By Ryan Velez
Rapper Jay-Z is following through on his commitment to support local and national organizations dedicated to black causes. The Root reports that his nascent music-streaming platform, Tidal, has donated $1,500,000 to Black Lives Matter and several other social justice organization. The announcement was made on the same day that Trayvon Martin would have turned 21 years old. The Trayvon Martin Foundation will get a portion of these funds. Other recipients will include organizations created by families of police brutality victims, such as the Michael O.D. Brown We Love Our Sons and Daughters Foundation and the Oscar Grant Foundation.
Other groups will include national organizations such as Opportunity Agenda and Sankofa.org, and grassroot groups like Hands Up United in Ferguson, Mo., the Dream Defenders in Tallahassee, Fla., the Black Youth Project 100 in Chicago, the Baltimore Justice Fund, the Ohio Students Association, Million Hoodies and the Justice League in New York City.
Tidal’s group of artist-owners decided which organizations would get funding. In a statement to Mic, managing director of philanthropy at Roc Nation Dania Diaz said “The process of acquiring recommendations [for nonprofits] was collaborative and inspired by the message that speaks to racial and social inequities and injustice in our society.” She further stated that this was only the beginning, saying, “each year we will support a different initiative. Our ideology is to have a hifi level of consciousness in everything we do.” Several Tidal artist-owners had already expressed support for some of these movements via their work.
The money for these donations was raised at last October’s Tidal X: 10/20 charity concert at Brooklyn, N.Y.’s Barclay Center. Billed as a fundraiser for the New World Foundation, which will distribute the funds, the live-streamed concert featured Jay Z, Beyoncé, Nicki Minaj, Lil Wayne, Meek Mill, Usher, T.I., Damian Marley and other artists. The grant money was disbursed throughout February.