Activist and former NFL player Colin Kaepernick has continually used his platform to spread awareness about the injustices experienced by communities of color and he is pushing his efforts further amid the COVID-19 pandemic. According to CNN, Kaepernick has donated $100,000 to a coronavirus relief fund created to help Black and Latinx communities impacted by the public health crisis.
The fund is a part of Kaepernick’s Know Your Rights Camp campaign; a movement designed to advance the liberation of Black and brown communities through education-focused, self-empowerment initiatives. The money will go towards combating food insecurity in underserved communities, providing shelter for those in need, distributing personal protective equipment and working to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus within correctional facilities. Over $160,000 has been raised for the relief effort.
Kaepernick wants to address the racial disparities that are intertwined with the spread of the virus. “Black and brown communities are being disproportionately devastated by COVID-19 because of hundreds of years of structural racism,” he said in a video. “That’s why we’ve established the “Know Your Rights” Camp COVID-19 Relief Fund to help address these issues.”
Many influential individuals in sports and entertainment are leading initiatives to support the Black community during the pandemic. Actress Taraji P. Henson’s organization, the Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation, is providing free mental health services for the Black community. The project, dubbed COVID-19 Free Virtual Therapy Campaign, aligns individuals with culturally competent therapists and covers the costs for up to five virtual therapy sessions. It was created to eliminate the socio-economic barriers surrounding seeking help for emotional and psychological trauma. “This campaign is for underserved communities experiencing life-changing events related to or triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Henson. “In the African American community, we’ve been taught to tough it out; hide our suffering. This is something none of us have ever experienced and no one should suffer in silence.”