As the uncle Ben quote from Spiderman (and other sources) goes: “With great power comes great responsibility.” Celebrities are stepping up more than ever to use their power to effect change relating to systemic racism both in the US and globally. Black lives have always mattered and its great to see celebrities and politicians add their voices to the thousands of protesters and advocates pushing for change.
Here are just a few folks speaking up, in some cases having had an important change in their own awareness of the importance of the BLM movement:
NFL Quarterback Drew Brees and His wife Brittany apologized multiple times saying “ WE ARE THE PROBLEM’ in reference to the statement where he suggested that NFL players who kneeled during the national anthem were disrespectful of the American flag and the country. His “enlightened” post included the language: ““I condemn the years of oppression that have taken place throughout our black communities and still exists today. I acknowledge that we as Americans, including myself, have not done enough to fight for that equality or to truly understand the struggles and plight of the black community.” Apparently it took a concerted effort of fellow NFL players to re-frame the kneeling to a Black Lives Matter specific focus that is not anti flag, but pro America, the kind of America we need in the future. Making progress in changing people’s understanding of the BLM issue and breaking the false narratives around “flags” and “respect” is important because converting those who don’t fully understand the issue is as important as maintaining the passion of those who do already “get it.”
Michel Jordan brand has committed US $ 100 million for the next 10 years to organizations that will fight for racial equality, police reforms, education reforms, and systemic institutional injustices that target black communities in the US. The Jordan brand is among a growing list of corporate brands that have responded to the ongoing global debate, that is focusing on addressing systemic and historical injustices . Michael Jordan brand also owns NBA franchise Charlotte Hornets, his financial power and voice is major contribution to the Black Lives Matter movement.
Serena Williams & Alexia Ohania
Alexia Ohania co-founder of Reddit and Serena Williams Husband Resigns from Reddit and offers his position to black candidate in solidity with BLM movement. The movement for racial equality, economic equality and criminal justice reforms is now causing many CEO to review their inclusion and diversity programs, and to align their brands to support these initiatives.
Sabrina Dhowre Elba
Sabrina Dhowre Elba, a model and wife to Idris Elba said “It is time for people to educate themselves about minority struggles” in support of Black Lives Matter . ” it is no longer enough to be not “racist ” we must teach each other to be ” anti racist” . She encourage everyone to use this time to reflect and educate themselves on the struggles that minority experience on daily basis during an interview with Daily Mail. Over 15,000 took to the streets in London and other cities around the world demonstrations and demanding for justice, following the death of George Floyd. and others who have been killed by police.
The racial injustice reforms has seen more celebrities and corporate donate their resources to groups and organizations fighting social injustice causes. Netflix co-founder and wife have committed to support “HBCU” scholarship programs to the tune of $120 m to close the funding gap that exists in black institutions in America. Reed is hopeful that more corporates will step up their contributions to address the systemic problem of funding to black institutions in America.
Donates US $ 2 m to the families of Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor, he set up education fund for Floyd’s daughter Gianna, Kanye West was recently included in Forbes list of billionaires following the valuation of his popular sneakers shoes “Yeezy “Brand. West had accused Forbes of racial discrimination by omitting his business empire on the list of Billionaires.
Roger Goodell the Commissioner for NFL recently admitted that NFL was wrong not to listen to its players about racism. The commissioner said ” we, the national football League condemn racism and systematic oppression of black people , He went on to say ” We the National League admit we were wrong for not listening to NFL players earlier and encourage all players to speak out and peacefully protest. We , the National football League , believe that black lives matter. The NFL has committed to donate $ US 250 m for the next 10 years to support racial inequalities and justice. Roger Goodell has come out to encourage clubs to sign up Colin Kaepernick who was fired by NFL and accused for disrespecting the American flag by kneeling down during the national anthem. Kaepernick spoke through his social media that he will continue to support and work with organization that fight racial oppression.
Angelina fears for her “unprotected ” daughter Zahara 15, Amidst Intolerable Racism in America. As a mother of six who has an adopted young Black woman, She is calling for the end of systemic ” racisms ” in U.S. She says it is time for us to make ” structural changes ” to protect the vulnerable like her daughter. She recently donated US $ 200,000 to NAACP, Legal Defense Fund.
Jamie Fox has been in the fore front of Hollywood celebrities who have come out to support the Black Lives Matter movement which has galvanized strong support across in US as well as abroad. Jammie has been cited in peaceful protests in San Francisco, Houston and Minneapolis.
The CEO of Apple Tim Cook has announced a commitment of US $ 100 million towards Apple’s racial justice reforms initiative starting in US and later to the rest of the world where apple has significant footprint. The program to be led by Lisa Jackson will forge new partnerships of HBCU , STEM education, social justice initiatives, that address systemic barriers to opportunities to black and brown communities. Cook said that the “burden of change “should be placed on those in position of power , and that Apple is committed to be that force of change.