Former US professional basketball player Michael Jordan at a press conference in the Palais de Tokyo in Paris.

Patrick Kovarik | AFP | Getty Images

Michael Jordan is taking the next step in his $ 100 million commitment to the black community.

Through its Jordanian-branded company, the iconic basketball player will offer funding from a $ 1 million community grant program to social organizations to help address problems affecting black communities. Companies with a budget of $ 3 million or less will be considered for grants.

Applicants have until April 30th to apply and must be a US resident and certified under 501 (c) (3). The nonprofit group Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors is coordinating the program that distributes money from the Jordan brand’s $ 100 million pledge to fight racism and income inequality.

“Since we announced our commitment to the Black Community in June 2020, we’ve focused on two things – action and impact,” said Craig Williams, president of the Jordanian brand, in a statement. “I’m excited about the impact these grants have had on the black community. We know almost every other group benefits when we make positive change for the black community.”

Jordan’s brand joined top companies in donating money to the black community after a string of high profile police killings in 2020, including George Floyd’s death. Former cop Derek Chauvin is currently on trial for Floyd’s murder and is currently on trial on second- and third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

The Jordan brand made donations of up to $ 1 million last July, handing out pledge money to the NAACP, Movement for Formerly Imprisoned and Convicted People and Families (FICPFM), and Black Voters Matter.

Phoenix Suns’ Chris Paul # 3 watches during the game against the Oklahoma City Thunder on January 27, 2021 at Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix, Arizona.

Barry Gossage | National Basketball Association | Getty Images

Sun’s owner is involved with the NBA Foundation

Phoenix Suns Vice Chairman Jahm Najafi also donated $ 10 million to the National Basketball Association Foundation on Wednesday. The money is on top of the $ 10 million that the suns pledged. Najafi is the CEO of Arizona-based venture capital firm Najafi Companies.

The league and its players’ union donated $ 300 million last year to help improve social and economic opportunities in the black community through the NBA Foundation.

Najafi made headlines in February when he joined former NFL star Colin Kaepernick to set up a special purpose vehicle (Mission Advancement Corp). The company aims to address race and diversity issues directly to consumers through the acquisition of sports and financial technology companies.

Mission Advancement raised $ 345 million following an initial public offering on March 5 and is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “MACC”.

“Over the past year, I’ve been inspired by the NBA family’s efforts to advance social justice, particularly through the governor’s long-term commitment to establishing the NBA Foundation,” Najafi said in a statement. “I’ve seen firsthand how economic opportunities can change lives and I look forward to supporting the foundation over the next 10 years as it impacts the lives of black youth.”