Rihanna’s foundation supporting Sakhi, Adhikaar, SACSS and other Asian American grassroots organizations

Last year, Rihanna was named the 2020 Celebrity Philanthropist of the Year by Inside Philanthropy.Photo posted Jan. 14, 2021, on ClaralionelFoundation Facebook

The Clara Lionel Foundation established by singer Rihanna, announced March 3, 2021, a $3 million grant to 20 Asian American organizations, among them South Asian and Indian-American non-profits operating around the country.

In partnership with #StartSmall, CLF is committing funds to grassroots organizations working within the AAPI (Asian American and Pacific Islander) community.

Among the 19 organizations named in the press release, at least three focus on South Asians and those of Indian origin, viz. Adhikaar, which engages with Nepali women, Sakhi for South Asian Women, and South Asian Council for Social Services, all three based in New York.

The remaining 16 include API Rise, APIENC, Asian Americans Advancing Justice-LA, Asian Immigrant Women Advocates, CAAAV Organizing Asian Communities, CCC Houston, Chinatown Community Development Center, Chinese-American Planning Council, Coalition for Asian American Families and Children, Hawai’i Workers Center, Heart of Dinner, Our Kupuna, Red Canary Song, Send Chinatown Love, Southeast Asian Community Alliance, and Welcome to Chinatown.

The statement said CLF “is standing in solidarity with our friends, family, and neighbors in the AAPI community” by extending this support to organizations led by Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.

“Despite being the fastest growing population in the nation, Asian-Americans continue to be widely ignored and discriminated against in the United States,” the press release said.

“And though recent acts of deplorable violence have grabbed headlines, we acknowledge these events are only a symptom of long-standing, anti-Asian hatred embedded in our country’s history. Hatred that has aggressively permeated throughout our country as a result of prejudice comments from the previous Administration related to the COVID-19 pandemic,” the CLF said.

“Stopping the virus of hatred from spreading can only be achieved through solidarity and allyship, which means it is up to each individual to take action. Whether you support mutual aid networks, demand action from your legislators, learn what to do if you witness acts of anti-Asian racism, or volunteer your time and support AAPI-owned businesses, you can be a part of the solution,” it added.

A pictorial depiction of rising hate crimes against Asian Americans. Facebook Photo: Clara Lionel Foundation established by Rihanna

The organization wants to start enabling AAPI organizations to uplift their communities by:

  • Putting cash payments in people’s hands for basic needs such as rent
  • Delivering food directly to people, including homebound seniors
  • Providing cash grants to small businesses so they can keep their doors open
  • Ensuring sex workers and domestic violence survivors have free access to health and legal services
  • Organizing non-unionized workers who haven’t received their unemployment benefits and providing cash payments for rent

The Clara Lionel Foundation was founded in 2012 by Robyn “Rihanna” Fenty in honore of her grandparents Clara and Lionel Braithwaite, the Facebook site says.

Last year, Rihanna was named the “2020 Celebrity Philanthropist of the Year” by Inside Philanthropy.

To date, CLF says it has distributed $36 million to 45 organizations fighting Covid-19 across 17 states and 30 countries. Since March 2020, CLF and its partners have given $47 million to racial justice and Covid-19 response effort, it adds.



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