Barbados-born singer Rihanna is widely known for her music. And she’s using her platform to help address the impacts of global warming, which fall hard on island residents and communities of color.
Rihanna’s nonprofit, the Clara Lionel Foundation, is providing $15 million in grants to groups including the Black Feminist Fund, the Indigenous Environmental Network, and the Caribbean Climate Justice Project.
Fiona Korwin-Pawlowski is the foundation’s senior director. She says that only a fraction of support from major U.S. foundations has typically gone to environmental justice groups led by Black, Indigenous, and people of color.
“Our work in the climate justice space … is really in response to this gap,” she says.
She says that one of the foundation’s goals is to help make the Caribbean more resilient to increasingly extreme weather.
“In areas like the Caribbean that are hit frequently by storms, there’s so much philanthropic support that follows climate-related emergencies like hurricanes,” Korwin-Pawlowski says. “But we found that there’s a gap as far as long-term and preparedness funding.”
So to help change that, the foundation is providing unrestricted support to grassroots groups who know best what’s needed in their communities.
“That expertise, that’s really what is the true catalyst for change,” she says.
Reporting credit: ChavoBart Digital Media