Michael Jordan and the Jordan Brand made a $1 million commitment to supporting the Ida B. Wells Society for Investigative Reporting in its mission to bring more diversity to reporting.
The grant from Jordan’s Black Community Commitment, announced in May, will allow the Society to take its college internship partnerships to the next level, establish a summer journalism program at a historically Black North Carolina college, and launch a yearlong journalism project at a predominately Black and Latino public high school also in North Carolina, the Society announced in a press release.
“Investigative reporting is the most important reporting in our democracy,” Society co-founder and New York Times Magazine investigative reporter Nikole Hannah-Jones said in a press release. “It’s the reporting that holds power accountable, that unearths the way it’s wielded, that tells the stories that people don’t want [to be] told. Our democracy is in crisis as politicians are advancing a wave of voter suppression laws across the country and journalists must step up to be the firewall of our democracy. That makes the work we do as a Society and the substantial support of Michael Jordan and the Jordan Brand so critical in this moment.”
Last year, Jordan and the Jordan Brand announced a joint mission to donate $100 million to organizations dedicated to racial equality, social justice, and education access over the next 10 years, according to the report.
“This grant will help the Society create a pipeline of talent for the media industry that is reflective of the country we live in,” Ron Nixon, Society co-founder and Global Investigations Editor at The Associated Press, said. “That pipeline of diverse talent is a potent force for combating racial injustice in this country.”
The Society’s Director, Rhema Bland, said receiving the donation is an honor.
“To be one of just three recent recipients named in this round, alongside beacons of the Black community such as Morehouse College in Atlanta and the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C., is a tremendous honor,” Bland said. “And we’re honored to follow the economic justice, legal, and voter rights groups who received Black Community Commitment grants in 2020 and 2021. I think it speaks to the work we do and the impact we aspire to have on the journalism industry and our democracy as a whole.”
The Society was founded in 2016 to build the presence, profile, and power of journalists of color in investigative reporting. The organization offers free membership, journalism workshops, training, fellowships, and more opportunities.
To learn more about the organization and its mission, visit its website.