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Rihanna Pledges $15M for Climate Equality

Rihanna is pledging $15 million to fight climate change and environmental inequity, through her Clara Lionel Foundation.

The singer founded the Clara Lionel Foundation in 2012, naming it after her grandparents. Its first major tackle was Hurricane Sandy, when the CLF supported relief efforts by the Food Bank of NYC throughout New England. This latest donation is an attempt to move from helping reactively, after a disaster has happened, to helping prevent more disasters in the future.

“Climate disasters, which are growing in frequency and intensity, do not impact all communities equally, with communities of color and island nations facing the brunt of climate change,” said Rihanna, who is from Barbados.

The $15 million is pledged in grants to be given to 18 organizations prioritizing climate justice. These organizations work in the United States as well as seven Caribbean nations, and include the Movement for Black Lives, the Indigenous Environmental Network, and the Climate Justice Alliance. Due to CLF’s partnership with Jack Dorsey’s #StartSmall initiative, the grants are focused on groups specifically led by members of at-risk groups.

“Funders must build partnerships with grassroots organizations, acknowledging their deep understanding of what is necessary to achieve climate justice in their own communities,” Justine Lucas, Clara Lionel Foundation’s executive director, said in a statement.

“These grants support entities focused on and led by women, youth, Black, Indigenous, people of color and LGBTQIA+ communities. We invite others to join us in elevating, funding and supporting these groups and others who are on the frontlines of the climate justice movement.”

The Clara Lionel Foundation balances their priorities between groups focused on climate resilience and climate justice work, as the two are deeply intertwined. In the recent past, they have donated heavily to groups trying to support underserved communities through the COVID-19 pandemic. The disease, like climate consequences, has disproportionately struck communities of color.

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