News Story


Published by the National Basketball Association on December 17, 2020

NEW YORK, Dec. 17, 2020 – The NBA Foundation today announced a total of more than $2 million in inaugural grants that will drive economic empowerment in Black communities through employment and career advancement.  Seven organizations – ExaltManagement Leadership for TomorrowMarcus Graham ProjectOperation DREAMTEAM Inc.The Knowledge House and the Youth Empowerment Project – have been selected as the recipients of the first grants from the Foundation.  The organizations align with the NBA Foundation’s mission to provide skills training, mentorship, coaching and pipeline development for high school, college-aged, job-ready and mid-career Black men and women in communities across the United States and Canada.  These inaugural grants aim to increase education and employment access and support in Black communities, as well as enhance and grow the work of these national and local organizations.

Below is a list of the grantees:

Exalt is a non-profit organization based in New York City that elevates expectations of personal success for justice system-involved youth by equipping them with the skills and experience necessary to become self-sufficient and self-fulfilled members of society.

Management Leadership for Tomorrow
Management Leadership for Tomorrow (MLT) is an organization that is changing the face of leadership across sectors and driving breakthrough results for individuals and institutions by providing more than 8,000 rising leaders with coaching and a support network of peers and mentors.

Marcus Graham Project
The Marcus Graham Project (MGP) is an organization and national network of diverse professionals that have purposed themselves in developing the next generation of thought leadership and widening the advertising, media and marketing industry’s pool of diverse talent. 

Operation DREAM
Operation DREAM provides developmental opportunities, mentoring and employment readiness support for more than 250 young men of color in Milwaukee through programs that correspond to the age-appropriate development needs of participants.

Tech Exposure & Access through Mentoring Inc. (TEAM), based in Oakland, Calif., focused on empowering students through their passion for sports with the STEM skills that define their future as tomorrow’s diverse technology workforce.

The Knowledge House
The Knowledge House (TKH) is a New York City-based organization that builds an education-to-employment pipeline in underserved neighborhoods by empowering young people with the 21stcentury skills needed to launch careers or ventures that will have an uplifting impact in their communities.

Youth Empowerment Project
The Youth Empowerment Project (YEP) is a New Orleans-based organization that annually serves more than one thousand underserved children and young adults between the ages 7-24 through community-based education, mentoring and employment readiness programs.

The NBA Foundation will continue to collaborate with all 30 teams, their affiliated charitable organizations and the NBPA to support national and local organizations in communities across the U.S. and Canada.  Over the next 10 years, the 30 NBA team governors will collectively contribute $30 million annually in initial funding, and the Foundation will work strategically with marketing and media partners to develop additional funding sources.

To learn more about the NBA Foundation, please visit