Ahead of the NBA Playoffs, superstar athlete Russell Westbrook, artist Victor Solomon and Hoop York City’s Alex Taylor have banded together for Hennessy’s Unfinished Business initiative. Unfinished Business, which is Hennessy’s initiative providing material support to Black, Asian, and Latinx small business owners, was founded as a response to inequities highlighted and maximized by the pandemic and has distributed more than $5MM in funding to date.
“Rebuilding our Black, Latinx, and Asian-owned businesses is vital for equitable recovery and a more just economic and social future for communities of color,” Taylor told ESSENCE regarding the importance of the partnership, especially as a Black entrepreneur. “I’m truly honored to join Hennessy and the NBA in this incredible effort to empower small business entrepreneurs like myself as they work to sustain and grow their business ventures, especially during these challenging times. These businesses are essential to the culture of our communities, and it’s important that they have equal access to the resources they need to thrive.”
In an effort to support BIPOC communities, Hennessy, which is the official spirit of the NBA, announced the Make Moves That Start Movements program, which officially jumpstarted “a leaguewide partnership between Hennessy and the NBA to extend Hennessy’s Unfinished Business platform to encourage movement for the better, including league-specific activations,” according to a press release sent to ESSENCE.
NBA All-Star Westbrook will solidify the partnership between the NBA and Hennessy’s Unfinished Business, as a result of the spirit brand’s goal to “leverage NBA players and teams as community partners to raise funds for BIPOC small businesses.” Moreover, the NBA will offer fans the opportunity to win NBA memorabilia including Westbrook’s game-worn Black History Month warm-up shorts, team-signed basketballs, and more.
In celebration of their collaboration, Hennessey is launching a new film titled Take It Far, which will highlight NBA communities who are “taking the culture further.” Featured talent in the film will include first-generation Ghanaian-American creative entrepreneur Joshua Kissi, community activist Alex Taylor, “Literally Balling” artist Victor Solomon, and Russell Westbrook, who will serve as Creative Director of his cause-based fashion line Honor The Gift.