5:13 PM PDT 6/1/2020
The initial list of groups that will receive support from the production company include the Equal Justice Initiative, the Black Futures Lab, the Know Your Rights Camp, Black Lives Matter L.A. and the Community Coalition.
After a weekend that saw protests spring up all over the country to condemn the death of an unarmed black man in police custody, the production house behind the latest Star Wars films and Lovecraft Country has pledged a significant investment in groups aimed at racial equality in the U.S.
Bad Robot Productions announced Wednesday on its Instagram page that it, in combination with The Katie McGrath and JJ Abrams Family Foundation, would donate $2 million annually over the course of five years (for a total of $10 million) to organizations with “anti-racist agendas that close the gaps, lift the poor and build a just America for all.”
The Equal Justice Initiative, the Black Futures Lab, the Know Your Rights Camp, Black Lives Matter L.A. and the Community Coalition are the first organizations to receive donations from Bad Robot and the Foundation, with each receiving $200,000. Bryan Stevenson’s Equal Justice Initiative offers free legal services to individuals who have been wrongly imprisoned, given unfair sentences and/or abused in prison; the Black Futures Lab, founded by Black Lives Matter cofounder Alicia Garza, advocates for policies that will benefit black communities; the Colin Kaepernick-funded Know Your Rights Camp educates young people about their rights with regard to law enforcement and seeks to empower them; Black Lives Matter’s L.A. outpost is the first-ever chapter of the civil rights organization; and the Community Coalition seeks community participation to advocate for better policies for South Los Angeles.
“Enough is enough. Enough police brutality. Enough outsized privilege. Enough polite conversation. Enough white comfort. Enough lopsided access,” the production company’s post announcing the donations says, in part. “In this fragile time, words matter, listening is critical and investment is required.”
The organization admits that donations won’t solve all the problems that the last few days’ protests have condemned, but says that it can help in a policy vacuum. “Corporate and political philanthropy can never achieve the impact needed to address these systemic inequities, but companies and individuals who are able must do what we can until our political leaders lead.”
Over the weekend and on Monday, many organizations in the entertainment industry pledged their commitment to Black Lives Matter and improving the lives and liberty of Americans of color via statements and company messages. Select others combined those words with action, such as the Gersh Agency, which pledged to match staff donations to Black Lives Matter.
Read the full post below.