NBA Foundation HBCU Fellowship2024-01-02T14:47:15-05:00

About the NBA HBCU Fellowship Program

Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) was chosen by the NBA Foundation to manage the NBA HBCU Fellowship Program in a three-year partnership that was launched in January 2023. The NBA HBCU Fellowship Program, which runs June–August, aims to provide career development opportunities in the business of basketball for undergraduate and graduate students from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Fellows selected by NBA teams and the league office work within various departments, including ticket sales, corporate partnerships, legal, social responsibility, and marketing.

This year, in partnership with CDF and Fearless Dialogues, 72 HBCU students will be educated in social justice concerns and servant leadership. The program includes gathering virtually and in person at CDF’s Alex Haley Farm in Clinton, TN, and being employed by all 30 NBA teams and their league offices.

To learn more about the HBCU Fellowship, register for the virtual informational session here: NBA HBCU Fellowship – Webinar Registration

Who Can Be A Fellow?

Those interested in becoming a fellow must currently attend an HBCU (historically Black college/university) or have previously completed a degree at an HBCU and be currently enrolled in a degree-seeking program at a PWI (predominantly white institution). Each student is allowed to apply for up to three (3) job openings.

Applications for 2024 will open December 18, 2023 and close January 7, 2023 at 11:59 PM PT. If you have questions regarding the application process or need assistance, please contact

Frequently Asked Questions
2024 Application

About Children’s Defense Fund & Fearless Dialogues

Celebrating 50 years in 2023, Children’s Defense Fund envisions a nation where marginalized children flourish, leaders prioritize their well-being, and communities wield the power to ensure they thrive. The only national, multi-issue advocacy organization working at the intersection of child well-being and racial justice, CDF advances the well-being of America’s most diverse generation, the 74 million children and youth under the age of 18, and 30 million young adults under the age of 25. CDF’s grassroots movements in marginalized communities build power for child-centered public policy, informed by racial equity and the lived experience of children and youth.

Fearless Dialogues

The July 2013 verdict that found George Zimmerman not guilty of second-degree murder charges in the lethal shooting of Trayvon Martin, raised critical questions about the American legal system and the historical and systemic injustices plaguing communities of color. The outcry demanded a response from political, civic, religious and intellectual leaders. For Dr. Gregory C. Ellison, II, the tensions that resulted from the Zimmerman trial pointed to a fundamental need—the need for transformative dialogue that embraces difference, cultivates hope, and leads to change. Three weeks following the Zimmerman verdict, over three hundred unlikely partners from all walks of life gathered at Emory University for the inaugural Fearless Dialogues community conversation. A time of deep tension, pain and uncertainty birthed Fearless Dialogues—a new movement for justice.

Fearless Dialogues is a grassroots organization committed to creating unique spaces for unlikely partners to engage in hard heartfelt conversations that see gifts in others, hear value in stories, and work for change and positive transformation in self and other.