Surge In Celebrities And Others Contributing To Nonprofits Focusing On Blacks
Celebrities, including model and TV personality Chrissy Teigen have committed funds to post bail for those who were arrested in Black Lives Matter protests brought about by the death of George Floyd. Surge In Celebrities And Others Contributing To Nonprofits Focusing On Blacks
Former 49Ers QB Colin Kaepernick Addressed The Protests Surrounding The Death Of George Floyd.
Over the weekend, Teigen, 34, took to Twitter to announce her plan to donate $100,000 to help bail out those arrested in protests around the country. After she received criticism for supporting “rioters and criminals,” she doubled her donation, to $200,000.
Actors Steve Carell, Seth Rogen and Don Cheadle as well as singers Janelle Monáe Kehlani and Noname have also contributed to the Minnesota Freedom Fund, each giving $1,000, according to their tweets. The Minnesota Freedom Fund is a nonprofit that helps bail out individuals, created in 2016.
Later, Teigen wrote in an Instagram post: “I stand with our heroes out there in support and solidarity. If you don’t know what else to do, every little bit helps.”
Floyd, an unarmed 46-year-old black man in Minneapolis, died in police custody on May 25. Derek Chauvin a whilte police officer, has since been fired and charged with Floyd’s murder.
The video of Chauvin pinning Floyd to the ground with a knee on his neck, while Floyd repeatedly saying he could not breathe, has sparked Black Lives Matter protests around the country.
Teigen’s donation has been so far the largest among celebrities who contributed to bail funds.
Additionally, former football quarterback Colin Kaepernick announced Thursday through Instagram that a legal defense fund, Know Your Rights Camp, to help protesters arrested in Minneapolis. Kaepernick, 32, has become a political activist since 2016 when he began to refuse to kneel down during the national anthem in protest against policy brutality and racial inequality in the country.
The MFF is a local organization that pays for criminal bails and immigration bonds, and has vowed to help free protesters incarcerated by police. As of Friday there have been thousands of new donors to the fund, with many contributors on social media matching pledges within their networks. Give here.
If You Want to Help Protesters with Legal Fees:
Know Your Rights Camp
Founded by Colin Kaepernick, the Know Your Rights Camp works to empower black and brown communities by providing free education and other resources. Its latest initiative in Minnesota is focused on hiring defense attorneys for anyone arrested protesting police brutality. Donate here.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
The ACLU is a nationwide nonprofit that operates in all 50 states and provides legal assistance wherever civil liberties are at risk. “Make no mistake: George Floyd should be alive today,” ACLU policing policy advisor Paige Fernandez said in a statement. “The officers responsible must be held accountable. The public has seen the video. To call this a ‘medical incident’ is an insult.” You can donate to the local chapter in Minnesota here.
Michael Jordan pledges $100M To Promote Racial Equality After George Floyd’s Death
Commitment was announced amid nationwide protests against racial injustice following George Floyd’s death.
Nike says Michael Jordan and the Jordan brand will donate $100 million to organizations ensuring racial equality over the next decade.
NBA legend Michael Jordan and Nike’s Jordan Brand on Friday committed to donate $100 million over the next 10 years to support social justice causes following the death of George Floyd.
The $100 million pledge will go “to organizations dedicated to ensuring racial equality, social justice and greater access to education,” according to a statement released by Jordan’s longtime spokeswoman, Estee Portnoy. The commitment was announced amid nationwide protests against racial injustice after Floyd died while in Minneapolis police custody.
Nike Commits $40M To Support Black Community After George Floyd’s Death
“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,” Jordan and his eponymous Nike subsidiary said in a joint statement.
Jordan’s commitment was revealed hours after Nike Inc. committed $40 million over the next four years to support the black community. As with Jordan’s planned donations, Nike said the funding would go toward promoting education, racial equality and social justice.
Countless companies and public figures have spoken out against racial inequality since Floyd’s death. Derek Chauvin, a white Minneapolis police officer, was caught on video kneeling on Floyd’s neck until he became unresponsive. Chauvin was arrested and charged with second-degree murders. Three other officers involved in the incident face charges.
Michael Jordan ‘Saddened’ By George Floyd Killing
New Spirit Revival Center pastor Darrell Scott says people should understand the true meaning behind George Floyd’s memorial service and not use it as a political opportunity to further political agendas.
“We must join forces with the community, government and civic leaders to create a lasting impact together,” said Craig Williams, president of Jordan Brand. “There is still more work for us to do to drive real impact for the Black Community. We embrace the responsibility.”
In a rare public statement last week, Jordan called for “systemic change” to end racial injustice and police brutality in the United States.
“I see and feel everyone’s pain, outrage and frustration. I stand with those who are calling out the ingrained racism and violence toward people of color in our country. We have had enough,” Jordan said. “I don’t have the answers, but our collective voices show strength and the inability to be divided by others. We must listen to each other, show compassion and empathy and never turn our backs on senseless brutality.”
Angelina Jolie Fights For ‘Racial Equality & Social Justice’ With $200K
Donation ToNAACP Legal Defense Fund
Angelina Jolie made a sizable donation to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, sharing in a statement, ‘discrimination and impunity cannot be tolerated.’
Angelina Jolie made a $200 thousand donation to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund amid ongoing peaceful protests and calls to action from the Black Lives Matter movement, according to ET. The actress, who celebrated her 45th birthday on Thursday, June 4, made the donation in an effort for millions to understand the deep-seated history of racial injustice in the United States. Upon making her donation, the Changeling actress shared a powerful statement with the outlet.
“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 shared. “I stand with the NAACP Legal Defense Fund in their fight for racial equality, social justice, and their call for urgent legislative reform.”
The Oscar-winner has a history of using her platform to benefit organizations and causes seeking equality and benefiting marginalized communities. For decades, the actress has worked to protect the rights of refugees, using her platform to highlight their struggles and lack of outlets for aid. She has also served as the Special Envoy for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.
Angelina’s sizable donation to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund comes after the May 25 death of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man who was pinned down to the Minneapolis, MN pavement by former Officer Derek Chauvin. In the days following the release of footage from the incident, millions gathered across the nation to march in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, calling for action after George, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery‘s deaths.
Across the globe, stars like Keke Palmer, Harry Styles, John Boyega, Ariana Grande and more have marched in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. While some stars, like Riverdale‘s Cole Sprouse, have been arrested for protesting, they’ve used the opportunity to keep the focus on the Black Lives Matter movement. As marches and peaceful protests continue, HollywoodLife encourages its readers to seek out resources to become a part of the solution in the fight against police brutality and systemic racism.
Falcons QB Matt Ryan Donating $500,000 To Help Atlanta’s Black Community
In the aftermath of George Floyd’s death, Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan is donating $500,000 toward a GoFundMe fundraiser he established, aimed at advancing lives in the black community of Atlanta.
Ryan, who wears jersey No. 2, has set a goal of raising $2 million.
Floyd, who was black, died last week in Minneapolis after Derek Chauvin, a white police officer, kneeled on his neck for more than eight minutes. The incident was caught on video. Chauvin has been charged with second-degree murder.
Racial injustice has moved to the forefront of national conversation and sparked protests across the country. Floyd’s death was the tipping point after a number of fatal encounters involving black people, including the killing of Breonna Taylor by Louisville police officers and the shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery, which led to murder charges against three white men in Georgia.
“It was really difficult to watch,” Ryan told ESPN about his reaction to seeing the Floyd video. “Basically it was like, ‘This can’t happen anymore. That isn’t acceptable. This has to stop.’ That’s where my head was at.”
Ryan explained why he decided to take such action.
“Last week I made a commitment to listening and learning, and one of the messages that hit home for me was the difference between reacting to a situation and responding to a situation,” Ryan said in a statement. “For far too long, I have reacted to social injustice with empathy and silent support but failed to follow through with active support. I feel the time has come to RESPOND. For ALL of us to respond.
“I see my city hurting, which is why I’m starting a fundraiser to help improve conditions for people of color in the city of Atlanta. … Over the next few weeks, months I’m going to listen to the needs of the black community and get guidance on how I can be most impactful. I’m going to get input from local grassroots organizations as well as community leaders who are committed to making change.”
Ryan already made an impression on his teammates when he spoke out on Instagram after Floyd was killed.
“My heart goes out to all of those who loved George Floyd, and all those who have been impacted by similar tragedies,” Ryan wrote. “I know that I cannot fully understand the depth and complexity of these issues because of the color of my skin, which is a sad testament to all of the work we have left to do. I know I am only one man, but I also know I am committed to doing what I can. That commitment includes listening and learning with all humility and compassion. It is the least I can do. IT is the least WE all can do.”
Fellow Falcons captain Ricardo Allen applauded Ryan’s Instagram post.
“For Ice to show the support and that he’s got love, it’s really just an acknowledgement that he understands,” Allen said. “For Ice to come from probably a totally different background and place in life then I come from — and I can’t expect him to fully feel what it feels like to grow up in the hood or what it truly feels like to be a black man in America — but for him to actually take that stance and say that and let us know that he feels us, I appreciate that.”
Ryan also said white teammates need to do more.
“We’re at a point where it’s no longer good enough to silently or quietly tell your teammates, ‘I’ve got your back.’ That hasn’t worked. It hasn’t changed anything,” Ryan told ESPN on Friday. “I think that time has come.
It’s time for people to not be silent on issues. I can’t stay silent on it anymore. I don’t know the right things to say. I can’t put it into words. But I want to let people know that I’m supporting. And I’m going to try and educate and listen the best I can to people who know this situation better than myself, and to try and be empathetic and follow through to make an impact.
“I think the inspiration comes from really sitting in the virtual team meeting on Monday and hearing Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms speak about providing hope,” Ryan added. “And just kind of following these situations more and getting to a point where silence or lack of follow-through on my end, it’s just not good enough anymore. I think a lot of people — white people — don’t know the right things to say or how to say them, and I’m included in that.
But I feel like with the platform that I have, this is my way to speak up and say ‘I want to help and I’m here to listen. I’m with you in trying to make things better.'”
The New England Patriots say team owner Robert Kraft’s family is pledging $1 million to local grassroots organizations to promote social justice causes.
A statement and video released on the team’s website Friday says the money will be distributed over the next 10 months in $100,000 monthly donations. The recipients will be chosen in collaboration with Patriots players.
Kanye West Joins Chicago Protest For George Floyd, Offers To Pay Legal Fees For Breonna Taylor’s Family
Kanye West is joining public protests for George Floyd.
The rapper appeared in Chicago Thursday night at a “Justice for George Floyd/CPD out of CPS” rally on the city’s South Side.
Organizers with Good Kids Mad City told USA TODAY that West called them yesterday and said he wanted to join a protest. But the orderly rally devolved as West got out of a black SUV wearing a face mask and a hoodie.
Organizers became frustrated with the disorder. Taylore Norwood, 20, grabbed a megaphone and told the crowd that this Chicago march was a youth-led protest and that she didn’t want a “celebrity” hijacking it.
After a short stay, West appeared to depart and protesters continued their planned march.
Kanye West appeared in Chicago Thursday night at a “Justice for George Floyd/CPD out of CPS” rally on the city’s South Side.
Alycia Kamil, 19, and Jalen Kobayashi, 19, co-organized the protest in the city’s Bronzeville neighborhood to call for Chicago to invest in schools, not police. Hundreds turned out, carrying signs that said “black lives matter” and chanting “We are tired.”
The protesters planned to march to Chicago Police Department headquarters.
Invoking Laquan McDonald, who was shot 16 times by a white police officer in Chicago in 2014, protesters chanted “16 shots and a coverup!”
West’s appearance comes the same day The Courier Journal, part of the USA TODAY Network, confirmed he offered to pay the legal fees for the family of slain ER technician Breonna Taylor in their civil lawsuit against the Louisville Metro Police Department.
West is donating $2 million that will help Taylor’s case in addition to efforts for the families of George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery, West’s rep Tammy Brook confirmed to USA TODAY.
Taylor, 26, was shot by officers at least eight times in her South End apartment March 13 while police were serving a no-knock search warrant.
The shooting has sparked protests across the city and is among three controversial cases of African Americans shot and killed, two by police, that have ignited demonstrations around the world.
Louisville attorney Lonita Baker, one of the lawyers representing Taylor’s family, said Thursday that West, a hip-hop mogul and fashion designer, offered to pay the litigation costs to pursue the civil case.
“Typically, the costs would be deducted from any recovery that the family may receive at the conclusion of the case,” Baker said. “Kanye wanted to ensure that the family would not have to bear the brunt of those costs.”
West’s representative confirmed he is also covering tuition costs for Gianna Floyd, George Floyd’s 6-year-old daughter, and helping black-owned businesses in Chicago.
Since May 28, protesters have taken to the streets of Louisville daily to demand justice for Taylor as well as, among other things, that the officers who fired their weapons that night be fired and charged.
Across the nation Thursday, Americans continued to protest and commemorate the life and mourn the death of Floyd, 46, at the hands of Minneapolis police, with Floyd’s dying words, “I can’t breathe,” giving life to a searing moment in the nation’s fraught struggle for human rights.
Brands Follow Antiracist Statements With Donations. What’s Next?
As more marketers take stands, pressure grows to take further action.
Tuesday’s statement from Ben & Jerry’s Homemade Inc. put the killing of George Floyd while in police custody in stark terms.
“What happened to George Floyd was not the result of a bad apple; it was the predictable consequence of a racist and prejudiced system and culture that has treated Black bodies as the enemy from the beginning,” the ice-cream brand owned by Unilever PLC said, in part.
But the statement was only part of a wide rush by marketers to express support for protesters angry about Mr. Floyd’s death and, more broadly, racial inequality. Now the question is what brands will do beyond sympathize, advocates and others say. And donations aren’t the end of the conversation.
Marketers have corporate social responsibility and diversity commitments to meet, said Doug Rozen, chief media officer of Dentsu Inc.-owned ad agency 360i. “But that does not mean your brand needs to only match those commitments,” he said. “Brands need to be more proactive in the diversity conversation and not just reactive.”
The civil-rights group Color of Change has called on Nike Inc., which released a video encouraging people to fight racism, and other companies to go beyond statements and improve the wages and working conditions of their employees.
“These messages of support mean nothing without taking action to support their Black employees,” spokespeople for Color of Change said.
Companies say they are trying to do better.
Nike on Friday announced a $40 million commitment over four years to support organizations focused on social justice, education and racial inequality in the U.S. In addition, basketball legend Michael Jordan and Nike subsidiary Jordan Brand said they will donate $100 million over the next 10 years to those causes.
In a statement, a Nike spokeswoman said the company remains committed to equal pay across genders and races and ethnicities, defined as those who “undertake the same work at the same level, experience and performance.” Based on those parameters, the company’s internal data show that for “every $1 earned by white employees in the U.S., those from under-represented groups earned $1.”
On diverse hiring practices, the apparel giant increased vice president-level representation for underrepresented groups in the U.S. by two percentage points, to 21%, in 2019. “While this is good progress, we know there is more work to do,” the spokeswoman said.
Ben & Jerry’s has long spoken up about social issues, and backed the Black Lives Matter movement before the current unrest.
Its foundation donated $3 million in 2019 as part of employee-led grant programs supporting social and environmental justice in the U.S., the company said. Ben & Jerry’s also devotes 10% to 20% of its annual marketing spending to promote progressive groups or causes, it said. It ran Facebook ads last year promoting its Pecan Resist ice cream flavor, for example, which raises money for advocates including Color of Change.
But the Vermont-based company has its own problem areas, particularly the lack of diversity in its workforce, said Chris Miller, global activism manager at Ben & Jerry’s.
“We have one black person at corporate headquarters,” Mr. Miller said. “Our demographics, internally, don’t look dissimilar to the community in which it resides.”
Ben & Jerry’s is undergoing an internal review, which was in the works prior to the protests, to examine and improve diversity across the company, its franchise network and supply chain, Mr. Miller said.
Some other companies said they recognize the need for more than one-time gestures, even financial ones.
“It’s decades of systematic and structural issues that keep the most disadvantaged and underprivileged people down,” said Minjae Ormes, chief marketing officer at Visible, a prepaid mobile phone carrier owned by Verizon Communications Inc. “And a problem of that magnitude requires an equally systematic approach to creating consistent and enduring impact.”
Visible has an ongoing company program called Visible Connect, through which it donated $400,000 in grants in 2018 and 2019 to nonprofits that are closing some type of opportunity gap in areas ranging from early childhood education to mental health, Ms. Ormes said. One recipient of the program is Good Call NYC, which connects protestors arrested in New York City with legal resources.
Insurance giant Progressive Corp. has pledged $1 million to the Equal Justice Initiative in support of the nonprofit’s efforts to end mass incarceration, excessive punishment and racial injustice, said Tricia Griffith, the company’s chief executive.
Progressive’s efforts in recent years have also focused on hiring a more diverse workforce, the company said.
“We must and will do more,” Ms. Griffith said.
Brands are more open to conversations and taking action on race issues, but only a minority of them have pledged contributions, said Kieley Taylor, global vice president of social at WPP PLC-owned GroupM. “But it does feel like a tipping point; advertisers who are being more outspoken in their actions are [indirectly] helping others feel more comfortable that they can too,” she said.
Brands need to do more than “virtue signaling,” said Michael Natenshon, chief executive of 10-year-old casual clothing company Marine Layer Inc., which is donating $10,000 to four groups including the NAACP and the Bail Project, a nonprofit that offers bail assistance to low-income individuals.
Marine Layer’s business was hurt by the closing of retail stores due to the coronavirus pandemic, but it hopes to contribute more as business returns, he said.
Marine Layer plans to hire Adaway Group, a black-owned consultancy, to determine where it falls short in its own hiring practices; approximately 10% of the company’s roughly 275 employees identify themselves as black or African-American.
“We consider ourselves an equal-opportunity employer, but if we go about it that way without thinking about race or ethnicity in that process, then we are being passive,” Mr. Natenshon said.
The Crypto Community Needs To Stand Up And Fight Racism
Robert Greenfield is the CEO of Emerging Impact, a benefit corporation that supports NGOs and government agencies to leverage blockchain technology in social protection. Previously he was head of Social Impact & Diversity Programming at ConsenSys.
Here we are again. Another unarmed, defenseless black man killed by the police.
Another wave of protests against police brutality and systemic racism.
Another wave of actionless, apologetic cries, willfully ignorant excuses and political re-directs about the real problem.
Since the 2012 lynching of Trayvon Martin, we have been in a cycle of videoed black murder porn, criminal immunity and corporate cowardice. In America today, being black can get you killed for driving, jogging, sleeping, yelling, parking, baby-sitting, sitting in a van, selling CDs, even eating ice cream in your own house.
This is not because black people are more “prone to criminality.” Rather, criminal activity is a complex socioeconomic phenomenon proven to be closely related to poverty. The rate of violence is actually higher among poor, urban whites. And “black-on-black crime” is not out of control. Most victims of crime personally know their assailants. While this is a truth across racial boundaries, no one ever talks about “white-on-white crime.”
These protests are combatting the unarmed murder of innocent black men, women and children. We are asking to be able to live – not asking to vote Democrat or Republican. We are asking for equality, equity and justice.
Responses to the #BlackLivesMatter protests have followed a familiar refrain. Some have taken the “diversity is already solved” position. Yet, in a “Post-Obama” era, black employees make up only 3% of Google, 6% of Apple and 3.8% of Facebook’s respective workforces. The blockchain and crypto ecosystem inherited a lack of diversity from legacy tech, from hiring to funding founders of color, and highlighting black and brown voices in conferences and press. Even so, there has been a market-wide unwillingness to publish diversity reports and open investor networks.
What about the distribution of cryptocurrency ownership? Though there have been few studies, we do know that the majority Bitcoin and Ethereum nodes operate in regions like the U.S. and Europe. If we look at crypto exchanges, many are quick to equate international trading volumes as a mark for success in diversity, obscuring the way large holders could easily be responsible for an entire country’s cryptocurrency trading volume, given the nascent state of the market.
The crypto community is conveniently selective about what aspects of society it wants to change.
Even more disturbing reactions to the current #BlackLivesMatter movement have come from well-followed individuals in the space, like Nick Szabo, who has readily retweeted positions in the victim-blaming camp for George Floyd’s fate. Worse, Szabo has retweeted threads claiming black intellectual inferiority, such as this one.
The crypto community is conveniently selective about what aspects of society it wants to change. Many libertarians were drawn to the ideas of disintermediating government and financial centers of power. In the face of the current president of the U.S. using tear gas against protesters and sending in unmarked security officers in riot gear, many of these same libertarians have been very quiet about this profound display of fascist overreach.
The truth is most major blockchain companies and crypto personalities refuse to publicly stand in solidarity against police brutality and racism, fearing the retribution of white supremacist trolls more than valuing the lives of their black colleagues, friends and employees. The issue of “black lives matter” is treated as a subjective and politically divisive topic rather than a well-documented and well-researched fact of American history. It shouldn’t be controversial that efforts to improve diversity and inclusion in corporate executive teams can result in up to 30% more profitability.
At this point, even executives at the highest levels of Citigroup and JP Morgan Chase, organizations that Bitcoin and Ethereum maximalists incessantly demonize, have come out in solidarity. If they can risk that much business I think crypto startups, many that do not serve white supremacist consumers, can take a risk, too.
Where Is The Crypto Community Now?
As someone passionate about blockchain technology, it has been increasingly difficult to ignore the cultural hypocrisy in our ecosystem. Crypto community members of color have had a constant internal battle as to whether or not we should even address this issue – many of us choosing to leave blockchain altogether instead. I have personally wondered:
Why isn’t the work of people of color highlighted at conferences and in the press? Why don’t we see more people like myself at these crypto startups? Why is there so much nepotism masquerading as meritocratic hires under the guise of ‘we only hire those that are qualified’? Why is it that there are so few women of color in the women in blockchain events and leadership talks?
What would happen if I spoke out? Would there be retribution? Would I be labeled as the ‘angry black guy’ of crypto? Am I selling out by not bringing these issues to the forefront?
Many of you can identify with these questions, each representing a small, frustrating moment pre-empting a larger, more important question, “Why does nobody seem to care?”
Since the 2012 lynching of Trayvon Martin, we have been in a cycle of videoed black murder porn, criminal immunity and corporate cowardice.
We have heard nothing from the Ethereum Foundation, which continues to espouse the desire to support global adoption and operate under a subtractive mindset. How can you say ‘fight for change’ at Devcon but not take that same action yourselves? Why has the Hypeledger community via the Linux Foundation taken a stand, but you cannot?
We have heard nothing from the Libra Association, whose mission it is to provide people everywhere access to affordable financial services. Are positively impacting people of color not a part of your goal for financial inclusion?
We have heard nothing from the Web3 Foundation, whose mission it is to nurture cutting-edge applications for decentralized web software protocols. Are we to believe that all the applications needed to make real change in the world won’t need essential contributions from people of color?
We have heard little from Coinbase (not just Brian Armstrong), whose mission it is to build an open financial system and increase the amount of economic freedom in the world. Are black and brown lives not a part of that world they seek to change?
We have heard nothing from the Maker Foundation, a direct beneficiary of increased awareness of the world’s first cryptocurrency-backed cash assistance program. (Project Unblocked Cash, co-led by Sandra Hart and myself leveraged DAI in communities in the Asia Pacific.)
In fact, we’ve heard and seen the opposite. I have seen crypto layoffs nearly eliminate the entire black employee community of multiple organizations. I have seen and heard of disastrous “all hands meetings” at many of the world’s largest crypto companies where executive teams fumble over the decision to simply tweet “Black Lives Matter” and ignore the voices of even their white employees pleading to make a change. I have heard that employees have had to fight company leadership just to put out a post on social media in support, even through the veil of performance activism.
This is not to say that I don’t greatly admire each of these organizations; it is to say that I admire them so much I expect them to do better.
If the crypto community wants to truly use this moment to change, it needs to recognize the problem first and pledge actionable ways to correct it. Thus, I have created a #CryptoForChange Pledge to motivate our community to stand in solidarity against police brutality and systemic racism.
The pledge, which you can find here, is a promise to the community that you will take substantive action against police brutality and systemic racism as a member of the crypto community. Actions must be taken in the next 90 days for companies and 30 days for individuals. I know we all want the best for our communities, and we’d love for blockchain technology to serve as a mass-adopted tool to realize such change. To do so, we need to actually put in the work.
Adidas Promises To Hire Black, Latino People For 30% Of New U.S. Jobs
Sportswear giant says it will invest $20 million in black communities, after employees complained about company’s culture.
Adidas AG said it is increasing the number of black employees and investing $20 million in black communities after some U.S. employees complained the company was profiting off black culture without doing enough to help them.
The sportswear giant said a minimum of 30% of all new positions in the U.S. at Adidas and Reebok will be filled with black and Latino people and that it would finance 50 university scholarships for black students each year over five years.
“The events of the past two weeks have caused all of us to reflect on what we can do to confront the cultural and systemic forces that sustain racism,” said Adidas CEO Kasper Rorsted.
Following the killing of George Floyd last month, Adidas like many brands took to social media to speak out against racism. Yet, some black employees at the company’s U.S. offices told The Wall Street Journal the corporate culture at the German company is far from equitable. Neither Adidas’s six-person executive team nor its 16-person board of directors includes a black member.
Some black employees said the company dismissed concerns over racism and its public messages condemning racism didn’t align with how employees were treated internally. One designer said he was called the N-word by a former co-worker. Another said her team received a design inspiration packet with a Confederate flag.
Last week, a group of black Adidas employees sent a presentation called “Our State of Emergency” to executives, calling for the company to increase representation of black and Latino employees to 31% of every level of the organization by the end of 2021.
They also called on the company to give $50 million a year to black U.S. communities and help raise money for nonprofits serving those communities.
In response, the company said it would invest $20 million in black communities in the U.S. over the next four years, funding initiatives such as a basketball program built for underserved communities.
Adidas said its North American president, Zion Armstrong, and Reebok President Matt O’Toole have spent the past two weeks talking to black employees and plan to share details in meetings in Portland, Ore., and Boston this week.
“We recognize the immense contribution of the Black community to our success and that of others,” the Adidas board said in a statement.
Apple, YouTube Each Plan $100 Million Initiatives To Target Racism
Apple to invest in education, criminal-justice reform and YouTube to amplify ‘black creators’.
Apple Inc. AAPL -4.80% and YouTube each announced $100 million initiatives Thursday to combat racism, with the iPhone maker pledging to invest in education and criminal-justice reform and the Google unit to amplify “the voices of black creators and artists.”
Apple’s effort will be led by head of public affairs and social policy Lisa Jackson, who ran the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency during the Obama administration. She joined the company in 2013.
“Things must change and Apple is committed to being a force for that change,” Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook said in a video on Twitter.
The companies provided few details about the efforts. Apple declined to discuss its commitment beyond Mr. Cook’s video.
YouTube Chief Executive Susan Wojcicki said in a statement that her company’s initiative involves the creation of a multiyear fund to elevate racial-justice content on the platform. A spokeswoman said $100 million is the sum of new initiatives that include a renewed effort to create black-focused videos, including paying individuals to make such content.
YouTube has been steadily criticized for being slow to react to videos that espouse hateful views. The company said Thursday it would continue its efforts to scrub such content from its platform.
Mr. Cook, who often quotes Martin Luther King, Jr., spoke about his experience growing up in Alabama during the civil-rights movement, when he learned the importance of people speaking up and doing what they could to make a “flawed society more perfect.”
The $100 million investment is the first Apple has made for racial justice. In 2018, it committed $300 million to a clean-energy fund in China to power operations of renewable energy for its suppliers. In 2017, it announced a $1 billion investment in an advanced manufacturing fund focused on creating jobs in the U.S. Last year, Apple announced a $2.5 billion initiative to combat a crisis in what it said was “housing availability and affordability” in California.
Apple last year reported a profit of $55 billion behind revenue of $260 billion.
Mr. Cook said Apple’s Racial Equity and Justice Initiative will be modeled after the company’s work on environmental sustainability in recent years. He said the effort will extend Apple’s support of educational institutions such as historically black colleges and universities, while also investing in groups Apple hasn’t worked with previously, such as the Equal Justice Initiative, a criminal-justice-reform nonprofit.
Apple will create a camp for black software developers to support entrepreneurial efforts to create apps and services. Mr. Cook said Apple also will aim to increase the number of black-owned suppliers providing components and materials for its operations.
“This is a comprehensive effort governed by three principles: representation, inclusion and accountability,” he said.
“Whether it is at Apple or anywhere in society, the burden of change must not fall on those who are underrepresented,” Mr. Cook said. “It falls heaviest on those in positions of power, leadership and influence to change structures for the greater good.”
Leading Foundations Increase Payouts To Nonprofits To Fight Pandemic And Social Injustice
Five leading U.S.-based foundations are increasing their payouts to nonprofit organizations by more than $1.7 billion within the next two years to help a teetering nonprofit sector in the face of a global pandemic and an epidemic of social injustice.
The initiative was jointly announced by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation on Thursday.
This financial commitment is on top of the previously approved budgets by each foundation’s board. Each foundation will determine priorities for the distribution of the new funds, but will generally support nonprofit organizations in areas such as racial equity and social justice, arts and culture, higher education, human services, and climate solutions.
To generate additional funds for grantmaking, the five foundations will explore different mechanisms, including using funds from their endowment or issuing long-term debt via the capital markets.
The Ford Foundation, for one, is set to sell $1-billion worth of bonds this month, underwritten by Morgan Stanley, Wells Fargo, and other financial institutions.
The bonds are rated AAA by Moody’s Investors Service and S&P Global Ratings, and will be possibly designated as a “social bond,” which can be incorporated in ESG portfolios, according to Darren Walker, president of the Ford Foundation.
“We should anticipate more foundations to participate in this initiative,” Walker said during a video conference Thursday morning. “We are not motivated by policy, rather motivated by the need in the communities” most devastated by Covid-19 and racial inequity, he says.
There has been mounting pressure for the foundations to increase their annual payouts from the current 5% to 10% in order to stabilize and sustain the nonprofit sector impacted by the pandemic.
“This is not a mechanism to avoid anything, but to allow us to make more grants, to do more at a low interest rate environment,” says John Palfrey, president of MacArthur Foundation.
Each foundation will share its plans and timing of deployment of the new grantmaking funds in the coming weeks.
At Nonprofits Focusing On Blacks, Donations Soared In Wake Of George Floyd Protests
Four organizations with Black leaders say donors new and old stepped in. Here’s how they’re spending the funds.
For years, nonprofits focusing on Blacks have struggled for funding, but in less than four months, that’s changed dramatically.
The $6.5 billion committed to achieving racial equity this year is nearly double the $3.3 billion raised for that purpose in the prior eight years combined, according to Candid, which tracks and analyzes global philanthropy, using tax filings and media sources. All but about $35 million of this year’s funding has been pledged since the May 25 death of George Floyd.
That pace has already slowed, according to Candid, falling to $1.6 billion in August from a peak of $2.5 billion in June. But the amount of new funding and the choice of recipients signify a change.
Many of the grants are going specifically to nonprofits with Black leaders, reflecting a view gaining traction in philanthropy that the people closest to communities and their problems are in the best position to fix them.
The influx of donations has been an unanticipated boon to a lot of those organizations. Here’s how four organizations with Black leaders who received donations are spending them.
The Confess Project
Lorenzo Lewis, CEO, founded this nonprofit in 2016 to help improve the mental health of men and boys of color by training Black barbers to be mental health advocates. The agency began in Little Rock, Ark., where Mr. Lewis grew up going every day to a salon where his aunt worked as a stylist and observing the social support the staff gave their clients.
Who better than a barber to lend support, he reasoned, especially since many Black men he knew were much more likely to confide in a barber than a therapist.
By this year, Mr. Lewis and a colleague had trained 160 barbers in the South and Midwest to be active listeners, to validate their customers’ feelings and to reduce the stigma of seeking help, which could help prevent suicide, a leading cause of death for Black men and boys. Mr. Lewis wanted to expand nationally but was always scraping for funds. “It was year to year,” he says, often seeking dollars from friends and family. This year, the agency has raised $218,000, quadruple the $54,000 raised last year.
Through a competitive fellowship program, Echoing Green identifies and develops leaders of startups—nonprofits and businesses—with a social mission and provides them with small amounts of funding. About 75% of fellows are people of color. Founded 30 years ago, Echoing Green’s fellows have included Michelle Obama and Wendy Kopp, the founder of Teach for America, a major program funding teachers at low-income schools.
In research earlier this year, Echoing Green found that the nonprofits led by Black participants in its competitive fellowship program received 24% less revenue than those led by white executives and had far more restrictions on how the money could be used.
In a good year, says president Cheryl Dorsey, Echoing Green raised $9 million. This year, it has raised about $21 million in its fiscal first quarter compared with $9 million for the fiscal year ended June 30. “Out of the blue,” says Ms. Dorsey, the organization got $10 million from an anonymous donor.
Later, the organization learned the donor was MacKenzie Scott, former wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, who announced in late July that she was giving away $1.7 billion for a handful of causes, including a third of it for racial equity.
Since then, Echoing Green has raised an additional $11 million, most of it from a previous supporter, the Jerome L. Greene Foundation, but also from new donors, including biotech company Amgen, through its foundation, and Goldman Sachs. Echoing Green will use the new funding not only to expand its fellowship program but also, more critically, to provide more funding for the projects of its fellows.
Kingmakers of Oakland
The nonprofit got its early start in Christopher Chatmon’s class in the Oakland (Calif.) Unified School District more than 10 years ago. His goal: to create a healthy learning environment for Black boys in public school. Mr. Chatmon, who grew up in Oakland, says school was “an assault on my spirit and identity. I was never smart enough.” As a former PE and social studies teacher and high school principal and as the parent of three boys, he knew that “every child wants to be seen, heard, valued, engaged,” he says.
In 2010, he became head of the district’s new African American Male Achievement department and began to shape curriculum, recruiting Black teachers and adding African and African-American history, language arts and arts classes—accredited so all students could benefit—but also to help Black children understand their cultural identity.
A Stanford Graduate School of Education study of the Oakland District, commissioned by the Raikes Foundation, found Mr. Chatmon’s program led to a reduction in dropout rates and cited findings that high school graduation rates for Black males improved to 69% from 46% in the 2010-2018 period. Mr. Chatmon has been able to expand the program into Seattle and other cities, but growth has been limited by funding and staff.
Last year, he received $500,000 from the Raikes Foundation and began developing a plan. This year, he is set to receive another $350,000 and has attracted additional funding from new donors that include basketball’s Golden State Warriors and the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, the philanthropic organization of Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan. Total revenue so far this fiscal year is $2.2 million, up from about $1 million last year, Mr. Chatmon says. He has a plan to expand to 100 cities in the next five years. In July, Kingmakers of Oakland became an independent nonprofit, which will aid its expansion.
Brittany Young is finally getting some funding to sustain the Baltimore-based nonprofit the former high school and community college teacher started three years ago. B-360, which uses the city’s dirt-bike culture to teach inner-city children about science, technology and safety, was nearly wiped out by the coronavirus. The nonprofit’s business model is based on charging fees for the tutelage, for consulting and for dirt-bike shows the children organize and put on.
The coronavirus eliminated the $435,000 in revenue the nonprofit expected to raise this year from consulting contracts, bike shows and dirt-bike camp. For months, Ms. Young applied for dozens of grants that yielded nothing. In recent weeks, though, she’s gotten $10,000 from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, $35,000 from the Baltimore Ravens football team and $25,000 from Teach for America. “This is good,” she says, but she’s still scrambling for partners and grants.
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