Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry has partnered with former President Barack Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper Alliance for two years, and is now utilizing his own platform on the court to draw attention to the latest efforts of the organization.
While in the nation’s capital to face off against the Washington Wizards tonight, Curry will celebrate MBK with a pair of customized Curry 4 sneakers. The hand-painted shoes will later be signed by Curry and auctioned off, with proceeds benefiting local communities connected to the My Brother’s Keeper Alliance.
“The inspiration for the shoe I’ll be playing in today is every boy and young men of color in this country that need to know they matter – to their communities, their country, to me,” Curry wrote on Instagram.
The sneakers were designed by Dez Customz and Kreative Custom Kicks in tandem with the foundation, and styled in a black to white fade with subtle gold accents throughout, symbolizing togetherness and achievement. Featuring the Alliance’s wordmark and circular logo icon along the collar, one of Obama’s defining quotes from his last MBK National Summit speech while in office can also be found in script throughout the toe:
“Because ensuring that our young people can go as far as their dreams and hard work will take them is the single most important task that we have as a nation. It is the single most important thing we can do for our country’s future.”
For Curry, the sneakers represent an effort he’s grown increasingly close to throughout the last two seasons, as the Alliance aims to “help more of our young people stay on track.”
After first partaking in a series of PSAs with Obama in early 2016, urging young men to join and become mentors, Curry has re-engaged repeatedly to lend his time to the program.
“I’ve been proud to be part of that mission from day one, and I’ll never stop being my brothers’ keeper,” Curry said.
This past fall, during the league’s annual Christmas Day showcase, Curry appeared in a new MBK campaign, driving home the concept of “We are the ones,” a talking point of Obama’s urging young men of color to take on active efforts in their education, community involvement and personal growth.
Since launching in 2014, My Brother’s Keeper has impacted more than 250 communities in all 50 states, and raised more than $1 billion in private funding to continue to impact local organizations and reach young men from a variety of backgrounds.
Both the NBA and National Basketball Player’s Association have signed on for a five-year partnership with My Brother’s Keeper, providing additional funding and access to even more NBA players.
Earlier this week, MBK announced its latest Community Challenge Competition, offering a series of grants totaling up to $500,000 for community based organizations. Of its six key areas of focus — which include an emphasis on reading at grade level and graduating high school — the Alliance is most centered on finding youth violence solutions and providing mentorship at pivotal stages for boys and young men.
Curry’s current backyard of Oakland is one of the key MBK Alliance regions, along with Obama’s hometown of Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, New York, Memphis and several Latino and tribal communities.
“We’re continuing to raise awareness on supporting young men and boys of color in their pursuit of achievement and the highest success in life,” said Curry.
In addition to the pure grants, the MBK will also provide resources and access to experts from a variety of fields, along with continued funding to hire full-time project leads. A key tenant of the organization’s “cradle to college to career” mantra is pairing youths with mentors at the sixth- and ninth-grade levels.
“Four years ago, President Obama launched the My Brother’s Keeper initiative, and since then hundreds of communities have stepped up and shown up for their boys and young men of color in extraordinary ways,” Michael D. Smith, director of MBK Alliance and Youth Opportunity Programs at the Obama Foundation, told The Undefeated.
“We are excited to let these communities know the Obama Foundation remains committed to their success, and provide some tools and resources to help them accelerate the pace of impact and inspire action nationwide.”
Keep an eye out later tonight as Curry dons the My Brother’s Keeper Alliance custom Curry 4, which also include the text, “Husband. Father. Son. Leader,” along the inner heel of each shoe.
“Special colorway, supporting a special initiative and a special mission,” Curry said. “It’s going to be a great night.”