NBA Players Donating $350,000 to Voter Engagement Groups, Including Two in Cleveland

click to enlarge L-R: Jennifer Lumpkin, Erika Anthony, Crystal Bryant and Devonta Dickey - Courtesy Cleveland VOTES
Courtesy Cleveland VOTES
L-R: Jennifer Lumpkin, Erika Anthony, Crystal Bryant and Devonta Dickey

As part of a renewed commitment to social justice, The National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) is donating $350,000 to 19 voter engagement organizations across the country, including to two organizations in Cleveland: Cleveland VOTES and VoterDrive CLE.

The NBPA raised the money by auctioning off game-worn jerseys from the opening weekend of the NBA restart in the Florida "bubble." They created a new Players’ Justice Fund, controlled by NBA players, from which they intend to continue donating to organizations promoting various social justice initiatives.

Cleveland VOTES is a non-partisan democracy-building and voter-mobilization nonprofit in Cleveland. VoterDrive CLE is a recently established nonpartisan effort to provide transportation to the polls for those in need of rides.

"Cleveland VOTES is incredibly grateful to the NBPAF for their commitment and investment in advancing equitable civic engagement,” said Erika Anthony, Co-Founder of Cleveland Votes, in a press release. “Elevating the importance of the upcoming election in the midst of a global pandemic has proven challenging, but the Cleveland VOTES team has been encouraged, inspired and motivated by organizations such as the NBPAF who stand in solidarity with us."

Another Ohio organization, FreedomBloc, which seeks to build Black political power, was also among the organizations awarded funding. Ohio was the only state with three groups to receive dollars from the NBPA Players' Justice Fund.

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About The Author

Sam Allard

Sam Allard is the Senior Writer at Scene, in which capacity he covers politics and power and writes about movies when time permits. He's a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and the NEOMFA at Cleveland State. Prior to joining Scene, he was encamped in Sarajevo, Bosnia, on an...
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