Rihanna and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey Donate $15M to Mental Health Services amid Coronavirus
On Thursday, the "Work" singer, 32, announced that her Clara Lionel Foundation has partnered with Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey's #StartSmall initiative to pledge more than $15 million to "organizations focused on addressing mental health issues, food insecurity, income loss and the needs of individuals excluded from federal stimulus programs in Newark and Chicago."
The philanthropic effort is in response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and its negative impact on millions. "Racial injustices perpetrated by systems built to keep people safe are exacerbating the coronavirus’s mental health impact on individuals and families across the United States," according to a statement from Rihanna's foundation.
"Even as the majority of states have begun lifting restrictions in recent days," the statement continues, "millions of Americans continue to face daunting challenges when it comes to their health, mental and economic wellbeing."
The foundation points out that many senior citizens, low-income families and homeless individuals are "facing impossible decisions everyday: whether to buy groceries or pay utility bills, risk eviction or risk crowded shelters."
The foundation also notes that "racial disparities are contributing to alarmingly disproportionate rates of infection and death among Black and Brown people." A dozen organizations are named as recipients of the donations.
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Rihanna and Dorsey, 43, recently partnered back in April to donate $4.2 million toward aid for domestic violence victims amid stay-at-home orders during the pandemic.
The pair said the funds would “provide 10 weeks of support including shelter, meals and counseling for individuals and their children suffering from domestic violence at a time when shelters are full and incidents are on the rise."
Also in April, Dorsey announced that he donated $1 billion of his equity in the company Square to his limited liability company Start Small. The organization focuses on providing relief for victims of coronavirus, later shifting to girls’ health and education after the pandemic.
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Dorsey explained at the time that he wants to focus on girls’ health and universal basic income because he believes “they represent the best long-term solutions to the existential problems” facing the world.
“The needs are increasingly urgent, and I want to see the impact in my lifetime,” he tweeted. “I hope this inspires others to do something similar. Life is too short, so let’s do everything we can today to help people now.”
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