The Warner Music Group / Blavatnik Family Foundation Social Justice Fund announced a new round of grant recipients, including the Ashé Cultural Arts Center, Overtown Youth Center and The Africa Center.
These investments are intended to further the Fund’s mission of supporting organizations that build a more equitable civil society and populations with a focus on black communities.
“Over the past year, we’ve been developing a targeted grantmaking strategy focused on three key pillars – education, criminal justice reform, and arts and culture – in order to optimize our impact and reach,” said Paul Henderson, WMG/BFF SJF Board member and Executive Director at the San Francisco Department of Police Accountability. “This next set of grants is all about the intersection of community, culture, and commerce, and we’re very proud to support organizations at the forefront of addressing racial disparities with robust programming tied to the arts and education.”
Along with the grants, Warner Music will leverage their artists to support the grant recipients with a variety of programs, including a first of its kind mentorship program with Howard University, one of the WMG/BFF Social Justice Fund’s initial grant recipients.
The program will pair WMG executives with Howard University School of Business students each year, beginning with the fall 2021 semester.
WMG will also partner with the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition (FRRC), another of the Fund’s first recipients, to sponsor a series of activation booths at local concerts, festivals, and events, to help drive voter registration and remove barriers to voting through the FRRC Fines and Fees Program.
Grant recipients for 2021
Overtown Youth Center (OYC) (Education): The OYC is a community development agency currently serving more than 1,700 youth and their families, using a holistic, culturally relevant program model comprised of five components: in-school support services, after-school programming, summer camp, college and career services through age 25 and family support services. OYC functions as a civic influencer and catalyst for equity and change by investing in strengthening communities, one child and one family at a time, by dismantling systemic barriers that plague our communities. The Fund’s investment will directly support the organization’s efforts to scale its daily mission of enhancing the lives of children and families by bridging educational, social, emotional, health, economic and opportunity gaps.
The Africa Center (Arts and Culture/Education): The Center provides a gateway for engagement with contemporary Africa and transforms the world’s understanding of Africa, its Diaspora, and the role of people of African descent globally, advancing thought and action around Africa’s global influence and impact on our collective and shared futures. The Fund’s investment will help to plan and produce a multidisciplinary cultural exhibition, “Movements in the Modern Diaspora.” This multi-year project, unprecedented in scope, will promote equality, opportunity, diversity, and inclusion by exploring the myriad contributions that African immigrants have made across the fields of arts and music, sciences and technology, the political sphere, and beyond.
Ashé Cultural Arts Center (Arts and Culture): With 5,000 square feet of gallery space, the Center develops programming designed to use culture and the arts to foster human development and civic engagement. It also focuses on creating and preserving opportunities for the curation, exhibition and commission of folk art and fine art of the African Diaspora. The Fund’s investment will support activities that further the core mission of the Center to use art and culture to support human, community and economic development.