Nile Rodgers’ We Are Family Foundation has announced the creation of its new ‘Youth To The Front Fund’, which will benefit activists and organizations fighting to end systemic racism.
A press release states, “WAFF created the Youth to the Front Fund (YTTF Fund) to support and fund under 30-year-old BIPOC youth activists, youth-led organizations, projects, innovations and creative solutions that are at the forefront of fighting systemic racism, inequality, inequity and injustice in the United States and around the world. The growing six-figure fund is not a one-off response to George Floyd’s murder and the subsequent global outrage, but rather an ongoing sustainable commitment.”
The We Are Family Foundation is a not-for-profit organization founded by legendary musician, producer and Chic leader Nile Rodgers and is dedicated to the visions of a global family by creating programs that promote cultural diversity while nurturing and mentoring the vision, talents and ideas of young people who are positively changing the world.
To accompany the announcement, Rodgers shared a video message and statement detailing his life-long experiences with racism and explaining why he was compelled to start the YTTF Fund now. Rodgers said he was first confronted with racism as a 7-year-old, the only black boy in his second-grade classroom, where he was harassed by other students and even teachers. As a 12-year-old, after his family moved to Los Angeles, Rodgers remembered being “threatened at gunpoint by various random policemen and gun-toting whites of all backgrounds.”
When Rodgers was 16, though, he joined the Black Panther Party in New York and remembered: “We stood up for racial equality and provided breakfast to school children and countless other basic needs actions in the community. Those deeds provided me with the principles by which I live to this very day.”
While Rodgers acknowledged that his music career had broken down many barriers for him, he pointedly noted, “[M]y micro-discrimination encounters in everyday life remind me that racism’s ugly by-products are still here.”