Here's The First Black Man Selected As VP Of Diversity And Inclusion For An NBA Team

All photos via Black Enterprise 

Back in July, Maurice A. Stinnett made history as the first African American man to be appointed as vice president for diversity and inclusion for an NBA team, reports Black Enterprise. Currently, there are only two other positions like this at the team level within the NBA and both are held by African American women: Gail O’Bannon with the Dallas Mavericks and Nzinga Shaw who became the NBA's very first diversity chief in 2014.

Stinnett told Black Enterprise: "I grew up in poverty in a little city called Springfield, Ohio, [in] a single-parent home. My mother dropped out of high school and I didn’t know my biological father until two or three years ago. Typically for African American boys, sports are a way out and they usually see that as an opportunity to change their lives."

In spite of these challenges, he credits his mother and grandmother with exposing him to prominent African Americans by giving him autobiographies and books about successful people of color. Soon Stinnett connected his passion for sports with his love for education and set out to pursue some history-making goals within professional sports that did not require him to become a sports player.

The Springfield, Ohio native graduated from Central State University with a business degree and then went on to attend Princeton Theological Seminary to earn a Master of Divinity. He also completed a Master of Education and holds a Doctorate in education and organizational leadership from Columbia University. At just 35-years-old, Stinnett’s resume is full of accomplishments that caught the eye of sport management company, BSE Global (formerly known as Brooklyn Sports and Entertainment Global). Prior to signing on with BSE, Stinnett served as Dean of Students at his alma mater, Central State University and Vice President of Engagement and Chief Diversity Officer at Cleveland State University. He has also served with CentroNia, and educational nonprofit based in Washington, D.C.

BSE Global "manages premier sports franchises," including the Brooklyn Nets. Stinnett is the first vice president for Diversity, Inclusion, and Culture for BSE Global and will be responsible for innovative programming efforts that promote inclusion and cultural competence. He will also lend support to other brands housed under BSE. Soon after starting in this new role, Stinnett has already established a diversity and inclusion council whose mission will be to ensure that best practices are being demonstrated amongst BSE brands regarding diversity and inclusion matters. He has also been able to initiate the formation of business resource groups for African Americans, women, Hispanics, and persons with disabilities via the newly formed council.

When asked about his transition from the education and nonprofit sectors into a more corporate role, he explained that it's about "understanding how to connect diversity and inclusion to the bottom line. When you get diversity and inclusion right, you actually increase your profitability." 

Congratulations and best of luck Maurice in your new role! 


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