Kanye West Launches College Fund for Gianna Floyd, Donates $2 Million to Arbery and Taylor Families
The rapper, 42, has created a 529 college savings plan to fully cover tuition for Floyd's 6-year-old daughter Gianna, a representative for West confirms to PEOPLE. In addition, he has donated $2 million in total contributions to support the families and the legal defenses of Arbery and Taylor.
West's representative says he has also donated to several black-owned businesses in crisis in his hometown of Chicago and nationwide.
The news of West's donation comes as the country continues to protest against racial injustice and police brutality following the killing of Floyd, a 46-year-old unarmed black man in Minneapolis who died in police custody on May 25 after a white officer pinned him to the ground with a knee on his neck.
Derek Chauvin, the former Minnesota officer who was seen on video with his knee on Floyd’s neck, has been charged with second-degree unintentional murder. He and the three other officers present at the scene of the May 25 killing were fired from the Minneapolis Police Department last week.
The three other officers — Thomas Lane, Tou Thao and J. Alexander Kueng — have been charged with aiding and abetting unintentional second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter.
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Arbery, an unarmed black man, was fatally shot while jogging in broad daylight on Feb. 23 after being chased down a suburban neighborhood street in Brunswick, Georgia, by two white men, Gregory McMichael and his son, Travis. The McMichaels confronted Arbery with two firearms after they saw him exercising, and Travis fatally shot him, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation said.
Last month, video showing how the 25-year-old was shot circulated social media and sparked nationwide outrage and renewed interest in the case. Gregory, 64, and Travis, 34, have since been charged with murder and aggravated assault but have not yet entered pleas.
Taylor, meanwhile, was killed in her Louisville, Ky., apartment on March 13 when police served a "no-knock" warrant and shot her when her boyfriend fired his own permitted weapon fearing for his life. Taylor was a 26-year-old black woman and aspiring nurse working as an EMT.
To help combat systemic racism, consider learning from or donating to these organizations:
•Campaign Zero (joincampaignzero.org) which works to end police brutality in America through research-proven strategies.
•ColorofChange.org works to make government more responsive to racial disparities.
•National Cares Mentoring Movement (caresmentoring.org) provides social and academic support to help black youth succeed in college and beyond.