Entertainer and philanthropist Rihanna has pledged $15 million to address climate change. Eighteen climate justice organizations will benefit. These groups include the Indigenous Environmental Network, Movement for Black Lives and Climate Justice Alliance.
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“Climate disasters, which are growing in frequency and intensity, do not impact all communities equally, with communities of color and island nations facing the brunt of climate change,” Rihanna said in a statement. She’s from Barbados, an island highly vulnerable to climate change.
The money will come through Rihanna’s Clara Lionel Foundation. Founded in 2012, the foundation is named for her grandparents, Clara and Lionel Braithwaite. The foundation focuses on climate change, justice for marginalized people, refugee crisis response and the global fight against COVID-19. The foundation’s inaugural project was the Clara Braithwaite Center for Oncology and Nuclear Medicine at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Barbados, which it continues to fund.
The #StartSmall initiative
Rihanna is partnering with Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey’s #StartSmall philanthropic initiative to fund these latest grants. They’ve chosen groups headed by Black, female, LGBT and/or Indigenous leaders, whose communities face the greatest risks. In addition to those named above, the recipients include the Deep South Center for Environmental Justice, GirlsCARE, Helen’s Daughters, HEY Campaign, Hive Fund for Gender and Climate Justice, Integrated Health Outreach, Native Movement, NDN Collective, The Caribbean Climate Justice Project and The Solutions Project.
“Funders must build partnerships with grassroots organizations, acknowledging their deep understanding of what is necessary to achieve climate justice in their own communities,” said Justine Lucas, Clara Lionel Foundation’s executive director, in a statement.
Rihanna, born Robyn Rihanna Fenty, is a hero around the world, but especially in Barbados. Last year, Barbadian Prime Minister Mia Mottley awarded the nine-time Grammy winner the title National Hero of Barbados during a ceremony where the country was finally declared a republic. In 2017, Harvard University proclaimed her humanitarian of the year.
Lead image via Clara Lionel Foundation