The Warner Music Group / Blavatnik Family Foundation Social Justice Fund (WMG/BFF SJF) has announced its third set of grantee partners.
The partnerships further advance its vision of addressing systemic racism and making real change in the lives of historically underserved and marginalised populations.
With investments in 15 organisations totaling $9.35 million, this slate of grants focuses on the Fund’s three strategic 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 organising in racial justice movements across Warner Music Group’s global markets.
“Structural racism constricts the breath, voice and freedom of Black communities, particularly as it intersects with other forms of inequity,” said Lorelei Williams, executive director of the WMG/BFF SJF. “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.”
Given the disparities facing women across a variety of industries, including music, nearly 70% of the selected organisations are women-led and a third of all grants address gender equity issues – from creating opportunities for women into the music industry to dismantling the school-to-prison pipeline for girls of color, and uplifting the voices of gender-expansive adolescents.
“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,” said Susan Burton, Founder of A New Way of Life, an award-winning Los Angeles-based program that serves and empowers women coming home from prison. “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 Fund also placed heightened attention on organisations helping African Diaspora communities around the world, supporting those focused on immigrant populations in the US, as well as making first grants in Brazil, Nigeria and Colombia.
"The Brazil Human Rights Fund is delighted to partner with the WMG/BFF SJF to support Brazilian, Black-led grassroots organisations and movements in addressing systemic violence in their communities and territories,” said Ana Valeria Araujo and Allyne Andrade, executive and deputy directors of the Brazil Human Rights Fund. “The partnership is a great demonstration of solidarity between our organisations and the diaspora. It has the potential to strengthen the racial justice movement in our country and promote democracy.”
In addition to the $9.35m investment and to complement this new cohort of 15 grantees, the WMG/BFF SJF board of directors has established the Reservoir Fund, which will provide the Fund’s grantees with capacity-building, training, coaching and technical assistance resources to sustain their work for the long-term.
Music industry pipeline organisations, 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.
“Gender Amplified is honoured to partner with the Warner Music Group / Blavatnik Family Foundation Social Justice Fund,'' said Smith. “The Fund’s generous contribution will help us reach our goal of supporting women and non-binary music producers all over the world.”
A New Way of Life
Anti-Recidivism Coalition (ARC)
Bard Prison Initiative
Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI)
Brazil Human Rights Fund
Grantmakers for Girls of Color (G4GC)
Arts & Culture
Diversify the Stage
Hidden Genius Project
West African Vocational Education (WAVE)
BOLD (Black Organizing for Leadership & Dignity)