On Thursday, Rihanna , announced that her Clara Lionel Foundation has partnered with Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey’s #StartSmall initiative to pledge more than $15 million to “organizations focused on addressing mental health issues, food insecurity, income loss and the needs of individuals excluded from federal stimulus programs in Newark and Chicago.”
The philanthropic effort is in response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and its negative impact on millions. “Racial injustices perpetrated by systems built to keep people safe are exacerbating the coronavirus’s mental health impact on individuals and families across the United States,” according to a statement from Rihanna’s foundation.
“Even as the majority of states have begun lifting restrictions in recent days,” the statement continues, “millions of Americans continue to face daunting challenges when it comes to their health, mental and economic wellbeing.”
The foundation points out that many senior citizens, low-income families and homeless individuals are “facing impossible decisions everyday: whether to buy groceries or pay utility bills, risk eviction or risk crowded shelters.”
The foundation also notes that “racial disparities are contributing to alarmingly disproportionate rates of infection and death among Black and Brown people.” A dozen organizations are named as recipients of the donations.
More today: $15m in partnership with @ClaraLionelFdn to support mental health, food distribution, economic assistance, and health equity through the incredible orgs in the thread below https://t.co/wkeKk66nyW
— jack⚡️ (@jack) June 18, 2020
Dorsey has been making donations since the beginning of the pandemic. Before partnering with Rihanna, he donated $1 billion of his equity in Square to his LLC, Start Small. That money went to providing relief for victims of coronavirus, but Dorsey said that he would shift the focus of Start Small to girls’ health and education.
“They represent the best long-term solutions to the existential problems” facing the world, he said at the time.
Why the transparency? It’s important to show my work so I and others can learn. I’ve discovered and funded ($40mm) many orgs with proven impact and efficiency in the past, mostly anonymously. Going forward, all grants will be public. Suggestions welcome. Drop your cash app 😉
— jack⚡️ (@jack) April 7, 2020