Coach is partnering up with More Than A Vote, a new voting rights organization led by LeBron James, his business partner Maverick Carter, and a coalition of Black athletes and entertainers. The initiative is aimed at combating voter suppression and misinformation that disproportionately disenfranchises African-American communities. It’s linking up with other voting organizations to get Blacks across the country to register to vote and cast their ballot in November.
James and the other members of the coalition also plan to use their high-profile to call out any attempts to deter, hobble or restrict voting access or rights in Black localities.
“I’m inspired by the likes of Muhammad Ali, I’m inspired by the Bill Russells and the Kareem Abdul-Jabbars, the Oscar Robertsons — those guys who stood when the times were even way worse than they are today,” the NBA star stated in a recent interview with The New York Times. “Hopefully, someday down the line, people will recognize me not only for the way I approached the game of basketball, but the way I approached life as an African-American man.”
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To my brothers and sisters in sports and arts. We have incredible influence in our community. We need to use this moment to demand change. I gotta be honest…I struggle with what to demand because so damn much needs to change. But I’m starting with our right to vote. The easiest way to keep us from changing anything is to keep us from voting. As athletes, we stand on the shoulders of giants. We must continue their fight on behalf our community. @morethanavote #BlackLivesMatter
As one of only four Fortune 500 companies with a Black leader, Jide Zeitlin, as its head, Coach not only talks about inclusion but also actively practices it within its company.
The partnership with More Than A Vote is one step in Coach’s broader commitment to supporting nonprofits working at the forefront of addressing racial inequality in areas such as health, education, economic opportunity, and public safety. It plans to mobilize its full resources—from employees and collaborators to its network of stores—to help expand MTAV’s mission to energize, edify and safeguard voters where voter suppression and misinformation are rampant.
“The foundation of democracy is the right to vote,” said Zeitlin, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Tapestry, Inc. (Coach’s parent company) and Interim CEO of the Coach Brand. “America cannot resolve systemic racism and inequality without ending voter suppression. We are proud to partner with More Than A Vote and to work toward equal access to the ballot box for every single eligible American.”
“Our power lies in the strength of our collective voices. We’re incredibly grateful to have Coach’s voice from day one,” added Addisu Demissie, Executive Director of More Than A Vote. “Their generosity will pay dividends in our efforts to combat systematic attempts to limit access to the ballot box and strip Black citizens and other people of color of their constitutionally guaranteed right to vote.”