JAY-Z’s Shawn Carter Foundation and Robert Kraft’s Foundation to Combat Antisemitism have made a significant joint effort to combat book bans with an initial $2 million fund. The announcement was released via a press release on July 21, following the success of the Book of HOV exhibit at the Brooklyn Public Library.
As part of their collaboration, the Brooklyn Public Library will receive $1.5 million to support their Books Unbanned initiative. This nationwide campaign aims to provide unrestricted free access to books for young people. Additionally, the funds will contribute to enhancing the library’s overall operations and various programs, including those focused on teenagers, children, justice, entrepreneurship, and efforts against censorship.
Since the launch of the Book of HOV exhibit, which pays tribute to Jay-Z’s life and influential career, the Brooklyn Public Library has witnessed a remarkable increase in attendance. The contributions from the Shawn Carter Foundation and Robert Kraft’s Foundation to Combat Antisemitism will help accommodate the surge in visitors, which has tripled in size since the exhibit’s unveiling.
In recent years, book bans have become a contentious issue in the political landscape, with some state and local governments attempting to censor literature addressing marginalized identities and histories.
Notably, on July 14, the Shawn Carter Foundation marked its 20-year anniversary with a black-tie charity gala, raising an impressive $20 million. The event was attended by prominent celebrities, including Beyoncé, Babyface, Blue Ivy, Jeff Bezos, and Jack Dorsey.
By combining their resources and commitment, these two foundations aim to make a powerful impact in preserving the freedom of literary expression and ensuring that young minds have access to diverse and unrestricted reading materials.