Basketball great Michael Jordan is adding to his legacy outside the court. In February, the former Chicago Bulls star donated $10 million to help launch two medical clinics in underserved communities near his hometown in North Carolina. And now he’s announced another million-dollar donation — only this time it centers around education.
The Associated Press has reported that Jordan, along with his Nike Jordan Brand, is donating $1 million to Morehouse College in Atlanta in an effort to help boost the school’s journalism program, as well as helping to fund further sports-related studies at the highly ranked HBCU. The donation will build off a previous endowment from acclaimed director, writer and actor Spike Lee, who has also donated to the same fields. Morehouse said the money from both donations will help to fund scholarships, technology and educational programming for students in those fields.
“Morehouse is grateful to Michael Jordan and the 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.
According to the AP, Jordan’s donation is part of an ongoing philanthropic program called the Black Community Commitment, which “has directed donations to the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African American History and Culture and the Ida B. Wells Society, among other organizations.”
“Education is crucial for understanding the Black experience today,” Jordan said in a statement announcing the donation. “We want to help people understand the truth of our past and help tell the stories that will shape our future.”
Jordan said the Black Community Commitment program, which focuses on the lack of Black leadership in sports journalism and athletics, has so far helped more than 80 graduates who now work in media and sports earn their degrees.
A Morehouse alumnus himself, Lee said he was proud of the work the school was doing and believed that a “rich legacy of storytellers” would be supported by these programs.
“Many people are influenced to think a certain way about Black folks based on what they see on television and in Hollywood,” Lee said. “We’ve got to tell our story.”