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Listening to Communities

The Nike Black Community Commitment Is Headed to London

NIKE, Inc.’s commitments to the Black community bring together partners who are bringing the most good to those suffering from systemic racism. Through a focus on economic empowerment, education and social justice, partners of all sizes can create healing change at the ground level, whether they work in the smallest neighborhood or across an entire nation. Everyone, including Nike, can do their part in making a more equitable playing field.

What We Heard

In the $140 million commitment announced in June 2020, Nike worked alongside a variety of partners with proven long-term success in addressing systemic racism. This included large-scale national partners, like the NAACP, as well as smaller grassroots partners in key cities who lead creative approaches to serving local communities out of an intrinsic understanding of their population’s needs. Lasting change needs a harmony of both strategies to work, and the success of the local approach prompted some important questions regarding the future of the BCC: How can this same focus be applied overseas? Which major cities would benefit from grassroots partnerships attentive to the specific needs of their Black communities, being mindful of the variety of those needs in each neighborhood? And how can Nike employees in those cities play a role in helping select the local changemakers and nonprofit organizations? It was time to take the learnings from the North American work and expand the vision abroad.

What We Did

Inspired by the Black Community Commitment in North America, Nike launched the first international investment supporting the Black community in London. Why London? As a major global city, and one sharing a rich legacy with Nike, London represents an opportunity to use the passion, insights and direct involvement of Nike employees to advance equality for the city’s Black communities. Applications for the grant opened in late March 2021, and 15 grantees were chosen in the summer by a committee of diverse employees in the city. Grants from £5,000 to £20,000 were then delivered to the London nonprofit organizations to support projects for up to 12 months in any borough in the city, emphasizing work related to sport equity, education, mentorship, mental health and much more.

For Nike, following through on its commitment to the Black community is an important step in spurring action to create a better world. The company sees its ability to resonate uniquely within communities — even within boroughs — as a responsibility in the fight against systemic racism.

“As a London team, we are committed to serving our Black communities both internally and externally, which is why it was important for our Nike employees to be involved in this journey from the very beginning,” says Sarah Hannah, VP, Nike London. “I know I speak on behalf of all our London employees when I say that we are proud to be supporting these organizations in driving the necessary work they deliver daily to support our Black communities in London.”

As the projects develop from each of the 15 London grantees, the outcomes will help refine the company-wide grassroots strategy for serving Black communities across the world.

The Grantees

Ballet Black, Baytree Centre, Black Minds Matter UK, Black Trans Foundation, Caramel Rock, Dwayne Simpson Foundation CIC, Elimu International Ltd, Power2, Project 4 Youth Empowerment CIC, RESET MH, S.M.I.L.E-ing Boys CIC, Talawa Theatre Company, The 100 Black Men of London, Theatre Peckham, Young Steps Ltd

To download images of the grantee representatives as well as grantee quotes, click here.