TMCF To Present NBA With Champion of Diversity Award


Washington, Aug. 12, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Thurgood Marshall College Fund will present its inaugural Champion of Diversity Award to the National Basketball Association (NBA) during TMCF’s 35th Anniversary Gala on Saturday, October 1, 2022, at the New York Marriott Marquis.

As one of TMCF’s original founding partners, the NBA has supported the organization’s life-changing work since 1987. Over the last two years, the NBA has established itself as national leader in supporting Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and their students as a key strategy for diversity and inclusion.

“We are excited to recognize the tremendous efforts of the NBA by presenting them with the inaugural Champion of Diversity award,” TMCF President and CEO Dr. Harry Williams said. “It is well deserved for the league because inclusivity and diversity are central pillars of the NBA’s strategy. Our core values as an organization align. They have continued to implement impactful strategies to increase diversity, inclusion, and equity in the NBA.”

One of the NBA's initiatives following the social justice movement of 2020 was to spotlight HBCUs as beneficiaries of the 2021 NBA All Star Game, having each team play to award funding to either TMCF or UNCF, supporting scholarships for HBCU students along with their partners at Ruffles and Mountain DEW. TMCF received nearly $2M in donations from the 2021 NBA All Star Game, and over $7 million in free advertising on television. In addition, the NBA generated about 17.5 million in earned media value for HBCUs from all-star 2021, TMCF included.

As part of the NBA’s support of HBCU’s, the league developed new programs and events focused on the HBCU community at the start of the 2021-2022 season – specifically around professional development, career advancement and increased support and awareness for HBCU athletics and institutions.

During NBA All-Star 2022, the NBA hosted new programs and events including the first-ever HBCU Classic broadcast live on TNT and ESPN2 featuring the Howard University and Morgan State men’s basketball programs. Throughout, All-Star weekend, more than $1 million was contributed in support to the HBCU community through TMCF, UNCF and academic institutions.

Also in 2022, the NBA Foundation partnered with TMCF to implement its new HBCU Fellowship, which tipped off this summer. The paid fellowship places HBCU student interns at the league office and teams to gain hands-on experience in various aspects of business, positioning them for future careers in the sports industry.

“On behalf of the entire NBA Family we are honored to receive the TMCF Champion of Diversity Award,” NBA Chief People and Inclusion Officer Oris Stuart said. “The values of diversity, equity, and inclusion are ingrained in the DNA of our league and we look forward to continuing to work with respected partners like TMCF to always lead with these values.”

About the Thurgood Marshall College Fund

Established in 1987, TMCF helps America’s publicly supported Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), which educate 80% of the 300,000 HBCU students. TMCF provides access to higher education through scholarships and financial support, and prepares HBCU students to succeed in economically sustainable careers. These programs are particularly critical since over 75% of HBCU students are low-income, with 97% relying on financial aid – and over half are the first in their family to attend college.

TMCF’s programs help HBCU students stay in school and graduate – resulting in generational economic transformation as 70% of HBCU graduates enter the middle class permanently.

TMCF is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt, charitable organization. For more information about TMCF, visit:


Thurgood Marshall College Fund