Amid the COVID-19 critical response measures such as healthcare, PPE, and economic relief put in place around the nation, the National Basketball Wives Association has teamed up with MC Lyte and Morgan Stanley to donate 15,000 books to 5,000 students (three books per student) in under-resourced areas that are impacted by shelter-in-place orders. The kick-off takes place via a virtual party on MC Lyte’s Instagram Live this evening from 8:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. EST.
The effort coincides with the organization’s newly launched “Books & Ball” program, which focuses on developing student-athletes by providing four levels of support to underserved designated public high schools in qualifying areas. Assisting both Girls and Boys Varsity basketball programs, “Books & Ball” advances the opportunities for underfunded public high schools in the areas of athletics, academia and social wellness.
Launched at the 2020 NBA All-Star Weekend in Chicago as part of the NBWA Women’s Empowerment Summit, the program continues to expand support to additional underfunded public high schools in select cities throughout the year with the support of NBWA membership, partners and donations.
“It’s always been a part of NBWA’s mission as a charitable organization to support underserved youth, so when COVID-19 hit and schools began to shut down across the nation, we decided to look at the academic and educational support we could lend to kids and communities in need. We’ve seen so much of the amazing work that communities are pulling together for life critical support that it dawned on us to start raising awareness that would help kids receive learning resources and access to the tools they don’t have since they’re currently not in school,” NBWA President Mia Wright explained in a recent interview with TNJ.com.
She continues, “Morgan Stanley is a long-time partner and supporter of the NBWA, and Sandra L. Richards, who is the global head of sports & entertainment at Morgan Stanley, thought it would be a great idea to play off DJ D-Nice’s Club Quarantine virtual parties that he began throwing a few weeks ago with his celebrity friends. The reality of being sheltered-in-place with no real, foreseen time of when that’s changing is a lot to deal with emotionally. So, to have that type of high-level fun with so many artists and DJs on Instagram, we felt it could be amazing to bring in one of the most iconic females in hip-hop. We know there have been other female dee-jays doing it, and we wanted to make sure we highlighted someone who has always been a voice in our community through BET and other platforms who can have another showing of love at this level. MC Lyte is an incredible humanitarian, and it just made sense for us to come together and make this happen.”
Wright says to join the fun, simply go to Instagram Live @MCLyte. “That’s what’s so cool about the virtual party: you can be anywhere in the world and tune in!” she says. “This is her first ever Instagram Live, so it’s a historical moment for her and we’re excited to see the support from the NBWA family, the NBWA membership, corporate partners and all of our supporters. I know MC Lyte’s fans are excited, and we really want to thank Morgan Stanley. The entire company was notified about it yesterday, and Sandra said her phone has been blowing up!”
The book donations are being handled by First Book, a national non-profit that has been around for 30 years and has a network of about 475,000 educators. During the virtual party, the NBWA will also collect donations from partners, friends and anyone in the general public who wishes to donate to the effort of providing learning resources to families in need.