On the heels of the stunning Book of HOV exhibit at the Brooklyn Public Library, JAY-Z’s The Shawn Carter Foundation & Robert Kraft’s Foundation to Combat Antisemitism have joined forces for an initial $2 million fund to stop the spread of book bans. The announcement arrived today (July 21) via a press release.
Through the foundations’ collaboration, the Brooklyn Public Library will receive $1.5 million to bolster the library’s overall operations and support its Books Unbanned initiative, a nationwide campaign dedicated to providing young people with free access to books without restrictions. The funds will also provide much-needed support to a wide range of the library’s programs, including teen and children’s programs, justice initiatives, entrepreneurial support, and efforts to combat censorship.
Since the launch of The Book of HOV — a sprawling exhibit honoring Jay-Z’s life, legacy, and career — opened to the public at the library’s central branch on July 14, the Brooklyn Public Library has experienced a massive surge in attendance. The donations from the Shawn Carter Foundation and Robert Kraft’s Foundation to Combat Antisemitism will support the influx of patrons, a figure that has tripled in size since the exhibit’s debut. Book bans have become a hot political topic in recent years as various state and local governments seek to censor books that deal with marginalized identities and histories,
Last week, also on July 14, the Shawn Carter Foundation, co-founded by the “99 Problems” rapper and his mother, Gloria Carter, raised $20 million through their 20-year anniversary black-tie charity gala. Notable celebrities in attendance included Beyoncé, Babyface, Blue Ivy, Jeff Bezos, and Jack Dorsey.
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