Popular R&B artist Alicia Keys performed at last night’s NFL Kickoff event to help start the 2020 season on Thursday. What she did off the field will undoubtedly have a greater impact. Keys has launched a $1 billion endowment fund, which the NFL has contributed to, aimed at supporting Black businesses and communities, according to Billboard.
— NFL (@NFL) September 10, 2020
“We are already seeing the blatant injustices that are going on around us,” Keys told Billboard. “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.”
Keys also explained the need for the fund–and her inspiration for practicing social justice.
“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.”
In a letter, she discussed the purpose of the endowment.
The league has also committed to contribute to a billion-dollar endowment.
The fund will be steered by Black leadership with a clear goal to empower Black America. The fund will create long term solutions with a focus on Black entrepreneurs, businesses, communities, Black schools, banks, and other Black institutions, while addressing persistent social, economic and environmental disparities. It’s starting here, but the intention is to build a multi-billion-dollar endowment across multiple industries. Through our collective action, we can end the needless and preventable agony created by systemic racism.
We are pushing for an aggressive agenda to meet the urgent need of proper access, opportunity and inclusion. I am personally committed to creating meaningful conversations to hold corporations and institutions accountable for their contributions to racial justice.