients across national and local organizations to receive the funds. Grantees include new partners like Son of a Saint, which supports fatherless boys; All Star Code, which teaches coding to youth of color to provide skills for job placement and financial independence; the Big Brothers Big Sisters of America mentoring program, and Equal Justice Initiative, a social justice reform organization.
Nike will also continue funding NAACP Legal Defense Fund, NAACP Empowerment Programs, GoalSetter, Black Girl Ventures and National Urban League, and will donate $2.75 million across 44 organizations nationwide at a local level in New York City; Los Angeles; Chicago; Portland, Ore.; Memphis, Tenn.; St. Louis, and Boston.
Over the past 20 months, the company invested just over $16 million with national and city-specific partners, in which $6 million supported 82 local organizations across 12 cities, and another $10 million went to support 10 national organizations.
“Nike Inc.’s purpose is to move the world forward — breaking barriers and building community to change the game for all. Our Black Community Commitment embodies this belief and drives how we are showing up to advance racial equality for Black people,” Karol Collymore, senior director of inclusive community for social and community impact at Nike Inc., said in a statement. “These strategic investments across the U.S. have the power to fuel transformative change, and we applaud each and every grantee for their focus and passionate commitment to reach and uplift their community.”
In terms of its merch for Black History Month, Nike’s collection continues the company’s ongoing celebration of Black heritage that first began for them in 2005. Nike produced apparel bearing the phrase “Future Movement” that shares its name with the company’s podcast looking to the future through the lens of Black athletes, advocates and creators, as well as new Nike Air Force 1 Low FM By You sneakers. The three sneaker styles are designed by Black creators and feature Easter eggs like flags for African and Caribbean countries.
To further support the launch, Nike will launch on Feb. 22 a new episode of its Future Movement Broadcast hosted by global civil rights advocate Janaya Future Khan and featuring Olympians Simone Manuel, Ibtihaj Muhammad and John Carlos. Previous episodes feature talents such as Naomi Osaka, singer and songwriter H.E.R., Utah Jazz point guard Jordan Clarkson, and Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray.