She’s taken on Caitlin Clark and the University of Iowa, and the University of South Carolina and coach Dawn Staley, on the basketball court. Now, Angel Reese is taking on wealth inequity for Black women through Congress.

The Louisiana State University star forward has teamed with Goldman Sachs’ One Million Black Women initiative for a national TV and digital campaign that will run during the NCAA basketball tournament to ask Congress to help narrow the racial wealth gap Black women are facing.

The Southeastern Conference Player of the Year is joined by her mother, Angel Webb Reese; Bernice A. King, CEO of the King Center and daughter of civil rights icon Martin Luther King Jr.; and Hall of Fame player and coach Staley as ambassadors for the effort.

Although Reese has donated to charities and taken a stance on other issues — including those addressing hunger and aiding children — this is her first commercial under her NIL — short for name, image and likeness — which allows for college athletes to be compensated.

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Reese’s ad, which will run on ESPN and connected TV during the Elite Eight and Final Four games, opens with a photo montage of Reese and her mother and video clips of the two playing basketball while highlighting the importance of legacy building that prevents generational wealth.

“What did I inherit from my mom?” Reese asks in the commercial. “My drive, my confidence, oh, and my jump shot.”

In a phone interview, Webb Reese, who lives in Randallstown, said she is proud to see her daughter “using her platform to level the playing field for Black women and talking about these important issues.”

She added: “My hope is that these statistics and the real-life experiences that they represent will be a wake-up call for Congress and other leaders to work with Black women to create a future where everyone has an opportunity to achieve their goals and leave a legacy.”

The commercial also shows Webb Reese placing a sparkling tiara upon her daughter’s head — all whilst the All-American says that only 17% of Black women believe their interests are being well represented by Washington policymakers.

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“Let’s use our voices and close the opportunity gap,” Reese says as she passes a basketball into the screen.

“Congress, the ball is in your court,” Reese says as the video fades out.

Reese said through her spokespeople in response to questions from The Banner that she personally knows woman who have experienced wealth inequity.

“I was fortunate to grow up in a community of incredible Black women. They were hardworking. They were problem-solvers and dreamers who believed in a better future, but who weren’t always heard by people in power,” she said. “I want to help inspire change and do my part as a leader. My message to those in leadership positions is simple: listen to Black women and then act. It’s time to advance the ball.”

Reese credited much of her success to the influence of her mom.

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“I owe so much to my mom. She instilled in me my confidence, work ethic and my commitment to my community. It’s clear that from her generation to today, Black women are still facing challenges,” Reese said in a statement. “But I believe change is possible.”

Reese and her mother will appear in a commercial that will run during the NCAA tournament. (Eakin Howard/Getty Images)

Webb Reese said her daughter is also involved with charitable work in Baltimore and Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

“When I see her doing things like that, it is a beautiful experience as a parent,” she said.

Reese graduated from St. Frances Academy in Baltimore before playing for the Maryland Terrapins and later transferring to LSU, where she has been an All-America player and led the team to the 2023 national championship.

Known affectionately as the “Bayou Barbie,” Reese has inked endorsement deals with Raising Cane’s and Caktus AI.

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Black women are among the lowest-paid demographics in the country.

In 2022, Black women earned 70% as much as white men, according to Pew Research Center, a nonpartisan think tank. Only Hispanic women — at 65% — earned less. White women earned 83% as much as white men. Asian women were closest to parity with white men at 93%.

According to a 2021 report by One Million Black Women, closing the earnings gap for Black women would raise the overall level of U.S. annual GDP growth by $300 million to $450 billion per year.

Angel Reese began her college career at the University of Maryland before transferring to LSU. (Ulysses Muñoz/The Baltimore Banner)

Webb Reese said, as a single mother, she would often discuss the pay gap and inequalities with her two children.

“I didn’t know that I was always compensated compared to men,” recalled the mission operations analyst for the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory.

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The ad campaign is part of efforts to use data to highlight the obstacles Black women face in their efforts to achieve economic success.

The effort is led by Goldman Sachs’ One Million Black Women initiative, a $10 billion effort to narrow opportunity gaps in the lives of at least 1 million Black women by 2030.

Webb Reese, who is preparing to travel to Baton Rouge to watch her daughter’s first-round game in the NCAA tournament against Rice, scheduled for Friday at 4 p.m., said that while she was in awe of the other women featured in the campaign, when it comes to facing Staley on the court, the competitive instincts are going to kick in.

“We’ve always had a level of respect and love for Dawn. She recruited Angel out of high school and when she entered the transfer portal. … When it comes to game time, we want to beat her. Other than that, we love and respect Dawn as a coach and player,” she said.