Jay Z’s Tidal Makes $1.5 Million Donation To Black Lives Matter Movement In Honor Of Trayvon Martin’s Birthday

The Black Lives Matter movement just got a huge boost by way of a large donation from Tidal, the music streaming service started by Jay-Z. The announcement of Tidal’s generous donation was made through Mic.com on Friday, the day Trayvon Martin would have turned 21-years-old. The $1.5 million donation will be going to Black Lives Matter and a handful of other social justice organizations, all of which work to repair racial inequality in America.

The $1.5 million donation was funded by proceeds of the first Tidal X: 10/20 charity concert in Brooklyn, New York in October, 2015. The benefit concert featured Beyoncé, Nicki Minaj, Jay-Z, Lil Wayne, and Nick Jonas. There are plans to continue the charity concerts and to donate the proceeds to social justice groups whose focus spreads the message that black lives matter.

“The process of acquiring recommendations was collaborative and inspired by the message that speaks to racial and social inequities and injustice in our society,” Dania Diaz, managing director of philanthropy at Roc Nation, told Mic. “Each year we will support a different initiative. Our ideology is to have a high level of consciousness in everything we do.”

Donations are expected to be made each year to a number of non-profits whose message aligns with that of the Black Lives Matter movement. The charity concert was arranged as a fundraiser for the New World Foundation, which is responsible for distributing the donation money to various organizations that were picked this year to receive funds. One of those foundations is the Trayvon Martin Foundation and it’s no coincidence that the announcement was made on what would have been Trayvon’s 21st birthday.

The Black Lives Matter movement began to pick up traction after Trayvon Martin was shot by George Zimmerman on February 26, 2012. Zimmerman was ultimately found not guilty after invoking Florida’s stand your ground laws but many feel that Trayvon’s death could have been prevented, such as many of the deaths of black citizens throughout the United States in the nearly four years since Martin’s death.

The charity concert and $1.5 million donation is the biggest move Tidal has made as far as donations are concerned. As BET pointed out, Jay-Z and his wife, Beyonce, are no strangers to the Black Lives Matter movement. The Roc Nation founder has quietly donated several thousands of dollars of his own money to the Black Lives Matter cause, making headlines after he and Beyonce began posting bail for protesters in Ferguson, Missouri, and again in Baltimore, Maryland.

According to @micnews, Jay Z & Tidal are donating $1.5M to Black Lives Matter and other social justice groups. pic.twitter.com/fBIS15apE0

— Only Hip Hop Facts (@OnlyHipHopFacts) February 6, 2016

The non-profits chosen to receive funds from Tidal’s benefit concert through the New World Foundation weren’t random. The artist-owners at Tidal had a say in which organizations received funding. Disbursement of the grant money will start in February according to The Root. In the future, there will be more benefit concerts to raise money for a different group of social justice organizations in an effort to spread the news that black lives do matter.

The Tidal X: 10/20 concert was a huge success in terms of the $1.5 million raised to fund grants through the New World Foundation. The concert was also a success in terms of technology and social activism. Prior to the performances, Usher debuted a brand new single called “Chains” which was about the countless victims of police brutality and vast racial injustice in America. The pre-concert live stream forced listeners to watch a slideshow of pictures of the faces of many victims. With the power of technology, Tidal synced with the webcams of those watching and stopped playing the song if they were not looking at the powerful and emotional presentation.

[Photo by Isaac Brekken/Getty Images]