Passion for Justice

Stephen Curry’s Donation Will Fund Nonviolence Education

USF institute to host social justice research and programs

by Annie Breen, USF News

USF’s Institute for Nonviolence and Social Justice (INSJ) will use a $100,000 gift from the NBA and Golden State Warrior Stephen Curry to expand its research, education, and outreach.

Curry selected the INSJ for the donation after being named the league’s Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Social Justice Champion on May 23.

Steph Curry headshot

The INSJ was founded five years ago by Clarence B. Jones and Jonathan D. Greenberg to teach the philosophies and strategies of Martin Luther King Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi as a way to overcome violence and conflict. Jones was King's lawyer, strategic adviser, and draft speechwriter from 1960 until King’s assassination on April 4, 1968. Greenberg taught conflict resolution, public policy, and international law for 30 years at Stanford Law School and is INSJ director.

INSJ will put the gift to good use, Greenberg said, with new initiatives in the 2023–2024 school year, including:

  • Research (as part of the USF Interfaith Nonviolence Initiative co-convened by INSJ and the Ralph and Joan Lane Center for Catholic Social Thought and the Ignatian Tradition) with USF faculty, students, and community partners. The research will address refugee rights and community empowerment, indigenous education in Colombia and the United States, nonviolent resistance in Burma and co-resistance in Israel/Palestine, Muslim identity in the Bay Area, and reduction of gang violence in Central America. 
  • Multiple events with Jones relating to the selection of his new memoir, The Last of the Lions, as USF’s “One Community, One Book” initiative. Students, faculty, and staff will be invited to read the book as part of the “One Community, One Book” project this summer.
  • Violence-prevention training for USF students and grassroots community leaders headed by Joseph Marshall ’68, co-founder of the Black Student Union at USF and author of Alive & Free: The Prescription to End Violence and Change Lives, in partnership with the McCarthy Center’s Community Empowerment Activist program and community partners.
  • Participation, alongside the Martin Luther King Jr. Research and Education Institute at Stanford University, in a conference about the 60th anniversary of the 1963 events of the civil rights movement, including the Birmingham, Ala., campaign, the March on Washington, and the FBI’s surveillance of King.

Greenberg said there are several events underway that will be announced as the school year progresses.

Curry said he’s passionate about the work of the INSJ and its commitment to overcoming injustice and systemic violence. Curry met Jones when he participated in a 2020 USF Silk Speaker Series conversation about education and activism.