Warner Music Group names 15 new recipients of grants from its $100m social justice fund

Information about Warner Music Group names 15 new recipients of grants from its $100m social justice fund

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The Warner Music Group/Blavatnik Family Foundation Social Justice Fund (WMG/BFF SJF) has announced its third set of grantee partners.

This new round of grants further advances WMG/BFF SJF’s vision of “addressing systemic racism and making real change in the lives of historically underserved and marginalized populations,” it says.

Warner Music Group announced its $100 million Social Justice Fund in June 2020 to “support charitable causes related to the music industry, social justice and campaigns against violence and racism”.

In the same month, Sony Music Group, Universal and YouTube also announced similar grants and funding schemes to support global social justice and anti-racist initiatives.

WMG/BFF SJF made its first two rounds of funding in 2021.

In February of that year, the first recipients included the Black Cultural Archives, Black Futures LabFlorida Rights Restoration Coalition (FRRC), Howard UniversityREFORM Alliance and Rhythm & Blues Foundation.

In May, the organisation named Ashé Cultural Arts CenterOvertown Youth Center (OYC) and The Africa Center as the second recipients.

This third round of investments includes 15 organizations and totals $9.35 million.

The grants focus on the Fund’s three pillars – criminal justice reform, education, and arts and culture – while also addressing the intersection of race and gender inequity and the rising prominence of youth organizing in racial justice movements across Warner Music Group’s global markets.

Nearly 70% of the selected organizations are women-led and a third of all grants address gender equity issues, says WMG/BFF SJF, and is a concerted effort to minimize disparities facing women across a variety of industries, including music.

The Fund also placed attention on organizations helping African Diaspora communities globally, supporting those focused on immigrant populations in the US, as well as making first grants in Brazil, Nigeria and Colombia.

In addition to the $9.35 million investment, the WMG/BFF SJF Board of Directors has established what it calls the “Reservoir Fund”.

This, says WMG/BFF SJF, will provide grantees with “capacity-building, training, coaching and technical assistance resources,” to allow for long-term, sustainable work and action.

Music industry pipeline organizations, such as Diversify the Stage, which provides career opportunities in music and live entertainment to underrepresented communities, and Gender Amplified, founded by Atlantic Records producer Ebonie Smith, will be among the first to receive support.

The funds recipients are:

Criminal Justice:

Arts & Culture:

Education:

Multi-Pillar:

“Structural racism constricts the breath, voice and freedom of Black communities.”

Lorelei Williams, WMG/BFF SJF

Lorelei Williams, Executive Director of the WMG/BFF SJF, said: “Structural racism constricts the breath, voice and freedom of Black communities, particularly as it intersects with other forms of inequity.

“With this docket, we were intentional about funding at those crossroads – where racism, poverty, sexism, homophobia, transphobia and xenophobia collide with devastating impact.

“We also want to create opportunities for youth empowerment, planting seeds for future generations to thrive.”

“This grant will enable us to expand our network into new states.”

Susan Burton, A New Way of Life

Susan Burton, Founder of Los Angeles-based A New Way of Life, a program that serves women leaving prison, added: “We’re thrilled to receive support from the Warner Music Group / Blavatnik Family Foundation Social Justice Fund to continue the national expansion of our SAFE Housing Network.

“This grant will enable us to expand our network into new states and to continue providing pathways to freedom and self-sufficiency for formerly incarcerated women.”

“The partnership is a great demonstration of solidarity between our organizations and the Diaspora.”

Ana Valéria Araujo and Allyne Andrade, Brazil Human Rights Fund

Ana Valéria Araujo and Allyne Andrade, Executive and Deputy Directors of the Brazil Human Rights Fund, said: “The Brazil Human Rights Fund is delighted to partner with the WMG/BFF SJF to support Brazilian, Black-led grassroots organizations and movements in addressing systemic violence in their communities and territories.

“The partnership is a great demonstration of solidarity between our organizations and the Diaspora.

“It has the potential to strengthen the racial justice movement in our country and promote democracy.”

“The Fund’s generous contribution will help us reach our goal of supporting women and non-binary music producers all over the world.”

Ebonie Smith

Ebonie Smith, added: “Gender Amplified is honored to partner with the Warner Music Group / Blavatnik Family Foundation Social Justice Fund.

“The Fund’s generous contribution will help us reach our goal of supporting women and non-binary music producers all over the world.”

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