Amidst national protests calling for racial justice, wealthy individuals and organizations have pledged millions to racial justice groups and initiatives. The surge of donations from prominent celebrities, companies, and individual donors have helped anti-racist groups, bail funds, and black-led advocacy organizations across the country. Investments in racial equity were led by some of these wealthy donors:
1. George Soros
Source: Stephan Röhl/Flickr
The Open Society Foundations, the philanthropic group founded by billionaire investor George Soros, will invest $220 million in the fight for racial equality across the country. The Foundation will give $150 million in five-year grants for Black-led racial justice groups, and another $70 million toward local grants for criminal justice reform and civic engagement opportunities.
2. Michael Jordan
Source: Joshua Massel/Wikimedia Commons
Michael Jordan and the Jordan Brand are giving $100 million to organizations that are dedicated to promoting racial equality and social justice. The company issued a statement saying, “Black lives matter. This isn’t a controversial statement. Until the ingrained racism that allows our country’s institutions to fail is completely eradicated, we will remain committed to protecting and improving the lives of black people.”
3. Jordan Peele
Jordan Peele and his Monkeypaw Productions announced via Twitter a $1 million donation to five organizations that they believe to be “essential to the health and lives of Black People.” They added, “We are committed to continued action against a system rooted in the violence against and oppression of the Black community.” The organizations include Black Emotional and Mental Health Collective, Black Lives Matter, Equal Justice Initiative, Fair Fight, and Transgender Gender-Variant & Intersex Justice Project.
4. Katie McGrath & J.J. Abrams
Bad Robot, a production company led by J.J. Abrams, and The Katie McGrath and J.J. Abrams Family Foundation announced a $10 million investment over five years to anti-racist organizations and agendas. The initiative will begin with $200,000 donated immediately to Equal Justice Initiative, Black Futures Lab, Know Your Rights Camp, Black Lives Matter L.A. and Community Coalition.
5. Jack Dorsey
Source: JD Lasica/Flickr
Jack Dorsey, co-founder and CEO of Twitter, announced that he will be giving $3 million to Colin Kaepernick’s organization’s Know Your Rights Camp. This organization strives to “advance the liberation and well-being of Black and Brown communities through education, self-empowerment, mass-mobilization and the creation of new systems that elevate the next generation of change leaders.”
6. Bobby Kotick
Source: Bobby KotickFollow/Flickr
Bobby Kotick, CEO of Activision Blizzard, the video game company that produced Call of Duty, Guitar Hero, and World of Warcraft, announced he would be personally donating $1 million to support a variety of racial justice groups along with a $1 million pledge from Activision Blizzard to match donations made by employees. His overall goal is to raise over $4 million for organizations like the United Negro College Fund, the Equal Justice Initiative, and Management Leadership for Tomorrow.
7. Kanye West
Source: Liam Goodner/Shutterstock
Despite criticism towards West’s initial silence after the killing of George Floyd, his representative announced that the rapper has donated $2 million to charities associated with Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd and has set up a college fund for Floyd’s 6-year-old daughter. In addition, he has pledged to cover legal costs for the Arbery and Taylor families and give money to black-owned businesses in Chicago.
Source: Dispatch/Wikimedia Commons
BTS, the K-pop boy band, and their label, Big Hit Entertainment, donated $1 million to the Black Lives Matter movement. Following their donations, their fans, the BTS Army, launched a campaign to match the band’s $1 million donation. The fan-led #MatchedAMillion initiative surpassed their benchmark, splitting the money between among Black Lives Matter, Reclaim the Block, National Bail Out, Black Visions Collective, and NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund.
9. John Cena
Source: Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons
WWE star and actor, John Cena, announced a $1 million donation to Black Lives Matter as part of BTS fans #MatchedAMillion Initiative.
10. Angelina Jolie
Source: PAN Photo Agency/Shutterstock
Angelina Jolie has donated $200,000 to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. “Rights don’t belong to any one group to give to another. Discrimination and impunity cannot be tolerated, explained away or justified. I hope we can come together as Americans to address the deep structural wrongs in our society,” the actress said in a statement to Entertainment Tonight. “I stand with the NAACP Legal Defense Fund in their fight for racial equality, social justice, and their call for urgent legislative reform.”
- Google announced a $175 million package to “support Black business owners, startup founders, job seekers and developers, in addition to YouTube’s $100 million fund to amplify Black creators and artists.”
- Nike committed $40 million to “organizations that put social justice, education and addressing racial inequality in America at the center of their work.”
- Microsoft will give $250,000 to Black Lives Matter Foundation, Equal Justice Initiative, Innocence Project, The Leadership Conference, Minnesota Freedom Fund, and NAACP Legal Defense & Education Fund. This starts with a company donation of $250,000 to each of these ($1.5 million in total).
- Uber’s CEO announced a $1 million donation to the Equal Justice Initiative and the Center for Policing Equity.
- Target announced $10 million commitment to “advance social justice and support rebuilding and recovery efforts in local communities.”
For more, read our coverage of the fight for racial justice across the country and why racism and the killings of Black Americans is a public health crisis.
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