by Frances Esguerra
Retired San Antonio Spurs legend David Robinson is helping to raise $50 million for a new investment fund designed to help develop struggling Texan neighborhoods. His partnership with Blueprint Local aims to strengthen economically-depressed communities by injecting capital into “Opportunity Zones.”
Opportunity Zones is a federal tax provision established under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 that offers investors preferential tax treatment on investments in designated distressed communities. Robinson and Blueprint Local’s goal is to use capital as a tool to boost local economies in neglected neighborhoods.
“It’s an opportunity,” Robinson explains, “to invest locally and build communities without taking that money out of the communities, whereas somebody who builds a Home Depot or a new hotel or something, that money might go back to New York. What we’re doing is trying to keep a lot of that money in the communities.”
The 10-time NBA All-Star and two-time NBA champion is also the founder of Admiral Capital Group, a real estate and private equity firm with a strong commitment to inclusive community development focused on a improving education and creating positive social impact. Robinson is also co-founder of Carver Academy, a faith-based private school that serves over 10,000 students from pre-K through 6th grade, all coming from diverse socio-economic backgrounds. With 24 charter schools already, he aims to open 40 schools within the next four years.
Why We Like It:
Well after his impressive basketball career that includes helping San Antonio win two NBA championships, David Robinson is still making an impact on Texas for the better. A successful investor and philanthropist with a long history of giving back to Texan communities, the Hall of Famer’s outstanding charitable efforts has made “The Admiral” an admirable figure in the community and an inspiration to numerous other pro-athlete impact investors, including Shane Battier, Tony Parker and Zach Ertz, who have shown their support for Admiral Capital Group. David Robinson leads by example in using his platform and resources to help facilitate positive social impact for his local communities.
by Frances Esguerra
Global health nonprofit TackleAfrica recently celebrated a milestone of having conducted 10,000 HIV tests across all of their football programs in eleven African countries. Young people and their communities have been able to access this crucial service voluntarily 10,000 times since its founders decided to introduce free and confidential HIV testing at the charity’s football sessions and tournaments in 2015.
In 2007, TackleAfrica developed a unique way of combining HIV education directly into football coaching drills and now trains African football coaches, games teachers and community leaders in using these fun, interactive drills for young people in their football clubs and communities. The charity has grown to work regularly with local partners in six African countries to reach over 20,000 young people each year.
Founded in May 2002 by a group of young people from the UK, TackleAfrica’s programs focused on HIV education, but now their coaches are trained to deliver information and services on a wide range of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights issues to help end the HIV epidemic, including contraception, family-planning, Gender-Based Violence (GBV), Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), child marriage and girls’ empowerment.
Why We Like It:
TackleAfrica uses football as a means of bringing people together and a platform from which to convey crucial messages about HIV and AIDS. The charity’s decision to introduce free and confidential HIV testing and counseling at its football tournaments has helped over 20,000 young people yearly since 2015. For many TackleAfrica players, the charity’s football tournaments are the first time they get tested.
Its football programs creates an environment that minimizes the fear of walking into a clinic and being seen by a doctor in a white coat. With youth-friendly, casually-dressed counselors and test administrators that were trained and approved by the Ministry of Health, young people can feel as comfortable as possible being tested without judgment or prejudice. Oftentimes teammates would test at the same time, making it easier to take that first step into what can be a terrifying moment.
TackleAfrica recognized the potential of football and used its popularity to better lives across an entire continent.