Our Story: The Moore Foundation

Wisconsin Badgers assistant coach Howard Moore is making a difference off the basketball court. A great story out of the Wisconsin State Journal, Wisconsin Badgers men’s basketball assistant coach Howard Moore is actively fighting the current violence and troubling issues in his hometown of Chicago, Illinois. Moore has worked for the Badgers’ basketball program for eight years and is entering his third season under current head coach Greg Gard. He is seen as a mentor for his players and is often someone they can turn to for anything, specifically non-basketball related. Being someone who is there for his program and players, Moore is also looking to give back to where he came from.

Stemming from Chicago’s west side, Moore has always known of the gang and violence problems in the city, as many do, but as years go on- the lingering problem continues to widen and become harder to ignore. “If I was living in the city, I wouldn’t let my kids play at the playground and that’s a shame,” Moore told the Wisconsin State Journal. “That’s one of the biggest heartbreakers is the sense of community has been destroyed.”

Moore is married to his wife Jennifer and has one son (Jerrell) and one daughter (Jaidyn). He spent his playing years at the University of Wisconsin before bouncing around the coaching carousel, his most recent a head coaching gig at Illinois-Chicago before re-joining the Badgers for the second time.

While Moore has always had a voice around his community and the respect of others’ attention, this weekend will be a chance to address the overwhelming problem in a city so many people call home. On Saturday, Moore will kick off the third ever “Legends Take Back the Streets” event at Collins Academy High School near where he grew up. The event will run both days this weekend and will be highlighted by former players participating in basketball games as well as youth camps and drills.

The main purpose of the gathering, though, is to start a conversation on the troubles in Chicago and to come up with an active solution to help all involved. “We have people criticize us saying, ‘What does basketball have to do with what’s going on in the streets?’ I’ve heard that on social media and a few telling me to my face,” Moore told the Chicago Tribune. “My response is, hey, if nothing else we have kids in the gym for a few hours, and it probably saved one or two of these people’s lives because they were in a gym playing basketball and they weren’t focused on something negative or hurting someone or being hurt.”

FAMILY REVEAL DINNER

 

 

1. WHY DID YOU CREATE A FOUNDATION?

I was approached by my friends, Kenny Pratt and Jimmy Sanders about collaborating in an effort to take a stand against the gun violence plaguing our city. I came up with the name, “Legends Taking Back The Streets” and we started a basketball event that is now going into its 4th year of successful results. A week after our 3rd annual event, my uncle Leroy Moore was the victim of a stray bullet on the south side. I could have easily thrown my hands up and said, “what’s the use?!!” But instead, I vowed to push even harder in an attempt to make a difference! The outpouring of support to myself and the family was great as we heard from so many people from throughout the country! But two people really stood out and that was Tom and Dan Fahey. Tom was a UW alum that played baseball in the early 80’s. Dan is his son that I recruited to play basketball at UW in 2009 and they are both lawyers in Chicago. They asked if there was anything that they could do to help, so I asked if they had any experience in creating a foundation? They said that not only will they help me create the foundation but they will do it ‘pro bono’!

2. WHY THE MOORE FOUNDATION?

Initially, I struggled with what to call the foundation because I needed it to be impactful and strong. Strong enough to take a stand against what’s going on in the city and make a difference. My friend, Donell Ausley reminded me of how powerful the name “Moore” is and how our family name stands for strength and courage. “DO MOORE”, “BE MOORE”, “EXPECT MOORE”! As I reflected on my life growing up, I thought about how my father, his brothers, and our family name carried weight in the community that we affectionately call, “The Village”. Men remind me of how my dad would counsel the knuckleheads of the neighborhood and convince them to come play sports instead of getting caught up in the perils of the streets. My uncle, Leroy was known for helping people at the drop of a dime no matter what it was. My uncle, Claymon was a Vietnam veteran and a loyal Chicago Police officer for over 20 plus years! So we already have a legacy for doing Moore in our community. It’s my turn now! It’s our generation’s turn to step up and make a difference.

3. WHAT DOES A FOUNDATION MEAN FOR THE FAMILY?

Foundations have proven to be very successful engines of positive change. They have helped bring about everything from Sesame Street to the 911 emergency system, and the work continues to empower solutions to environmental challenges, poverty, and other social problems. Although the funds raised will serve the public, the significant benefits to the family is control of the foundation and its assets can be passed from generation to generation teaching strong values, continuing charitable work, and championing your name far beyond your lifetime. This also provides opportunities for teaching our children and young adults about giving back while making philanthropy a family goal. Plus, involving the younger generation in the foundation can build great skills such as, leadership, teamwork, investment management, and social awareness. Foundations also help instill values and traditions. The process of working together as a family can instill philanthropic values that last a lifetime. Since foundations are handed down from one generation to the next, your foundation can produce generation upon generation of individuals who are committed to making a difference. Foundation meetings and opportunities provide a non-holiday, non-funeral reason for the family to get together, talk, and share how they might make a difference. Most importantly, the family foundation can provide young adults with significant opportunities for career development. Young children can learn at an early age about life’s lessons so that it’s already an important part of their lives.

4. HOW CAN THE FAMILY CONTRIBUTE?

Family projects and volunteering with participation in a community project allows kids to do good while meeting and working alongside those who benefit from their efforts. Allows you to create family rituals such as cooking meals for the homeless or organizing a charity softball game to benefit a deserving cause. We want to encourage family input and ideas for future projects. This is a Family Foundation and it will thrive if we all are engaged and involved. There are so many challenges that our children and our children’s children will inherit. A Family Foundation is a charitable vehicle to make a difference in the community and build a strong tradition through philanthropy.