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Warner names six first-time recipients of grants from his $ 100 million Social Justice Fund

The Warner Music Group and the Blavatnik Family Foundation have initially named six fellows from the $ 100 million Social Justice Fund announced last year.

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Recipients include the Black Cultural Archives, Black Futures Lab, Florida Rights Restoration Coalition (FRRC), Howard University, REFORM Alliance, and the Rhythm & Blues Foundation.

The fund’s board of directors will announce grant recipients twice a year with its second tranche to follow this fall.

Founded in June 2020 after the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and countless other blacks, the fund serves as a recognition of the contributions black culture has made to the profitability of today’s music industry.

Over a 10-year period, the Fund will invest in organizations around the world that build more equitable communities and make real changes in the lives of historically underserved and marginalized populations – with increased attention to black communities.

The fund has selected OneUnited Bank – the largest black-owned bank in the US – as its banking partner and Moore Impact – a division of a Yvonne L. Moore-led Moore Philanthropy start-up – as its fiscal company sponsor.

Moore will play a key role in distributing the funds. The Advisory Board has five outside members whose advice and social justice expertise has been invaluable in defining the mission and strategic direction of the Fund.

The WMG / BFF SJF is an expression of the Warner Music Group’s ongoing efforts towards diversity, justice, inclusion and belonging, which include the creation of a global council on diversity, justice and inclusion, employee resource groups and one of Dr. Maurice-led DEI teams include A. Stinnett, who is also on the fund’s advisory board.

Each scholarship holder will talk to Dr. Stinnett and other key WMG executives to explore additional partnership opportunities.

One of the scholarship holders (the full list is below), Howard University, is receiving a multi-million dollar scholarship over five years to open a new music business center at the Howard University School of Business.

The center, described as “Unique in a Historically Black College or University (HBCU),” will create curriculum development, internship opportunities, executive-in-residence and certification programs, and a new recording studio.

With the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, the funds have helped over 40,000 returning citizens (ie, former convicts) become eligible to vote by paying their remaining legal and financial fees.

For the Rhythm & Blues Foundation, the scholarship will help fund and medically support senior R&B artists who have faced unprecedented economic challenges due to the global COVID-19 pandemic.

“Our fund intends not only to work to bring about structural change through our contributions, but also to support black-owned companies and managed companies as a core business form.”

Camille Hackney, WMG

Camille Hackney, President of WMG / BFF SJF and Chief Partnerships Officer at Atlantic Records / Head of Global Brand Partnerships Council at Warner Music Group, said, “We intended to structure the fund as a separate legal entity to support organizations that doing this on the front lines to promote justice and justice for all people.

“Our fund intends not only to work to bring about structural change through our contributions, but also to support black-owned companies and managed companies as a core business form.”

“This first tranche of grants – to organizations that provide a range of services and advocacy services necessary to make meaningful change – reflects these guiding principles as well as the values ​​of the Warner Music Group and the Blavatnik Family Foundation.”

Tanya Coke, WMG / BFF Advisory Board / Ford Foundation

Tanya Coke, WMG / BFF Advisory Board member and Director of Gender, Racial and Ethnic Justice at the Ford Foundation, added: “Over the past eight months we have developed a grant-awarding strategy based on three main pillars focused: education, criminal justice, and cultural and performing arts – that promote narrative change about the black experience.

“This first tranche of grants – to organizations that provide a range of services and advocacy services necessary to make meaningful change – reflects these guiding principles as well as the values ​​of the Warner Music Group and the Blavatnik Family Foundation.”

“The fund’s commitment to sustained efforts to achieve change and results will have a lasting positive effect.”

Len Blavatnik

Len Blavatnik, Chairman of the Blavatnik Family Foundation, said, “Providing opportunities for underserved communities in arts education paves the way for equal opportunity and representation in the music industry and beyond.

“The fund’s commitment to sustained efforts to achieve change and results will have a lasting positive effect.”

Beneficiary:

  • Howard University is a private, state-chartered HBCU that includes 13 schools and colleges in Washington DC. Students study in more than 140 areas that lead to bachelor, diploma and professional degrees.
  • Rhythm & Blues Foundation is dedicated to the historical and cultural preservation of R&B music. The idea for the foundation arose in 1987 from licensing talks between artist lawyer Howell Begle, artist Ruth Brown from Atlantic Records and the founder of Atlantic Records, Ahmet Ertegun.
  • REFORM Alliance aims to reduce the number of people who are wrongly under the control of the criminal justice system – starting with probation and probation. It uses resources to change laws, policies, hearts and minds.
  • Schwarzes Kulturarchiv (BCA) is the home of Black British History, conceived in 1981 as a memorial to the history of people from across the African diaspora in British culture and history.
  • Black Futures Lab works to build black political power and change the way they work – locally, nationally and nationally. The organization engages black voters year-round and encourages them to use their political strength to build a democracy that works for all of us. It combines culture change and policy change to put more power in the hands of more people
  • Florida Rights Restoration Coalition (FRRC) is a membership organization that works to end the disenfranchisement and discrimination of people with convictions in the USA. The FRRC was composed and directed by returning citizens (i.e. ex-convicts) and works to create a comprehensive and humane re-entry system that will improve successful re-entry, reduce relapses and increase public safety.

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