Alicia Keys Teams Up W/ NFL, Creates $1 Billion Fund To Support Black-Owned Businesses
The singer and philanthropist announced the launch of a new fund that will provide $1 billion for black-owned companies, and the NFL is helping her.
Alicia Keys, who took the stage to kick off the 2020-2021 NFL season Thursday (Sept. 10th), told Billboard:
“We are already seeing the blatant injustices that are going on around us. As an artist, I’m always thinking about how can I use my platform to further racial equity. This fund is one of the answers and our goal is to empower Black America through investing in Black businesses, Black investors, institutions, entrepreneurs, schools and banks in a way to create sustainable solutions.”
As of now, the NFL is the only partner that has been announced. Alicia Keys added that she hopes the fund will grow beyond the first $1 billion.
“The initial goal of $1 billion is to ensure a substantial commitment. Even with that it does not come close to closing the economic gap. The next steps are to reach out to different industries to invite them to invest in racial justice and create a multi-billion dollar endowment across business sectors.”
She also explained why she decided to perform at the NFL’s event, after the league faced lots of backlash for not supporting social equality and standing against police brutality.
“Today, I will be doing something I never thought I would do again. I’m performing for the NFL Kickoff event. My initial reaction was to decline because of some of the NFL’s past decisions. Yet I realized I HAVE to use my platform, we all need to use our platforms, every chance we get to press for racial equity.”
She saluted Colin Kaepernick, a former NFL star who was allegedly blackballed after he took a knee during the national anthem in protest against police brutality.
“Four years ago, Colin Kaepernick’s resistance by taking a knee in silent protest was a brave and necessary stand to increase our awareness of the acts and consequences of police brutality. He is still way ahead of his time. What is being accomplished by this performance and these new commitments are meant to deeply honor that this moment is a direct result of his courage and prophecy.”