The CWBA Institute will work alongside the NFL to increase community equity and empower Black-owned businesses, particularly in the tech and finance industries.
On Thursday, the NFL announced a new partnership with the Contract with Black America Institute, an economic inclusion and development initiative led by artist and entrepreneur O’Shea Jackson Sr., more popularly known as Ice Cube.
The goal of the collaboration is to aid the NFL in increasing economic equity and partnerships with Black-owned businesses. The two sides will focus specifically on a handful of industries like finance and technology.
“For more than a year, the CWBA Institute has been working closely with the NFL on identifying resources to build stronger, more substantive economic partnerships with the Black community,” said Ice Cube in a release. The Contract with Black America was founded in 2020 after the killing of George Floyd. On the CWBA’s website reads “this contract with Black America strikes at the heart of racism and presents a blueprint to achieve racial economic justice.”
As Cube continued:
“Our team at CWBA, including my longtime business partner and entertainment lawyer Jeff Kwatinetz and advisors Ja’Ron Smith and Chris Pilkerton, are focused on building corporate partnerships with measurable economic growth outcomes for Black communities across the country. We believe this is a giant step in the right direction.”
Amid allegations of racism, tampering, and tanking made by former Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores and the ongoing scandal involving the Washington Commanders organization, the league has tried to take steps in the right direction even before the partnership with CWBA.
The NFL’s Inspire Change social justice program recently announced hitting 98% ($244 million) of its commitment to giving $250 million over a 10-year span. The initiative has four pillars it guides itself by: education, criminal justice reform, police-community relations and economic advancement. Specifically, the league reports it has spent or allocated $125 million targeting Black-owned businesses over the last year.
“Our partnership with CWBA is another reminder that partnering with intentional organizations is critical to everything we do at the League,” said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on the occasion. “Black businesses play a major role in our country’s economic prosperity. We understand these businesses have not always had the opportunity for exponential growth, so we are pleased to have partners like Ice Cube and his organization, CWBA, in a continued, collective push toward greater economic inclusion.”