PHILADELPHIA - Josh Harris and David Blitzer, whose company Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment own the Philadelphia 76ers, pledge $20 million to fight systemic racism in cities where they own teams. As a portion of the $20 million, the 76ers are contributing $10 million to the NBA’s new foundation, devised to drive economic growth and empowerment in Black communities.
“As leaders and stewards of community pillars, the eyes of the world are on us to do better, and they should be. While we will never be able to correct the past harm and injustice faced by Black Americans, it’s our duty to provide resources that enable tangible action and greater opportunities for equality. We are committing to a fundamental change in our business strategy by embedding our organization with Black communities and businesses through significant and sustained investment and support. We are deeply committed to fighting for a better, more inclusive future and we pledge to be leaders in doing so,” said Josh Harris, HBSE Founder.
The company plans to spend a minimum of $2.5 million to organizations that work to improve the quality of life for residents in Black communities, through employment programs, home-buying assistance, public space improvements, among other items and capital commitments to real estate projects that drive forward community priorities. These priorities include affordable housing and health centers, to name a few.
Harris and Blitzer say HBSE intends to strengthen their commitment to a diversified workforce by hiring a Chief Diversity and Impact Officer, as well as focus on recruitment, retention and advancement programs designed to increase the number of Black and minority employees. This will include recruiting from historically Black colleges and universities in an effort to recruit graduating seniors.
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