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Black Female Employee on the Phone in a Store
Press Statement May 3, 2024

NAACP and Leslie's Announce Grant Recipients of the Leslie's Certification Boost Grant

Black Female Employee on the Phone in a Store


May 3, 2024


Alicia Mercedes,

FGS Global

Robert Rendine/Jenny Gore/David Isaacs


WASHINGTON — Today, the NAACP, in partnership with Leslie's, the leading pool and spa care brand in the U.S., awarded grants to U.S. small business owners of color from the Leslie's Certification Boost Grant. This partnership, which began in 2021, provides $100,000 per year in funding to support the NAACP's Inclusive Economy and NextGen Leadership Programs.

"We are thrilled to extend our congratulations to the recipients of the Leslie's Certification Boost grant. In collaboration with Leslie's, we celebrate the commitment to fostering positive change and promoting diversity and inclusion within the business landscape,"said Yumeka Rushing, Chief Strategy Officer of the NAACP. "These grant programs stand as a powerful force, empowering such deserving entrepreneurs and nurturing the potential of young adults to lead our communities towards a brighter and more inclusive future. We look forward to witnessing the collective impact of our shared efforts to make a meaningful difference."


Below are the Leslie's Certification Boost Grant recipients:

  • Buy and Sell With Naajia / Naajia El-Amin Real Estate, Jacksonville, Florida
  • Crisp Investments LLC DBA Dually Trucking, Katy, Texas
  • Distinct Styles, LLC., Hollywood, Florida
  • Doux Consulting Group, Pasadena, California
  • FoodGarage, LLC DBA clevtech, Houston, Texas
  • Independent Referrals, LLC DBA Glow Beauty Bar, Smyrna, Georgia
  • Just Energy Entertainment, Phoenix, Arizona
  • NextLevel Life, LLC DBA Life & Ladle, Phoenix, Arizona
  • Pattie-Lous Donuts, Orlando, Florida
  • Ready2Go Shipping, Palmdale, California
  • Robin Lee LLC DBA Robin Lee Innovations, Beverly Hills, California
  • Rohi's Readery, West Palm Beach, Florida
  • Surje Coffee Co., El Cajon, California
  • The Healing Lounge, Fort Worth, Texas
  • The Tassy Group, Atlanta, Georgia
  • Zodiak Technology & Associates, Union Point, Georgia

"These Certification Boost Grants are intended to assist entrepreneurs in obtaining vital business certifications, which are powerful to help these smaller organizations to connect and partner with larger organizations that can help their startup companies flourish and grow,"said Naomi Cramer, Chief People Officer for Leslie's."The applicant pool was impressive, and we are thrilled for these deserving organizations who were selected to receive a Leslie's Certification Boost Grant. We look forward to watching their business progress in the future."


As a leader in economic advocacy for disenfranchised communities, the NAACP is proud to distribute these grants to historically marginalized groups and businesses situated in Historically Underutilized Business Zones (HUBZones). The grants will help the recipients obtain vital business certifications which will play a crucial role in networking, forming business connections, and creating partnerships.

To learn more about NAACP and Leslie's partnership, visit our website.



The NAACP advocates, agitates, and litigates for the civil rights due to Black America. Our legacy is built on the foundation of grassroots activism by the biggest civil rights pioneers of the 20th century and is sustained by 21st century activists. From classrooms and courtrooms to city halls and Congress, our network of members across the country works to secure the social and political power that will end race-based discrimination. That work is rooted in racial equity, civic engagement, and supportive policies and institutions for all marginalized people. We are committed to a world without racism where Black people enjoy equitable opportunities in thriving communities.

NOTE: The Legal Defense Fund - also referred to as the NAACP-LDF - was founded in 1940 as a part of the NAACP, but now operates as a completely separate entity.

About Leslie's

Founded in 1963, Leslie's is the largest and most trusted direct-to-consumer brand in the U.S. pool and spa care industry. The Company serves the aftermarket needs of residential and professional consumers with an extensive and largely exclusive assortment of essential pool and spa care products. The Company operates an integrated ecosystem of 1,000 physical locations and a robust digital platform, enabling consumers to engage with Leslie's whenever, wherever, and however they prefer to shop. Its dedicated team of associates, pool and spa care experts, and experienced service technicians are passionate about empowering Leslie's consumers with the knowledge, products, and solutions necessary to confidently maintain and enjoy their pools and spas.

About Leslie's Foundation

Leslie's recognizes its responsibility to help address societal challenges by leveraging its resources, associates, and expertise. Leslie's philanthropic mission, through its foundation, is to make a positive impact and support the communities it serves across four strategic pillars. In addition to NAACP with a focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion, Leslie's also supports water safety education and learn-to-swim programming with partners Boys and Girls Clubs of America and American Red Cross, as well as pioneering research and lifesaving care for childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases with beneficiary partner, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and disaster relief efforts with the American Red Cross.

For more information about Leslie's, visit or follow and engage with us: @lesliespoolcare on Instagram, Leslie's on Facebook, and @lesliespoolcare on Twitter.