Arielle Williams, Howard University News Service
The Warner Music Group and Blavatnik Family Foundation Social Justice Fund has chosen to allocate its $100 million endowment to six prominent groups, including Howard University.
The Social Justice Fund was established in the summer of 2020 following the death of George Floyd, which sparked the second wave of the Black Lives Matter Movement after gaining traction in 2012 with the death of Trayvon Martin and in 2014 with the death of Michael Brown.
The mission statement of the fund was posted to the Warner Music Group’s website stating,“The Warner Music Group / Blavatnik Family Foundation Social Justice Fund invests in organizations around the globe that build more just and equitable communities and create real change in the lives of historically underserved and marginalized people. We focus our investments on organizations that are led by and work to benefit affected populations, principally Black populations, in their intersectional dimensions.”
Howard University will be receiving a multi-million allotment in the next five years to facilitate a tangible pipeline into the music industry.
The stipend will help bankroll a music business center in the Howard University School of Business. The goal is to cultivate equity and opportunity for HBCU students, where no funding like this currently exists at any other historically Black institution.
Students will be able to take courses in music business while also having access to early career development through fellowships and internships and have direct access into the entertainment business.
“We have been intentional in structuring the Fund as a separate legal entity to support organizations that are on the front lines of advancing equity and justice for all people,” said Camille Hackney, President of the The Warner Music Group and Blavatnik Family Foundation Social Justice Fund and Chief Partnerships Officer at Atlantic Records/Head of Global Brand Partnerships Council at Warner Music Group to the Globe and Mail. “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.”
OneUnited Bank, the most prominent Black-owned bank in the United States, has been chosen as The Warner Music Group and Blavatnik Family Foundation Social Justice Fund’s banking partner.
Similarly, the Moore Impact, a subset of the larger Moore Philanthropy will hold the title of the Warner Music Group and Blavatnik Family Foundation Social Justice Fund’s fiscal sponsor.
The Moore Impact and Moore Philanthropy are spearheaded by Yvonne L. Moore, a Black philanthropist who has gained knowledge over her extensive career in public health, public policy, and economic security specializing further in anti-violence and safety, alternative energies, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), education, health, and organizational sustainability and management.
Moore will be integral in disseminating the assets to the organizations that are chosen each year. The Foundation’s Board of Trustees will announce grant recipients twice a year with its second appointment to come this fall.
“Providing opportunities for underserved communities in education in the arts paves the way for equal opportunity and representation in the music industry and beyond,” said Len Blavatnik, Chairman of the Blavatnik Family Foundation. “The Fund’s commitment to a sustained effort to achieve change and results will have a lasting, positive impact.”