September 24, 2023

When Rihanna takes the Tremendous Bowl stage on Sunday for her hotly anticipated halftime present efficiency, tens of hundreds of thousands of viewers simply may get a glimpse into the singer’s philanthropy.

If she nods to empowering Black women and girls of coloration as leaders, or to the vital significance of getting ready Caribbean nations like her personal Barbados for local weather change, she’ll be hinting at greater than a decade’s price of labor finished by her philanthropic group, the Clara Lionel Foundation(Opens in a new tab) (CLF).

Rihanna based the nonprofit, named after her grandparents, in 2012. The inspiration has primarily targeted on local weather resilience and justice initiatives in communities of coloration, with an emphasis on partnering with leaders who’re most affected by the disaster of local weather change however least prone to obtain assist from main foundations. One study found that environmental justice groups groups only received $18 million(Opens in a new tab) of $1 billion awarded by environmental grantmakers. In 2022 alone, CLF awarded $15 million in grants to 18 organizations(Opens in a new tab) advancing local weather justice within the U.S. and Caribbean.

“On the Clara Lionel Basis, a lot of the work is rooted within the understanding that local weather disasters, that are rising in frequency and depth, don’t impression all communities equally, with communities of coloration and island nations dealing with the brunt of local weather change,” Rihanna mentioned on the CLF website(Opens in a new tab).


When to look at the 2023 Tremendous Bowl halftime present in case you solely care to look at Rihanna

To this point, neither the NFL nor Rihanna have instructed her philanthropy will issue into her efficiency. (The NFL did not reply to inquiries despatched by Mashable.) Justine Lucas, CLF’s govt director, informed Mashable that she did not know whether or not Rihanna would incorporate the themes of her philanthropy into the present, both. Little doubt most viewers could be simply blissful to look at a guest-star packed medley that features hits like “Impolite Boy,” “Diamonds,” and “Umbrella.”

If her philanthropy does go unmentioned, it is price remembering that the Tremendous Bowl halftime present could be a fraught occasion for Black feminine performers, particularly in the event that they’re perceived as political. Janet Jackson endured long-lasting repercussions(Opens in a new tab) when Justin Timberlake briefly uncovered a part of her breast due to a “wardrobe malfunction” throughout their 2004 efficiency. Beyoncé faced an intense backlash when her 2016 appearance(Opens in a new tab) included imagery related to the Black Panthers and Black Lives Matter motion. Rihanna previously declined the NFL’s Super Bowl invitation(Opens in a new tab), citing the league’s therapy of Colin Kaepernick, the previous 49ers quarterback who kneeled to protest police violence.

Lucas mentioned that no matter what Rihanna options in her efficiency, she desires Tremendous Bowl viewers to know CLF as a basis that’s “on a mission to make the Caribbean the world’s first climate-resilient zone.” Considered one of its major initiatives invests(Opens in a new tab) in emergency preparedness to assist communities higher face up to pure disasters earlier than they strike.

In 2021, the muse awarded $7.5 million to greater than 80 companions in seven Caribbean international locations. This contains the Barbados Household Planning Affiliation, together with different well being clinics within the Caribbean, which acquired assist to “harden” their services so as to ship sexual and reproductive healthcare earlier than, throughout, and after a hurricane. CLF additionally recently launched the With/Stand climate pledge that anyone can sign(Opens in a new tab).

“It’s our invitation to the world to hitch us and assist our imaginative and prescient for a climate-ready Caribbean,” Lucas wrote in an electronic mail.

“That sort of management doesn’t exist within the legacy of what philanthropy appears like.”

– Isabelle Leighton, govt director of the Donors of Colours Community

Isabelle Leighton, govt director of the Donors of Colors Network(Opens in a new tab), a cross-racial group of excessive internet wealth donors that does not have a proper relationship with CLF, praised Rihanna’s method to philanthropy. She says conventional giving methods, led predominantly by white funders, are likely to “otherize” individuals of coloration and provides from a “sense of charity.” In contrast, CLF factors to a statistic that 95 p.c of its companions deal with or are led by ladies, youth, individuals of coloration, or Black, Indigenous, or LGBTQIA+ communities.

“[Rihanna] is giving again to her dwelling in a really daring method, and likewise making very public statements about how she’s investing in Black ladies and women,” says Leighton. “That sort of management doesn’t exist within the legacy of what philanthropy appears like.”

Final month, CLF co-signed an open letter to philanthropy(Opens in a new tab) difficult foundations and grantmakers to collectively meet a $100 million dedication to the Black Feminist Fund. The marketing campaign launched in 2021 with the aim of supporting “Black ladies and Black feminist agendas,” which embrace points like violence prevention, land useful resource rights, and meals and water safety.

Leighton says that she’s excited by the chance that the Tremendous Bowl will draw consideration to the causes that Rihanna helps — and the best way she helps them. But she additionally understands that the typical viewer may understand dialogue in regards to the matter as one other wealthy particular person “grandstanding” about their giving.

“That is a kind of moments the place it’s a must to perceive you’ll be able to’t please all people,” says Leighton.

However for top internet price donors of coloration who can relate to Rihanna’s journey of coming from a humble background and utilizing her wealth to assist empower her group, Leighton says the Tremendous Bowl can be a robust second of illustration.

“Leaders of coloration like Rihanna are literally what we want to have the ability to mannequin and to point out what new programs of energy really want to appear to be for communities which can be typically disregarded of the decision-making course of,” says Leighton.