Just under a year ago, as protests gripped the U.S. and the music industry took a “Blackout Tuesday” to examine its policies and attitudes toward race, Sony Music Group announced the launch of a $100 million Global Social Justice Fund to support social justice and anti-racist initiatives around the world.
The company — which includes all of its recorded-music and content divisions and music-publishing company — undertook a campaign to “donate to organizations that foster equal rights.” On Monday morning, SMG announced its third round of donations — to more than 90 new international, national and regional community organizations. The recipients will be listed on Sony’s website; for more information on the company’s corporate giving activities, head here.
According to the announcement, recipients funded in this round include community partners that help advance nonpartisan solutions in the areas of civic engagement, criminal justice reform, educational programming and youth advocacy. Organizations will impact communities across the African continent, Australia, Canada, the Latin America region, New Zealand, U.K. and the U.S. All Global Social Justice Fund beneficiaries are chosen by a diverse, global advisory committee representing divisions across Sony Music Group.
Round three’s allocation organization breakdown is as follows:
- 24% educational initiatives
- 23% civic and community engagement programs
- 21% civil rights and social justice organizations
- 17% youth advocacy organizations
- 15% additional equal rights, cultural and wellness programs
The news follows the Company’s previous two rounds of funding to community-based partners globally since June 2020. In total, with today’s announcement, the SMG Global Social Justice Fund has contributed to expanding programs at more than 300 global organizations. All nonprofit partners are categorized within the following pillars: civic engagement, criminal justice reform and education.
“We have a responsibility to be good stewards of this fund which means that we need be intentional and careful about how the fund is utilized,” says Towalame Austin, Sony Music Group’s Executive Vice President of Philanthropy and Social Impact. “One hundred million dollars is a significant amount of money; you need to develop a strategic plan that will help you reach your goals and objectives. At the same time, we knew we wanted to begin making an impact in communities around the world immediately.”
“The majority of organizations selected connect SMG to meaningful programming and allows the Company to make a real impact beyond the financial commitment we make,” he continued. “Whether it’s a grassroots organization in a local community or a global initiative spanning continents, we are committed and dedicated to supporting this work.”
According to the announcement, the following organizations are examples of the work Sony’s donation has advanced:
RACE FORWARD (U.S.)
Catalyzes movement building for racial justice. In partnership with communities, organizations, and government sectors, we build strategies to advance racial justice in our policies, institutions, and culture. With the support from Sony Music, Race Forward has been able to:
- Expand their Government Alliance on Race and Equity Network from200 members to 350 city and county members nationwide;
- Build out an affiliate training team to meet the demand for Building Racial Equity (BRE) trainings;
- 3,500 people attended BRE trainings in 2020, a 69% increase over 2019;
- Produce national racial justice conference, Facing Race, completely remotely – with 4200 attendees;
- Provide caregiver support to Race Forward staff who are directly impacted by Covid-19;
- Hire 10 staff, across the organization, to meet the increased demand for our work.
FONDO GUADALUPE MUSALEM (Brazil)
Sony Music Group’s donation has enabled the organization to award 158 high school scholarships and 51 university scholarships to women who in most cases speak their indigenous language. Scholarship recipients receive counseling mainly in subjects such as physics, chemistry, mathematics and biology, and participate in workshops and courses on topics such as prevention of dating violence, sexual and reproductive health, leadership, gender equality, community participation and human rights. They also receive medical and psychological care, tutoring from a mentor and have the opportunity to be supported to start university students.