Just over a year ago, NIKE, Inc., on behalf of Nike, Jordan Brand and Converse, committed $40 million to supporting the Black community. The same day, Jordan Brand and Michael Jordan committed $100 million.
While these long-term investments built on long-standing support (see sidebar), the moment that spurred the announcement was singular, says Karol Collymore, Senior Director of Inclusive Community for Social & Community Impact. “On May 25, 2020, when George Floyd was killed, that was something that changed every person. Whether it was folks for the first time who really saw what persistent inequality looks like or a catalyst to continue to talk about systemic racism — it was not possible for any of us to look away,” she says. “For NIKE, Inc. to step up and commit this money, it’s important, to be where we say we’re going to be for the Black community.”
In picking the initial partners for the commitments, Collymore, along with an internal NIKE, Inc. team led by Craig Williams, president of Jordan Brand, asked where and how the company could be most effective. “We thought, ‘How do we want to show up? And not just in this moment, but over time?” Collymore says.
“This year of work was galvanizing,” Collymore says, “and went far beyond monetary commitments. We can’t solve systemic racism alone, but we can certainly make an impact. We know the power that we have, and our responsibility to wield it.”