December 2, 2022

NBA Foundation Awards Grant to Avenues for Justice to Support our HIRE UP Program!


(New York- December 2, 2022) The season for giving is officially upon us, and NYC non-profit organization, Avenues for Justice (AFJ) is excited to announce that the National Basketball Association (NBA) Foundation will be gifting our alternative to incarceration (ATI)organization with a grant toward our court advocacy services and HIRE UP program. As part of the league’s annual grant giving, the NBA Foundation selected 12non-profit organizations throughout the US and Canada to share-in $4.8 million in grants, to help create employment opportunities, further career advancement and drive greater economic empowerment for Black youth. A five-week celebration during the holiday season where the NBA Family gives back by supporting and uplifting youth, families and organizations across the country, Avenues for Justice is honored to be a part of this year’s recipients. 

“We are excited to support Avenues for Justice and its endeavors to support court-involved youth with workforce development through the HIREUP program,” said NBA Foundation Executive Director Greg Taylor. “The organization’s dedication to intervention and diversion for youth in systematically disadvantaged communities dates back decades and we look the continued growth of its impact on the trajectory of Black youth in the U.S.”                                              

Created in August 2020 with a 10-year, $300 million commitment by the 30 NBA team governors, the NBA Foundation is the league’s first-ever charitable foundation. The grants will help enhance the impactful work of national and local organizations, such as Avenues for Justice, in alignment with the NBA Foundation’s mission to provide skills training, mentorship, coaching and pipeline development for high school, college-aged, job-ready and mid-career individuals.

With this new grant, AFJ’s HIRE UP program, which also launched in 2020 in response to the shift to virtual services during the peak of the pandemic, will continue to offer our Participants access to educational and vocational training, like Digital Literacy and OSHA Construction Safety with certifications at every level. Additionally, HIRE UP offers other online services, hybrid and in-person workshops, mentorship, and mental health wellness sessions. 

“The vision of the NBA Foundation overlaps with the goals of Avenues for Justice and will allow us to expand our programming of skills training, mentorship, and job training for underrepresented youth.  By providing the means to establish a solid economic foundation, the Foundation grant will assist in achieving Avenues for Justice’s mission to divert underrepresented, at-risk New York City youth from lives of crime,” stated AFJ Board Chair Alanna Rutherford.  

Since 1979, Avenues for Justice has kept thousands of African American and Hispanic youth and young adults in New York City out of the criminal justice system, reducing recidivism rates for court-involved youth, through one of the most successful and cost-effective ATI models in the United States. With a 94%success rate, and through programs like HIRE Up and second chances, AFJ provides free on-going court advocacy services, mentorship, vocational and education support, and life skill workshops for nearly 400 participants, ages13 to 24, each year. 

To learn more about Avenues for Justice and our continued efforts to provide #ServicesNotCells visit To donate click here.


Weston Muench


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