THE BREAKFAST CLUB
By Jack Barnes
iHeartMedia’s The Breakfast Club, hosted by Charlamagne Tha God, Angela Yee and DJ Envy, held an all-day Change 4 Change radiothon, which raised over $700,000 for The Gathering for Justice, a nonprofit founded by Harry Belafonte to end child incarceration.
Hip hop’s legendary giants were among the day’s biggest donors, including Diddy, DJ Khaled, Ludacris, Fat Joe, Remy Ma, Talib Kweli, Joe Budden and others. will.i.am kicked off the day with the first $50,000 donation, and Eminem closed out the day with the largest donation of $150,000 from the Marshall Mathers Foundation. Other celebrity donors included La La Anthony, Elvis Duran, Jussie Smollett, Cardi B, Nick Cannon, Kevin Hart – and all 3 hosts of The Breakfast Club. The radiothon ended at midnight but the Change 4 Change campaign will continue to accept donations until December 1st, 2017.
The Gathering for Justice was founded in 2005 by legendary singer and activist Harry Belafonte after he witnessed news reports of a 5-year-old black girl being handcuffed and arrested for “being unruly” in a Florida school. The mission of The Gathering for Justice is to build a movement to end child incarceration while working to eliminate the racial inequities in the criminal justice system that enliven mass incarceration.
Over the past decade, The Gathering for Justice has been instrumental in building movement leaders grounded in the ideology of nonviolent resistance and collective power pioneered by Dr. King, while serving as a catalyst for a number of other groups on the frontlines of fighting oppression and injustice, including Justice League NYC, Women’s March, Dream Defenders, and others. Justice League NYC, a rapid response task force, has organized several large-scale protests against police brutality, including getting Brooklyn Nets players to warm up in “I Can’t Breathe” t-shirts in 2014 while protesters outside the Barclay’s Center called for justice for Eric Garner, and leading nearly 100 marchers over 250 miles on foot, from Staten Island, NY to Washington, D.C. to deliver to Congress three pieces of legislation to reform the criminal justice system. In addition to planning the second Growing Up Locked Down, a solutions-based conference on ending mass incarceration, in 2016, Justice League NYC also: led vital campaigns to “Raise The Age” of criminal responsibility at which young people are incarcerated in adult prisons, helped in the release of wrongfully incarcerated teenager Pedro Hernandez, combatted Islamophobia, supported the families of victims of police brutality and systemic racism in law enforcement, and combatted gun violence and gun proliferation.
Last year, The Gathering for Justice also put resources into incubating an effort known as the Women’s March on Washington, which would become the largest single-day protest in U.S. history, drawing 1.2 million to D.C. and over 5 million people globally in a show of solidarity for women’s rights as human rights.
With the funding raised yesterday, The Gathering for Justice looks forward to many more campaigns and victories. The nonprofit is a fiscal sponsor of Colin Kaepernick’s Know Your Rights camps, aimed at educating and empowering young black and brown youth, which will launch in cities across the U.S. in 2018. Justice League NYC is launching a national campaign to End the War on Children, focused on systemic change to stop the school-to-prison pipeline. And Justice League CA, inspired by the 2016 effort to bring the Growing Up Locked Down conference to Oxnard, CA, will officially launch with a slate of national and state goals. Justice League NYC will also continue to host Revolutionary Reelz, an educational film screening series, and organize panels and townhalls that bring stakeholders together, center the voices of impacted people and focus on solutions. The daily work of The Gathering for Justice, which includes bringing mentors into prisons and juvenile facilities and supporting the communities suffering from mass incarceration, will be expanded with the increased funding.
Carmen Perez, the Executive Director of The Gathering for Justice, co-founder of Justice League NYC and national co-chair of the Women’s March, reacted to the Change for Change fundraising success by saying, “For years, we have done this work without the funding we truly needed, but with a commitment to making miracles happen with limited resources. The Breakfast Club team has always been generous with their time on air, inviting us to the show many times over the years to talk about the initiatives we work on and they have seen the labor and the sacrifices that make it all possible. I am beyond grateful to Charlamagne, Angela Yee, and DJ Envy for donating and for staying on air all day long, to Power 105.1 and iHeartMedia for holding the Change 4 Change radiothon, and I am overwhelmed by the generosity of all our donors, including all the listeners who donated whatever amount they could. We look forward to sharing news of the many programs that will be expanded and started with this incredible funding, helping us continue to achieve the vision and honor the legacy of our founder and my mentor Harry Belafonte. Thank you to the Breakfast Club for making so much more possible!”
About the Breakfast Club:
The Breakfast Club is a four and a half hour morning show featuring DJ Envy, Angela Yee and Charlamagne Tha God’s unrivaled interviews with celebrities and recording artists. From megastars like Kevin Hart, Justin Timberlake, Jennifer Lopez and Arnold Schwarzenegger to rap icons such as Jay-Z, Kanye West and Nicki Minaj, every guest visiting The Breakfast Club is grilled with their signature blend of honesty, wit and humor. The results are the best interviews to be found on radio and digital. The Breakfast Club originates from the legendary Power 105.1/WWPR-FM in New York and can be heard in markets such as Houston, Atlanta, Miami, Detroit and Boston.
About The Gathering for Justice & Justice League NYC:
Founded in 2005 by Harry Belafonte and led since 2010 by Executive Director Carmen Perez, The Gathering for Justice utilizes Kingian nonviolence as a social application for systemic change and civic engagement. An initiative of The Gathering for Justice, Justice League NYC is a task force of juvenile and criminal justice experts, advocates, artists and formerly incarcerated individuals which has led policy initiatives for police accountability; bringing individuals and groups together from diverse communities to organize as a ‘family coalition’ in order to capitalize on our combined power and build the agenda for sustained black and brown liberation; being the catalyst for the re-introduction of federal legislation to end racial profiling and stop the militarization of law enforcement; engaging a serious and sustained effort for Raise the Age in NY State; and creating a blueprint – in the form of a substantive list of demands – for criminal justice redress and accountability for New York City and State.
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