Brands and Celebrities Funding Anti-Racism Efforts
Actions speak louder than words.
The killing of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police has compelled celebrities and corporations alike to confront systemic racism in America. Celebs like Michael Jordan, Kanye West, The Weeknd and Rihanna and leading companies from Nike to Apple are putting their money behind national efforts to combat racial injustices.
Those who have either spoken out about mending the system donated money or both include Jordan, who committed to donating $100 million over the next 10 years to organizations that are dedicated to fighting institutional racism.
“Black lives matter. This isn’t a controversial statement,” Jordan said Friday, June 5 in a letter from his company, Jordan Brand, shared on Instagram. “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.”
West has donated $2 million to support the families of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbrery, and Breonna Taylor. The money includes funding for legal fees for Arbery and Taylor’s families, along with black-owned businesses in crisis in his native Chicago and other cities. Cowboys QB Dak Prescott donated $1 million to efforts toward improving police training methods and education. Director J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot company pledged $10 million to anti-racist organizations.
Musical artist The Weeknd is giving $500,000 to organizations devoted to fighting for equality and urged “everyone with big pockets to give and give big.” Rihanna’s Fenty lingerie brand will give undisclosed amounts to organizations like Color of Change and Movement for Black Lives.
Here’s a list of some of the biggest brands stepping up to fund efforts toward greater racial equality and justice.
Nike, Converse, and Jordan Brands Nike Inc has announced a $40 million effort to support the USA’s black community. A joint effort from the Swoosh, Jordan Brand and Converse, the money will aid a wide range of organizations that promote social justice, and work against racial inequality.
Lego The toy building brick brand announced it would donate $4 million to organizations “dedicated to supporting black children and educating all children about racial equality.”
Amazon The streaming and delivery giant owned by billionaire Jeff Bezos announced it would donate $10 million to social justice causes.
Apple CEO Tim Cook said his company would give money to like the Equal Justice Initiative, a non-profit which is “committed to challenging racial injustice.”
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey donated $3 million to Colin Kaepernick‘s Know Your Rights Camp as part of his latest round of StartSmall business grants
Banana Republic ponied up $250,000 for the NAACP and EmbraceRace.
Bank of America is ready to aid the fight against racism with a substantial $1 billion.
EA and other gaming companies are supporting related causes as well. EA pledged $1 million to several organizations, including the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund. Square Enix donated $250,000 to Black Lives Matter (BLM) and will match any employee donations to the same organization. And Ubisoft gave $100,000 to both BLM and the NAACP.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced Monday that the social media giant had pledged $10 million to racial justice-related causes.
Glossier, a cosmetics company, pledged $500,000 to Black Lives Matter and an additional $500,000 to support black-owned companies.
Home Depot gave $1 million to the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.
Intel will donate funds anti-racist groups such as Black Lives Matter and the Centre for Policing Equity.
Levi’s will give the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) $100,000 and $100,000 to Live Free USA, which combats mass incarceration.
Marc Jacobs Beauty donated an unknown amount of money to Black Lives Matter.
Mercedes-Benz also chose to not disclose their donation to the NAACP’s Legal Defense Fund.
Peloton CEO John Foley said the fitness-oriented company will give $500,000 to the NAACP’s legal defense fund.
Ben & Jerry’s, the iconic Vermont-based ice cream maker, regularly donates millions to progressive causes, but it was their statement following the initial protests over George Floyd’s murder that really captured public attention for its sheer ferocity. It said in part:
The murder of George Floyd was the result of inhumane police brutality that is perpetuated by a culture of white supremacy. 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.
What happened to George Floyd in Minneapolis is the fruit borne of toxic seeds planted on the shores of our country in Jamestown in 1619, when the first enslaved men and women arrived on this continent. Floyd is the latest in a long list of names that stretches back to that time and that shore. Some of those names we know — Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Oscar Grant, Eric Garner, Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Emmett Till, Martin Luther King, Jr. — most we don’t.
For a list of organizations using contributions to aid justice and recovery efforts, go here.