INDIANAPOLIS – The NBA Foundation today announced that it has selected Center for Leadership Development (CLD) in Indianapolis for a grant award to support its programs for minority students. A long-time partner of the Pacers Foundation and Pacers Sports & Entertainment, CLD has for more than four decades provided local youth and their parents with important educational opportunities, leadership development, and mentorship.
“I am incredibly appreciative and proud of the NBA Foundation’s investment in the young people of our city through this well-deserved recognition of the Center for Leadership Development,” said Steve Simon, PS&E owner and alternate governor. “Dennis Bland and his experienced team are impacting individual lives every day, but they are also changing the trajectory for entire generations of Indianapolis families.”
CLD offers fifteen developmental programs for middle and high school students and their parents, providing meaningful preparation in the core values of character, education, leadership, service, and career. Thanks in part to CLD’s emphasis on hard work and high achievement, seventy-one percent of CLD graduates report enrolling in some institution of post-secondary learning while more than fifty percent of those who attend college earn a college degree.
“Our organization, which started in 1977 offering one program, today offers numerous programs to create a pipeline of excellence for African American youth, and now more than four thousand students and parents participate in Center for Leadership Development Experiences,” said Dennis Bland, CLD President. “Now comes the NBA Foundation with this tremendous gift, and we get an opportunity to expand what we do to help more young people be exposed to different career opportunities.”
The NBA Foundation was created last August with the mission of furthering empowerment and upward mobility in the Black community, making a pledge to invest $300 million over the next decade in cities across the country. It is funded through contributions made by all thirty teams.
“The NBA Foundation is honored to partner with the Pacers and award a grant to the Center for Leadership Development as part of our second-ever grant round,” said Greg Taylor, NBA Foundation Executive Director. “For more than four decades, CLD has developed Indianapolis young people of color into future professional, business and community leaders, and we are proud to help their work grow in the years to come.”