Former NBA player Dwyane Wade is encouraging the Black community to “mobilize” and use “our power” to create change.
Wade and his wife Gabrielle Union will dish about politics and social justice work during their appearance this week at The Wall Street Journal’s The Future of Everything Festival. As noted on the official website, the 3-day event features “unscripted interviews and interactive workshops” with “entrepreneurs, artists, athletes, scientists and thinkers” who all come together for “a first look at the seismic shifts occurring in the way we live, work and play.”
Speaking with WSJ’s Deputy Chief News Editor Darren Everson, Wade shared his belief on the real reason why politicians are trying to silence Black voters.
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“What I wanna say to all the Black people out there, all the marginalized peoples, we understand why the politicians are trying to silence the black voters,” Wade said in a pre-taped interview, set to premiere in full Tuesday, per PEOPLE. “It’s because of our power.”
He continued, “Understand if we mobilize and we utilize what we have, and that’s our power, that it scares everybody. No one’s scared because of our muscles and because of our skin tone, they’re scared of us because of our power. And so, we want our kids to understand where they come from, who they are and don’t let the world step on them because of it.”
Wade added, “That’s the message for everybody out there, the community: let’s mobilize, let’s utilize what we have and that’s our power together to create change, to make change, to have the life that we say we want.”
Last year, Wade joined forces with Carmelo Anthony and Chris Paul to launch the Social Change Fund and offer financial support and resources to organizations focusing on minority communities, theGRIO reported.
According to a statement at the time, “The Social Change Fund will primarily focus on critical issues including public safety and criminal justice reform, empowering communities of color by expanding access to voting and civic engagement, increasing Black representation in leadership, and building economic equity for Black people through investment in education, employment, wages, and housing.”
Before the Social Change Fund, Anthony, Paul, and Wade were advocates for community causes through philanthropy and personal projects. Wade, a three-time NBA champion and thirteen-time NBA All-Star, has provided resources to youth in underserved communities through The Wade’s World Foundation. He also uses his platform to help advance racial justice and LGBTQ equality causes.
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Wade and Union currently use their platforms to primarily promote awareness about transgender and gay children. The couple is raising daughter Kaavia, 2, and Zaire, 19, and Zaya 13, Wade’s children from his previous marriage, Xavier 7, Wade’s son with reality TV star Aja Metoyer, and Wade’s nephew, Dahveon,19.
At age 12, Wade’s youngest child, formerly named Zion and now named Zaya, came out as transgender.
In an episode of the I Am Athlete podcast last year, Wade addressed the people who have criticized him for co-signing his adolescent gay son transitioning into a girl.
“All the people who got something to say about my kids, I thank you,” he said, “because you allowing the conversation to keep going forward. Because you know what? We might not have all the answers, but we’re growing from each conversation.”
*theGRIO’s DeMicia Inman contributed to this report
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