Celtics pledge $25 million across 10 years to help fight racial injustice, social inequities locally

Celtics pledge $25 million across 10 years to help fight racial injustice, social inequities locally
The Boston Celtics logo and Red Auerbach signature are seen on the TD Garden parquet floor before the start of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2019, in Boston. (AP Photo/Mary Schwalm)

BOSTON — The Boston Celtics announced a collaborative effort with the Boston Celtics Shamrock Foundation that pledged $25 million over the next 10 years to help fight racial injustice and social inequities in the Greater Boston Area.

Of the $25 million committed, $20 million will be in cash while the other $5 million will come in the form of, “media assets and in-kind value.” That long-term investment will help support six parts of the community that the organization and the associated foundation agreed upon after multiple discussions with both Celtics players and leaders in the community.

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With each area comes a set of initiatives that the organization hopes to achieve at a minimum. Those six areas and their associated goals are as follows:

Equity in Education

  • Creating an early education center for low-income families.
  • Launching a Black history curriculum for students.
  • Assisting high school students with college readiness.

Economic Opportunity and Empowerment

  • Providing pro-bono services to minority-owned businesses.
  • Launching the Chuck Cooper Fellowship.

Equity in Healthcare

  • Promoting early detection for health conditions that disproportionally impact communities of color.
  • Developing a mobile health-screening initiative.

Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement

  • Assisting juvenile offenders in workforce development and academic completion opportunities.
  • Supporting the societal re-entry for formerly incarcerated parents.

Breaking Down Barriers and Building Bridges Between Communities

  • Expanding ‘The Playbook Initiative,’ the team’s bias prevention curriculum.
  • Implementing discrimination and bias dialogue into the Jr. Celtics' Youth Basketball curriculum.

Voting and Civic Engagement

  • Promoting voter registration and the importance of voting for national and local elections.

“Our goal is to have a direct impact now,” Jaylen Brown said in the announcement from the team. “We don’t need to pacify the situation with empty gestures. We need to hold ourselves, the Celtics organization, and the city of Boston accountable. Monetary commitment is a great first step, but we need to commit to this process by creating a balance of short and long-term change. The time is now.”

A governing board will be announced in the span of a few weeks, though the organization did not give an exact date. That board will lead the effort to enact those initiatives through objectives that have yet to be set and will be made up of team legends and staff members, along with Celtics investors.

“We feel both the urgency of the moment and the weight of the centuries of injustices as we undertake this critically important work,” said Steve Pagliuca, a managing partner and alternate governor for the Celtics. “The Boston Celtics have a proud legacy of being on the right side of racial and social justice, and we are more resolved than ever to take that commitment to another level. Our goal is to do everything we can to achieve progress on each of the targeted pillars, and we will work tirelessly to make real change.”

The announcement came in a release Tuesday afternoon, which the team published on their social media accounts.