NEW YORKThe NBA announced today that Golden State Warriors defenseman Stephen Curry, Memphis Grizzlies center forward Jaren Jackson Jr., San Antonio Spurs defenseman Tre Jones, Phoenix Suns defenseman Chris Paul and forward the Boston Celtics, Grant Williams, were selected as the five finalists2022-23 NBA Social Justice Champion Awardinspired by the work and legacy of Hall of Famer and civil rights icon Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. The five finalists represent the year's most influential advocates for social justice, continuing the long-standing tradition of NBA player activism. The annual award recognizes a current NBA player for promoting social justice and fulfilling Abdul-Jabbar's life mission of promoting, empowering and advancing equality among individuals and groups who have historically been marginalized or systemically disadvantaged .
The finalists were selected from the nominated teams by the NBA Social Justice Champion Selection Committee, which consists of the following social justice leaders and members of the NBA family: Abdul-Jabbar, DirectorInstitute for Diversity and Ethics in SportDr. Richard Lapchick,National Municipal LeaguePresident and CEO Marc Morial,United StatesJanet Murray, President and CEO,raiseNBA Founder and CEO Amanda Nguyen and NBA Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer Mark Tatum join the committee for the third time, as does Leah Harmon, youth representative and 2022-23 memberJr. NBA Leaders Court.
The winner of the 2022-23 NBA Social Justice Championship will be announced at the 2023 NBA Conference Finals and will receive a $100,000 donation from the NBA to a social justice organization of their choice. The remaining four finalists will select a social justice organization to receive a $25,000 donation on their behalf. Dallas Mavericks forward Reggie Bullock became the second Social Justice Champion at the end of the 2021-22 season.
Stephen Curry (@StephenCurry30), later Jackson Jr. (@jarenjacksonjr), Tre Jones (@Tre3Jones), Chris Paul (@CP3) and Grant Williams (@Grant2Will) were selected as five finalists for 2022–23#Master of Social JusticePrize and the winner will receive the Kareem Prize…pic.twitter.com/LWc2jMvc8ZSee AlsoKareem Abdul-Jabbar, Pony Express og Deep Dish Pizza: Uken 2.-8. april i historien - Signals AZSolomon Hughes er årets mest usannsynlige stjerne
– NBA (@NBA)15. May 2023 r
About the NBA Social Justice Champion finalists:
Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors
Stephen Curry continues to advocate for historically marginalized communities and supports equality through opportunity and engagement. As co-chair of former First Lady Michelle Obama's "When We All Vote" initiative, Curry used his platform to increase voter registration, education and turnout in the midterm election. Participation reached millions of new voters, encouraging them to get involved in the political process and improve their lives through civic engagement.
During a trip to Washington in January, Curry attended the White House along with the Warriors to celebrate the 2021-22 NBA championship. He used the visit to contact President Biden directly on policy issues and attended a White House press conference with coach Steve Kerr to publicly raise community safety issues. Among his other efforts, Curry donated $6 million to fund Howard University's men's and women's golf team, which has been inactive for 50 years and is home to students from the Black Cultural Zone, a nonprofit focused on building power , securing land and channeling more concentrated dollars into community projects in East Oakland -- during a Warriors home game.
Lata Jackson Jr., Memphis Grizzlies
Jaren Jackson Jr. His social justice quest focuses on issues related to educational and economic opportunity, as well as civic engagement and women's empowerment. To wrap up the 2022-23 season, Jackson Jr. provided teachers at a local Memphis school with the school supplies they needed to prepare for the upcoming school year and personally delivered these resources to directly thank the teachers for their hard work. To support women's empowerment, Jackson Jr. provided tickets to local women-run organizations during Women's History Month and supported organizations attending the final home game of the University of Memphis women's basketball team. Admission tickets, transport, food and drinks were paid for by all participants.
Regarding economic justice -- particularly as it relates to economically displaced communities throughout the Mid-South -- Jackson Jr. donated $7,500 to help 13 families pay their outstanding housing and utility bills, working closely with MLGW and MIFA together, whose mission is to support the independence of vulnerable seniors and families in crises through effective programs. He also donated $50,000 to support local youth nonprofits Arrow Creative, LITE Memphis and the Man UP Teacher Fellowship as part of his Much Required campaign. Finally, Jackson Jr. continued his commitment to greater civic engagement by founding the PSA to educate eligible voters that "every election matters, every vote matters, and every voter matters."
Tre Jones, San Antonio Spurs
During his first three years with the San Antonio Spurs, Tre Jones developed a special bond with the San Antonio community, increasing physical and mental well-being as a function of health equity. After the May 24, 2022 shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde County, Jones developed a special relationship with the Tree City Spurs, a 9–11-year-old girls basketball team from Uvalde's Parks & Recreation League that lost two players at the tragic shooting, other teammates were seriously injured. The championship-winning team prides itself on being modeled after the San Antonio Spurs, and Jones has made it a priority to invest his time in their healing process. Jones has joined the team on numerous occasions, including hosting young girls and their families at Spurs' training facility to give them encouragement after a terrible tragedy.
Jones' commitment to local youth has extended to his role as ambassador for the Spurs Youth Basketball League, which was formed to support youth in economically underserved areas. He regularly works with young people, teaching the principles of teamwork, cooperation, respect and discipline while creating a positive environment. Among his other efforts, Jones supported an area-led effort to provide food, water and other essential supplies to the homeless, led by a local nine-year-old, and donated a mobile play system to improve the well-being of young patients at Methodist Children's Hospital in December 2022.
Chris Paul of the Phoenix Suns
Chris Paul's personal connections to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) fuel his unwavering support for the institutions, their students and alumni. Paul completes the HBCU alumni pipeline by recognizing their potential to diversify traditional careers. In addition to graduating from Winston-Salem State University in December 2022, he also hosted two HBCU basketball tournaments to raise national awareness for student athletes and created a case-based Entertainment, Media, and Sports Business course that will be expanded to HBCU in the whole country.
Paul has also provided much-needed financial support to HBCU students and alumni by sponsoring scholarships, organizing summer internships, and donating over $55,000 in grants to Black-owned businesses through the Social Change Fund United. Additionally, as part of his passion for civic engagement, he worked with former First Lady Michelle Obama to increase student voter turnout by 40 percent for the 2022 term. As the only athlete named to President Joe Biden's Council of HBCU Advisors, Paul's political participation allows him to increase the importance of the HBCU experience.
Grant Williams von den Boston Celtics
Grant Williams was a strong supporter of social justice efforts, particularly criminal justice reform. Williams helped host the Play for Justice team event in September 2022, which served as a catalyst for the passage of the "Raise the Age" law in Massachusetts to gradually raise the age of juvenile justice to those between the ages of 18 and 20. At the event (where ex-convicts visited the team's training facility), Williams was one of the main voices in the discussion panels. He took his interactions a step further by coaching one of the teams of ex-cons who attended a basketball game together. After the Play for Justice event, Williams continued his efforts, visiting a juvenile detention center and shortly thereafter an adult prison to work with a cell unit of fathers trying to break the cycle of incarcerating their own children.
Williams was also the key player behind the Celtics Playbook Initiative, a program that educates and uses high school seniors to conduct workshops with the middle school population. The program equips young people with the tools to safely intervene when they see or hear prejudice or discrimination in their community. Williams helped deliver the workshops both as a curriculum facilitator and as a student participant. Because of the contributions of Williams and others, the program is now recommended by the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents as the recommended model for combating hate speech in schools. Williams has also worked to address maternal health inequalities among Black people and was instrumental in the development and launch of the Celtics program Curbside Care, a life-saving mobile prenatal and postnatal health clinic that serves 40 mothers and infants weekly at the Heart of Black people Boston parish visited . Staffed with full-time nurses, midwives and community representatives, this vehicle removes the barriers that contribute to black and brown mothers being three times more likely to die in childbirth or have postpartum complications.