Warriors’ Juan Toscano-Anderson a finalist for NBA’s social justice award

Warriors forward Juan Toscano-Anderson has been named a finalist for the NBA’s Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Social Justice Champion award, the NBA announced today.

Toscano-Anderson is one of five finalists for the new annual honor that recognizes a current NBA player for pursuing social justice. The award is named after Abdul-Jabbar, the hall-of-famer who has been outspoken about matters of equality. The winner of this year’s award will be named prior to Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals on TNT later this month.

Toscano-Anderson, the Oakland native whose parents are Black and Mexican American, has been an advocate for social justice and equality in the Bay Area.

His Journey to Achieve Foundation focuses on empowerment for Latino and Black families in the Bay Area, Santa Cruz and Mexico. During the height of the Black Lives Matter movement last summer, he organized a walk through the streets of downtown Oakland to protest oppression, police brutality and social injustice.

“I’ve got people in the locker room who are not only going to stand up for what I stand up for, but who are actually going to stand up with me,” Toscano-Anderson said after last June’s march that included teammates Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and  Damion Lee among others.

Over the past year, Toscano-Anderson has led discussions with sixth-grade students in San Francisco and more than 3,000 African youth and took part in a Q&A with Latinx professionals.

In continued efforts to support the Latinx community, he addressed more than 2,000 people at the Día De Los Muertos Film Festival in Watsonville and purchased equipment and materials for Fundacion Unidos Por Chavinda in his family’s hometown that provides medicine and food for senior citizens and supports development and life skills for children.

The winner of the league’s social justice award will win $100,000 to a charity of his choice, while the other four finalists will each select an organization to receive a $25,000 contribution. Toscano-Anderson has selected Homies Empowerment, a community development organization based out of Oakland, as the recipient of his donation.

Other nominees include Portland’s Carmelo Anthony, Sacramento’s Harrison Barnes, Philadelphia’s Tobias Harris and Milwaukee’s Jrue Holiday.

Contributed by local news sources

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