By Ryan Velez
One of the best things that we as a people can do to further our causes is to work together, and Black Enterprise shares a story of two prominent entities doing just that. OneUnited Bank and powerhouse 105.1 New York radio platform The Breakfast Club partnered to create the Change4Change Radiothon which raised more than $700,000 to support social justice initiatives and activists.
The funds are going towards The Gathering for Justice, an organization founded by Harry Belafonte whose mission is to promote social justice, eliminate racial inequalities, and prevent child incarceration. The organization is also a sponsor of Colin Kaepernick’s Know Your Rights Campaign and The National Women’s March.
Breakfast Club hosts Charlamagne Tha God, DJ Envy, and Angela Yee utilized texting for fundraising efforts, and celebrities called in to talk about social injustice and how important it is for everyone to do their part in being active in forging change. Several luminaries from Hollywood including Diddy, Kevin Hart, will.i.am, Ludacris, Cardi B, Eminem, and Nick Cannon donated to the cause, and thousands of listeners contributed as well.
“Raising money is hard. For some reason, when it comes to doing the right thing, a lot of people don’t step up,” will.i.am, award-winning musician, entrepreneur, and activist told The Breakfast Club during a call from South Africa. “I’ll put in 20…20K.” His donation, according to the hosts, was an early spark to raise the bar for other celebrities to chip in generously.
Diddy took the time to give as well. “We live in a time where we don’t have organizations that really have the infrastructure those guys had in the civil rights movement to be able to organize and galvanize to make change… The only thing that is going to make change is money, to be honest—economic power,” Diddy told the show hosts. “Put me down for 100,000.”
“It’s truly an incredible feeling,” activist Tamika Mallory told The Breakfast Club. “If our people want us to continue to uplift our voices and tend to the most marginalized communities, we need to have the support whether it be $1 to $50,000. We need the support so that everyone has skin in the game.” OneUnited Bank and its leadership work to do their part in other ways as well, including encouraging the Black community and its supporters to move their money into Black-owned financial institutions, as well as support Black-owned businesses.