Alicia Keys has partnered with the NFL to launch a new endowment fund to support Black businesses and communities worth $1 billion. The Black-led fund will “create long term solutions with a focus on Black entrepreneurs, businesses, communities, Black schools, banks, and other Black institutions, while addressing persistent social, economic and environmental disparities.”
The announcement came on the heels of Keys’ performance at the NFL’s 2020 Kickoff event on Thursday, where she debuted a new song, “Love Looks Better.”
The league’s involvement and contribution is the latest in a series of racial injustice initiatives following its problematic blacklisting of Colin Kaepernick.
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In a letter published with Billboard magazine discussing the new fund and her performance at the NFL Kickoff, Keys emphasized the need for tangible action in the wake of ongoing protests against systemic racism and police brutality. She outlined her initial doubts about partnering with the NFL, citing their glaring inaction in the past, but stressed that she needed to take the opportunity to use her platform to influence positive change.
“I am personally committed to creating meaningful conversations to hold corporations and institutions accountable for their contributions to racial justice,” Keys wrote. “…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.”