As sports leagues amplify voices against social injustice, NBA all-star and New Orleans Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday is taking his effort to combat systemic racism to the next level by donating his remaining 2020 salary.
But for Holiday, simply writing a large check and walking away was not enough, he told Cheddar. He and his wife, retired soccer star Lauren Holiday, are working with Resilia — a technology platform that monitors and allocates resources for nonprofits and foundations — to track the progress of their donations.
The couple wants to be sure their efforts are leading to real change so they are working closely with Sevetri Wilson, founder and CEO of Resilia.
"Honestly, it's a lot of research," Holiday said. "For us to hook up with Sevetri and for her to have so much knowledge on this issue and hands on the ground in so many places, it's been big for what me and my wife want to do."
Wilson started the tech company as a way to help organizations that have missions to better their communities and solve global problems.
When it comes to the Holidays' effort against systemic racism, having a third-party mediator is key, Wilson said.
The SaaS platform helps organizations with tactical work and education needed to carry out their missions because, she said, "we know for nonprofits, particularly those led by people of color, they have a hard time not only getting to the table but once they get to the table, actually winning and being awarded fundraising opportunities is very difficult," Wilson explained.
While a large check could quickly solve many issues, problems like the need for deep systemic change take time.
"We're looking at a three-year timeline," she said of the Holidays' plans."The organizations, as well as small businesses who are applying now, they should rest assured that this won't be the last time that we're giving out funding and that they'll hear from Jrue and Lauren because this is an ongoing process."
For Holiday and his wife, repairing social and racial issues is particularly important since the interracial couple has experienced their own share of injustices, he said. Perhaps even more important for the Holiday family, is ensuring the safety, security, and prosperity of their daughter.
"I'm glad that people are open to being educated and learning something different about a different culture," he said.
In addition to his efforts off the court, Holiday is also an advocate for his "sisters" in the WNBA. Women in the league have long been fighting for equality, particularly regarding salary.
"We want to give women in general, but especially little girls, that same ability to go out there and make money and to have that popularity that they have the same as guys, " Holiday told Cheddar. "Not only do we support Black Lives Matter, but we support women's sports the most in this family."
Fighting for your beliefs and joining forces with a company that is committed to carrying out a vision is effective, but according to Wilson, those visions can go even further when even more people come together.
"For us, and through the work that we're doing with so many other organizations, it's about building a critical mass of mobilized organizations and those who are supporting them, who are informed and well-equipped with the information and tools to impact policy," she said.