Carmelo Anthony of Portland won the NBA Social Justice Champion Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award, an honor for which Warriors forward Juan Toscano-Anderson was a finalist.
Toscano-Anderson was one of five nominees for the new annual honor that rewards a current NBA player for pursuing social justice. The award is named after Abdul-Jabbar, the Hall of Famer who has been outspoken on equality issues. Other nominees included Harrison Barnes of Sacramento, Tobias Harris of Philadelphia and Jrue Holiday of Milwaukee.
Toscano-Anderson, the Oakland native whose parents are black and Mexican Americans, has been an advocate for social justice and equality in the Bay Area.
As one of four finalists, he wins a donation of $ 25,000, which will go to Homies Empowerment, an Oakland-based community development organization. Anthony will select the Portland Art Museum’s Black Arts and Experiences initiative to receive $ 100,000.
“I can’t begin to appropriately express how grateful I am to the NBA for considering me for this incredible and meaningful award,” Toscano-Anderson said in a statement to the Bay Area News Group. “In this situation, there are no losers, because we have all been recognized for our social work. It will provide more opportunities for all of us who strive to do more to improve our communities and make the world a better place for everyone. ”
Anthony, a 10-time All-Star, partnered in 2020 with Chris Paul and Dwyane Wade of Phoenix to create the Social Change Fund, which aims to address the social and economic justice issues facing black communities and eliminate the discriminatory barriers to success.
Through the charity, Anthony focuses on critical issues including advocating for reform and inclusion of criminal justice, advocating for the human rights of all black lives, expanding access to voting and civic engagement, increasing black representation in government, and creating economic equity in communities of color. by investing in education, jobs, wages and housing.
Last summer, Anthony was also the guest editor of the special social justice issue of SLAM magazine which featured the game’s most influential activists, including Abdul-Jabbar, Bill Russell and Sheryl Swoopes. All proceeds were donated through the Social Change Fund.
Toscano-Anderson’s Journey to Achieve Foundation focuses on empowering Latin American and Black families in the Bay Area, Santa Cruz and Mexico. At the height of the Black Lives Matter movement last summer, he organized a march through the streets of downtown Oakland to protest oppression, police brutality and social injustice.
Over the past year, Toscano-Anderson has held discussions with sixth graders in San Francisco and over 3,000 young Africans and participated in a question-and-answer session with Latinx professionals.
In his ongoing efforts to support the Latinx community, he spoke to over 2,000 people at the Día De Los Muertos Film Festival in Watsonville and purchased equipment and materials for the Fundacion Unidos Por Chavinda in his hometown. family that provides medicine and food for the elderly and supports the development and life skills of the children.