Golden State Warriors superstar Stephen Curry has been named the 2022-23 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Social Justice Champion. As the winner of the award, $100,000 will be donated on Curry’s behalf to the University of San Francisco Institute for Nonviolence and Social Justice by the NBA.
The two-time MVP was a finalist for the award along with Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul, Memphis Grizzlies forward Jaren Jackson Jr., San Antonio Spurs guard Tre Jones, and Boston Celtics forward Grant Williams. Each finalist will be awarded $25,000 toward their respective social justice organization.
In a statement, Curry shared his passion for the work of the Institute of Nonviolence and Social Justice and the importance of using his platform to speak out against injustice.
“I’m passionate about the work of the University of San Francisco Institute for Nonviolence and Social Justice and its commitment to overcoming injustice and systemic violence through peace,” Curry said “As an athlete, I consistently leverage my platform to amplify advocacy and address the pervasive issue of systemic racism. I firmly believe that we must be vocal both on social media and in real life, taking tangible actions to effect real change in our society and for generations to come. Together, with the organization's co-founder and director, Dr. Clarence B. Jones, we have initiated meaningful conversations around social justice with the school's student body and doubled the charity’s donations through my foundation Eat. Learn. Play.'s gift matching initiatives, and continued building on its mission in my personal and professional life by holding people accountable and promoting the principles of justice, fairness, and equality today, tomorrow, and in the future.”
Curry’s basketball brilliance on the court is only matched by his commitment to social justice and equality off the court. He’s a co-chair of former First Lady Michelle Obama’s “When We All Vote” initiative which encourages voter registration, education, and turnout. His efforts inspired millions of new voters to engage in the political process. He was also featured in the National Basketball Social Justice Coalition’s “Freedom to Vote” social media campaign which advocated for the passage of the Freedom to Vote Act in the U.S. Senate.
In 2022, Curry graduated from Davidson College and wrote his final thesis on gender equity in sports. Through UNDERRATED, his lifestyle brand, he “empowers underrated and underrepresented individuals by opening doors for often-overlooked student-athletes, creating equity, access, and opportunity for basketball and golf athletes around the world to be seen by college recruiters, sports agents, and other industry leaders.” Also, he’s fought for female athletes to access the same opportunities as their male counterparts. As part of his ongoing commitment, Curry donated $6 million to fund the men’s and women’s golf teams at Howard University, which was inactive for 50 years.
In the multi-media space, Curry’s Unanimous Media seeks to “ inspire audiences through authentic storytelling, is dedicated to collaborating with underrepresented filmmakers, creators, and writers across the entertainment industry.”
His nonprofit, Eat. Learn. Play which he co-founded with his wife Ayesha, works to ensure every child in the Oakland area has access to nutritious food and to address the systemic socio-economic barriers facing underserved communities. Over the last year, the organization has provided over two million meals and 500,000 books to Oakland students, remodeled four new play spaces complete with multi-sport courts, playgrounds, gardens, murals, and funded over 1,500 teacher-led classroom literacy projects.