ATLANTA—Michael Jordan and Jordan Brand announced a million-dollar commitment to Morehouse College, part of their Black Community Commitment on Friday. The gift will help fund scholarships, technology, and educational programming for students studying journalism and sports-related areas of study. The Black Community Commitment is an initiative by Michael Jordan and Jordan Brand to directly impact the fight against systemic racism by focusing on social justice, economic justice, and education and awareness. Morehouse joins the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African American History and Culture and the Ida B. Wells Society in receiving gifts because of their roles “at the forefront of cultivating the Black experience to the wider public.”
“Education is crucial for understanding the Black experience today,” said Michael Jordan. “We want to help people understand the truth of our past, and help tell the stories that will shape our future.”
“There’s going to be a rich legacy of storytellers who will be supported by these programs,” added Morehouse alumnus Spike Lee ’79, an Academy Award-winning filmmaker and sports enthusiast. “Many people are influenced to think a certain way about Black folks based on what they see on television and in Hollywood. We’ve got to tell our story.”
Morehouse is the only historically Black college or university dedicated to educating and empowering Black men. For fifteen years, Morehouse’s Journalism and Sports Program has addressed a distinct need—the lack of Black leadership in sports journalism and athletics. Launched through Spike Lee’s philanthropic efforts and led by award-winning journalist Ron Thomas, the program has educated and professionally developed more than 600 students from Morehouse and the Atlanta University Center, producing more than 80 graduates who now work in media and sports and almost 40 graduates who have earned master’s degrees in those fields.
“Morehouse is grateful to Michael Jordan and Jordan Brand for an investment in the education of talented men of color who will ensure there is equity, balance, and truth in the way sports stories are framed and the way the Black experience is contextualized within American history,” said Monique Dozier, vice president for institutional advancement at Morehouse.
The Black Community Commitment from Michael Jordan and Jordan Brand is driven by a belief that real change is possible only with a more complete understanding of how structural racism has impacted American history. The grant to Morehouse was made to support programs that help shape the narrative of the Black experience in media and popular culture.
“Our grantees’ critical work includes education about Black history, improving the way Black stories are told, expanding sports journalism education and opportunity for students at HBCUs, and promoting leadership development among journalists and storytellers,” noted the announcement from Michael Jordan and Jordan Brand.