OKC Thunder: Chris Paul, Anthony, Wade launch Social Change Fund

OKC Thunder guard Chris Paul is using his platform to effect social reform via the Social Change Fund.

While the NBA was suspended OKC Thunder captain Chris Paul put in yeoman’s work as the NBPA president working with the main shareholders to restart the season. There were multiple challenges Paul faced as he talked to various team representatives and peers regarding their thoughts on a return plan.

With team rosters comprised of 15 to 17 players (including 2-way contracts) that meant he needed to ascertain the opinions of approximately 500 players. Clearly, not everyone would agree on the direction they should take with some thinking it was best to not return.

Although some felt it was too dangerous due to the coronavirus pandemic the majority anti-return votes were focused on the effect they could have not playing to focus on racial and social injustice.

Throughout the process, Paul has made it clear the players would continue to use their platform to keep the focus on social justice. The veteran point guard was dialed in on that mission this past weekend as he reflected on the passing of two American civil rights activists – C.T. Vivian and John Lewis.

In an NBA article by Paris Lawson, Paul spoke passionately about the effect the two men had on his life and how all he could think about was teaching his children.

“For us, coming to play basketball is just a part of it,” Paul explained. “There’s a lot of things going on in America that we can’t turn a blind eye to so we’ll continue to discuss things and figure out what we can do.”

“We can’t stop just because we got here. We don’t stop now so we gotta keep it going.”

Paul has been at the forefront pushing for the messages many players will wear on the back of their jerseys and ways the NBPA can utilize their time in the bubble.

Paul and partners launch Social Change Fund

On Wednesday, July 22, Paul launched his own personal initiative partnering with former OKC Thunder forward Carmelo Anthony and banana boat friend Dwyane Wade. The trio has created an organization called ‘Social Change Fund’.

Noticeably missing in the partnership is the other banana boat BFF – LeBron James, however, he has his own venture ‘More Than A Vote‘ so that could be why James isn’t involved in this project.

As per the press release on the launch of the Social Change Fund the mission is stated as:

“Our mission is to address social and economic justice issues facing Black communities and break down the discriminatory barriers to success,” said Paul. “The Social Change Fund will help advance racial equality and opportunity. We will unite with other individuals who share our vision and commitment to use our collective voices and resources to advocate for change and foster a more equitable future.”

Each of the partners has a foundation that effects provide positive change via social and economic programs.

Melo’s foundation ‘The Carmelo Anthony Foundation‘ is a nonprofit organization focusing specifically on underserved communities to improve education, provide recreational programs, and conduct community outreach. It has been in operating for the past 15 years.

Dwyane Wade founded Wade’s World Foundation in 2003. Their website is no longer working so the link provided takes you to the Linked In page of the foundation. As noted on their Linked In page of WWF:

WWF works to provide support to community-based organizations that promote education, health and social skills for children in at-risk situations. WWF is dedicated to its vision of empowering the underserved core communities of Chicago, Milwaukee, and the South Florida areas.

In addition to the above Wade works to advance racial justice and LGBTQ equality.

Long before joining the OKC Thunder, Chris Paul created his foundation that actively works with underserved communities. His Chris Paul Family Foundation places education high on its list of initiatives. His recent focus on HBCUs includes executive producing a documentary film on sports and society with a focus on HBCUs.  The mission noted for the Foundation on the CPFF Instagram page is:

‘We come together to positively impact individuals and families by leveling the playing field in Education, Sports and Life. #BeGoodDoGood’

The three friends are the key members of the Fund’s Founder council and will be the primary decision-makers to establish projects, specific beneficiaries, and bring awareness to the fund. In addition to the trio, other seed donors include Goldman Sachs, Creative Artists Agency and others noted in the press release.

The official website of the fund is thesocialchangefund.org and can be directly linked here.