Clara Wu Tsai and Joe Tsai, the owners of the NBA's Brooklyn Nets, the WNBA's New York Liberty, and the Barclays Center arena, have announced a ten-year, $50 million commitment in support of efforts to advance social justice and equality.
The commitment — which is in addition to annual contributions to a ten-year, $300 million effort announced by the National Basketball Association in support of economic empowerment in the African-American community — will support social justice and economic mobility initiatives designed to benefit Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities, with a focus on Brooklyn. To that end, the Tsais issued a Social Justice Commitment Statement outlining the initiative's goal to "[bring] people together around a shared commitment to inclusiveness, justice, and equal opportunity," its core principles and beliefs, and a five-point action plan, starting with the establishment of a $50 million Social Justice Fund. With the aim of addressing systemic imbalances that lead to racial gaps in education, health, and wealth, the fund initially will focus on supporting BIPOC- and women-owned small businesses, skills training to improve job mobility, mentoring for young women and men of color, and efforts to meet immediate needs arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The initiative also will work to support and amplify athlete voices in speaking out against racism and advocating for social justice; establish a more inclusive work culture in both leagues in the areas of recruiting, training, and career development as well as vendor selection and executive leadership and internship programs; foster dialogue and the exchange of ideas across both leagues around implementation of diversity and anti-racism programs; and, in partnership with law enforcement, make the Barclays Center plaza available for peaceful gatherings for all constituents.
"We believe Barclays Center, the Nets, and the Liberty can be symbols of how we move forward together as a country," said Clara Wu Tsai. "It is our hope to lead by example through supporting our athletes, employees, and our community in anti-racist and anti-discrimination work and providing the resources needed to accelerate change."
(Photo credit: Anthony Quintano)