For Immediate Release
NBA Foundation announces first ever Vancouver grant recipients, BC Community Alliance and Ethọ́s Lab
The grants help drive economic opportunity in the Black community by supporting innovative youth programs
NOV. 28, 2023 (VANCOUVER, B.C.) The BC Community Alliance (BCCA) and Ethọ́s Lab have been selected as grantees in the latest round of funding from the NBA Foundation, the charitable arm of the NBA that supports economic opportunity for Black youth. Additional funding is being provided by the charity of the Toronto Raptors, MLSE Foundation. BCCA is dedicated to addressing anti-Black racism within education settings in British Columbia, and Ethọ́s Lab’s mission is to enhance access and representation in science, technology, engineering, applied art, and math (STEAM) for underrepresented youth.
“We are excited to welcome BC Community Alliance and Ethọ́s Lab to the NBA Family as part of the NBA Foundation’s 10th grant round and expanding our commitment to youth in Canada,” says NBA Foundation Executive Director Greg Taylor. “In addition to growing the Foundation’s footprint in the Canadian market this grant from the NBA Foundation will continue to support Ethọ́s Lab’s inspiring mission to enhance access and opportunities in STEAM for youth from diverse backgrounds.”
The NBA Foundation was established in 2020 to fund programs that generate successful transitions from school to meaningful employment for Black youth. The foundation invests in local and national organizations that promote school-to-career employment opportunities, including job readiness, skill training, job placement, and career advancement.
“The BC Community Alliance is thrilled to have been selected as a partner for this year’s round of funding from the NBA Foundation and the Toronto Raptors,” says Markiel Simpson, a steering committee member of the BCCA. “Receiving this type of recognition and support from one of the greatest sport organizations and sports franchises on the planet speaks to the important work that we’re doing locally for youth in our community. These types of partnerships can take the BCCA to uncharted territory, further advancing our efforts to ensure Black youth across the province can achieve academic success, greater economic opportunity, and empowerment.”
The funding will go towards BCCA’s nine-week, immersive Supports for Student Learning Program. Covering an array of topics and exercises, the program focuses on empowering Black youth in B.C. as they navigate everyday life and on their journey to post-secondary school education.
To learn more about upcoming initiatives or support the organization, visit bccommunityalliance.com.
“The funding from the NBA and the Toronto Raptors is coming at a critical time, as we are seeing the increasingly urgent need to provide youth with equitable access to tools and knowledge,” says Anthonia Ogundele, founder and executive director of Ethọ́s Lab. “As a Black-led organization, we provide an ecosystem of opportunities to all youth who are empowered to co-create innovative solutions for a more inclusive future. We’re excited to deepen and widen the impact we can make on the community with this generous support.”
The funding will support Ethọ́s Lab’s foundational Pathways Program, an interactive initiative designed to empower 300 teens with applied career exploration opportunities in STEAM. Leveraging real-world experiences, the core program enhances young people’s critical thinking skills and exposes them to diverse professions by highlighting culturally relevant contexts to foster inclusivity and engagement. Pathways includes three core opportunities for youth: mentorship from subject matter experts, a chance to explore careers through job shadowing and project-based assignments, and a variety of workshops that focus on resume building, technical skills, personal branding, and more.
To learn more about programming, register a youth, or support the organization, visit ethoslab.ca.
About BC Community Alliance
BCCA is a local, Black-led, community-based organization in British Columbia dedicated to addressing structural inequities caused by racism, particularly anti-Black racism, within educational settings. Established in 2019 and registered as a non-profit in 2020, BCCA works tirelessly to create a more inclusive educational landscape. Our programs focus on providing resources and training for educators, promoting anti-racism policies, and advocating for systemic change in the education system. BCCA works toward creating a safe and supportive learning environment for all students, regardless of their race, ethnicity, or cultural background.
About Ethọ́s Lab
Ethọ́s Lab is a Black-led organization in Vancouver, British Columbia, creating a network of community-driven Innovation Hubs for youth in Grades 5–12. Integral to our model is the fusion of culture and interdisciplinary STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Applied Art and Math) programming, providing youth with a safe space and the core skills for post-secondary admissions and careers to create a more inclusive future.
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