(LEX 18) — UK Men's Basketball Coach John Calipari is teaming up with over 35 other collegiate head coaches, and the John McLendon Minority Scholarship Foundation to launch the McLendon Minority Leadership Initiative.
The initiative will work to provide minorities a jump-start to careers through experiences, building a network and instilling the values of the John McLendon Foundation: integrity, education, leadership, and mentorship.
It's announced that Coach Calipari is funding the MLI Future Leaders for six years. University of Kentucky Athletics has announced that it plans to be part of the MLI starting with the upcoming athletics season.
“It was really important for me to take a step back these past few weeks and listen. Now it’s time to take action,” Coach Calipari said. “The MLI is about access and opportunity: real-world experience and networking platforms designed to elevate talented young women and men of color who have previously been ignored by a system that lacks diversity and inclusion. For this work, I couldn’t think of a more appropriate vehicle than the McLendon Foundation. I’m excited about where we’re headed and feel this is a great first step toward affecting measurable change in our corner of the world.”
Coach Calipari has announced he is seeking matching funds from private donors, corporate supporters, and other partners to support other universities wishing to participate in the program.
“I am pleased that the University of Kentucky Athletics Department has joined me in the initiative, and I hope that other college coaches and schools will join in this great cause,” Calipari said. “College athletics will be the focus of the MLI, but if the initiative can make a broader impact across all levels of athletics and in other industries to help build a path of opportunity for our minority leaders of tomorrow, I’m all for that.”