It's About Giving Back to the Community. Faces of Opportunity – Jahi Rawlings

You can’t say you’ve reached the pinnacle of success without helping others to get there with you. Learn how Jahi Rawlings took a risk to create opportunities for youth and minority-owned businesses. 

Jahi Rawlings was born in Brooklyn, NY to a single-parent household and would be his mother’s only child. Growing up in Brooklyn’s Bedford-Stuyvesant area, Jahi was no stranger to hardship. He watched his mom gracefully fill the shoes as head of household and sole provider even though the odds were stacked against them. In addition, Jahi attributes his mother with the reason he first took an interest in

basketball. From her perspective, she figured if he kept a basketball in hand, he would be less likely to become a product of their environment. She also urged that if he took the sport seriously, basketball could forge a path for a greater future.

Taking his mom’s advice, Jahi became more devoted to the sport and it worked to his benefit. He earned a scholarship to Georgia Perimeter College where he began his collegiate career and earned an Associate Degree in Sociology. He transitioned to Lander University where he finished his collegiate career and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology. Upon completion he accepted an opportunity to play in in the National Basketball Association’s (NBA) D League.

Though Jahi’s professional career was short-lived he still wanted to be involved with basketball at some capacity. His love for the game transitioned into coaching into on Georgia’s Amateur Athletic Union circuit, working in basketball development for the Atlanta Hawks, and even doing sports marketing for the NBA. Still determined to have a greater impact, this wasn’t enough for Jahi. He wanted to start something that was unlike any other basketball entity.

In 2013, Jahi started the Atlanta Entertainment Basketball League (AEBL), a mission driven Pro-Am league designed it to be a fabric of Atlanta community. The AEBL is an eccentric mix of philanthropy, culture and basketball. As AEBL’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Jahi employs minority youth and gives them hands on experience. He also hosts annual back-to-school drives and partners with minority-owned businesses to have them as vendors. 

From a childhood dream to a reality. Jahi’s AEBL has created a unique platform for community outreach, basketball, and entertainment in the city of Atlanta. The league increases in popularity with each passing year and remains to be free to the general public.

Economic inclusion is addressing the distribution of economic growth by ensuring that everyone has a seat at the table of prosperity as a collective. This starts by shifting the narrative and the Faces of Opportunity program is about shifting that narrative.

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