Singer Alicia Keys is continuing her commitment to racial and economic equality by jumpstarting a $1 billion endowment fund in support of black businesses and communities in need of financial assistance.
In an interview with Billboard, Keys expressed that constant exposure to various injustices is ultimately what encouraged her to use her platform to not only bring awareness but to offer a helping hand to those on the other side of oppression:
“We are already seeing the blatant injustices that are going on around us,” Keys says. “As an artist, I’m always thinking about how can I use my platform to further racial equity.
This fund is one of the answers and our goal is to empower Black America through investing in Black businesses, Black investors, institutions, entrepreneurs, schools and banks in a way to create sustainable solutions.”
Although she is known for being an award-winning artist and actress, Keys has also dedicated a notable amount of time, money, and energy to philanthropic endeavors.
Over the years, she’s put her efforts behind the fight against HIV and AIDS, poverty in Africa, access to medicine in underdeveloped countries, and even contributed to scholarship funds for underprivileged students.
Her new billion-dollar commitment is no different, as it comes during the unfolding of several upheavals—including the ongoing global pandemic and civil unrest ignited by the police killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.
While Keys is well aware that $1 Billion is a lofty goal that runs the risk of not being met, her overall aim is to keep people committed to contributing to the community past a one-time donation and a few, fleeting words of solidarity:
“The initial goal of $1 billion is to ensure a substantial commitment, [and] even with that, it does not come close to closing the economic gap.
The next steps are to reach out to different industries to invite them to invest in racial justice and create a multi-billion dollar endowment across business sectors.”
The first organization to confirm their participation in contributing to the billion-dollar fun is the NFL.
Over the last few years, the NFL has faced scrutiny over their ongoing issue with quarterback Colin Kaepernick after he made the decision to kneel during the national anthem as a protest against police brutality and other injustices in the United States.
The announcement serves as a step in the right direction as the league seeks to increase its part in the fight against social and racial injustices, as well as further support players as they do the same.
Alicia believes that their support of the fund shows that they are making a genuine step toward advocating for equity:
“There is an urgent conversation that is happening across businesses about the importance of investing in Black America.
I’m personally committed to holding corporations and institutions accountable, and in my conversations with the NFL, they reaffirmed their commitment to racial equity,” Keys adds.
“The prospect of true generational wealth for the Black community is long overdue and I’m grateful to express my purpose as an artist to advance that cause.
I’ve been deeply inspired by the courage of Colin Kaepernick and the determination I have to see this through is meant to honor his commitment to social justice.”
Additional partners and contributors have not yet been publicly announced, but Alicia invites all corporations, organizations, and clubs to work with her in creating a better, more just, version of America for all:
“We must act together with love over hate, hope over fear, and action over complacency to build the America we all know is possible.
We invite all corporations, NFL clubs, and organizations to join this mission to invest in racial justice.”