Celtics, foundation commit $25 million for racial justice initiatives

Celtics, foundation commit $25 million for racial justice initiatives

The Boston Celtics and Boston Celtics Shamrock Foundation have announced a ten-year, $25 million commitment to address racial injustice and inequities in the greater Boston area.

Part of a larger effort announced by the National Basketball Association in August, the Boston Celtics United for Social Justice, as the initiative will be called, includes $20 million in cash and $5 million in media and in-kind assets in support of both the NBA's efforts and local programs, with a focus on six areas identified by the organization in discussions with community leaders and players: equity in education, economic opportunity and empowerment, equity in health care, criminal justice and law enforcement, breaking down barriers and building bridges between communities, and voting and civic engagement.

Planned projects under the initiative include creating an early-education center for low-income families; providing pro bono services to minority-owned businesses; assisting juvenile offenders through workforce development and academic completion opportunities; expanding The Playbook Initiative, the team's bias-prevention curriculum; and promoting voter registration and the importance of voting.

"Our goal is to have a direct impact now," said Celtics forward Jaylen Brown. "We don't need to pacify the situation with empty gestures. We need to hold ourselves, the Celtics organization, and the City of Boston accountable. Monetary commitment is a great first step, but we need to commit to this process by creating a balance of short- and long-term change. The time is now."