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Warner Music Group / Blavatnik Family Foundation Social Justice Fund announces first grants

By | Published on Friday 19 February 2021

Warner Music

The Warner Music Group / Blavatnik Family Foundation Social Justice Fund has announced the first recipients of the $100 million in grants it has committed to distribute. They are: Black Cultural Archives, Black Futures Lab, Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, Howard University, REFORM Alliance and the Rhythm & Blues Foundation.

“Over the past eight months, we’ve crafted a grantmaking strategy focused on three key pillars – education, criminal justice, and cultural and performing arts – that promote narrative change about the black experience”, says WMG/BFF Advisory Board member Tanya Coke.

“This first tranche of grants – to organisations providing a range of needed services and advocacy to effectuate meaningful change – reflects these guiding principles, as well as the values of the Warner Music Group and the Blavatnik Family Foundation”.

The fund was launched by Warner Music and the foundation of the owner of its parent company Access Industries in June last year, in the wake of the Black Lives Matter protests that were sparked around the world by the death of George Floyd. It plans to award grants to organisations globally.

“We have been intentional in structuring the fund as a separate legal entity to support organisations that are on the front lines of advancing equity and justice for all people”, says president of the fund and Atlantic Records exec Camille Hackney. “Our fund intends to not only work to effect structural change through our contributions, but also support black-owned and led businesses as a core way of operating”.

Among the grants given out in this first phase, Howard University – what is termed a historically black college or university – will use the money it received to launch a new music business centre at the Howard University School Of Business.

The Rhythm & Blues Foundation, meanwhile, will use the money to help provide financial and medical assistance to legacy R&B artists facing economic challenges as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. And at the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, the funds will help former prisoners to become eligible to vote by paying their remaining legal and financial fees.