The Place Where Tech Meets Culture

The Pass The Baton Project Release NFTs for Social Justice

Pace Gallery and VISIBILITY launched ‘Pass the Baton,’ a revolutionary NFT project that supports nonprofit organizations and activists for social justice, conceived by artist Glenn Kaino and his decade-long collaborator, the iconic Olympian Tommie Smith in partnership with UNOPND, powered by Hashed.

Utility is a word you hear often when discussing NFT projects.  Aside from the art itself, collectors want to know if a particular project serves any purpose, solves any problems, and/or has utility other than being something pretty to look at.  The Pass the Baton is one such NFT project with a purpose and a worthwhile mission of service and support to non-profit social justice organizations and activists. 

The project was conceived by artist Glenn Kaino and his long-time collaborator, iconic Olympian Tommie Smith, known for the history-making silent protest together with fellow Olympian John Carlos as each raised their fists covered with a black glove during the playing of the US national anthem, “Star-Spangled Banner” during the 1968 Olympic Games.  

Launched by Pace Gallery and VISIBILITY In a partnership with UNOPND, and powered by Hashed the project includes 7,872 NFTs designed as the iconic baton that Tommie Smith has used during four of his thirteen record-breaking races. The NFTs are integrated with smart contracts that set off donations to selected nonprofits for each digital baton transfer. The project was launched on in December.

The activists taking part in the project include John Legend, Jesse Williams, Derrick Johnson, president of the NAACP, Sybrina Fulton, Trayvon Martin’s mother and founder of the Trayvon Martin Foundation, Baron Davis, who has designated the Los Angeles Urban League and nineteen other individuals and organizations.

Jesse Williams, American actor, director, and activist, said,

“The ‘Pass the Baton’ project is a springboard, celebrating the historic intertwining of social justice movements and new technologies that can propel expressions of freedom forward. When designed with intention, both can dramatically change the world for the better. I’m truly excited to play a role in bringing these forces together alongside this new legacy team of legendary changemakers.”

Influential figures who are listed on Fortune 50 NFT celebrities list, including G Money, Jimmy McNelis, Jeffrey Zirlin and PleasrDAO are also joining the cause and adding their voices.

Moreover, every NFT will evolve rarer features when one of the selected nonprofits reaches a certain amount of donations, encouraging users to ‘pass’ the batons.

Marc Glimcher, president and CEO of Pace Gallery, said,

“Glenn has spent years redefining the scope and purpose of an artist’s studio practice. With ‘Pass the Baton,’ he is continuing to break new ground. Glenn is helping to define the future of NFTs by placing the NFT within the giving ecosystem of the nonprofit world.”

With this project, Kaino’s and Smith’s objective is to continue the intergenerational perception of social rights that has been previously expressed by the champion in 1968 with a silent protest at the Olympic Games.




Leave a Reply