Athlete and mogul Serena Williams has continually used her platform as an avenue to uplift underrepresented groups and spread awareness about issues impacting marginalized communities. According to Black Enterprise, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the tennis star is putting the focus on supporting Black-owned businesses that have been significantly impacted by the public health crisis.
Through her jewelry company—dubbed Serena Williams Jewelry—Williams is donating the proceeds from the line’s Unstoppable capsule collection to the Opportunity Fund’s Small Business Relief Fund which was created to provide financial support for Black-owned businesses. The collection features an array of sterling silver pieces that include design aspects symbolic to unity and strength. “I am so excited about the @serenawilliamsjewelry UNSTOPPABLE capsule collection,” Williams posted on Instagram. “It represents serenity and unity and is a reminder that your optimism and strength are unstoppable.” Proceeds from the jewelry will be donated to the relief fund through August 5.
There have been several efforts made to rally around Black-owned businesses in the midst of uncertain times. Songstress Beyoncé recently teamed up with the NAACP for the creation of a grant campaign dubbed the Black-Owned Small Business Impact Fund. $10,000 grants will be awarded to Black-owned businesses in Houston, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Minneapolis and New York that are on the verge of shuttering due to the public health crisis. “The challenges of Black business owners navigating in the climate cannot be understated, as the effects of uprisings across the nation have led to many businesses being placed in dire straits due to damages and other small business needs,” read a statement released by the NAACP.
A study conducted by the University of California at Santa Cruz revealed that 440,000 Black-owned businesses closed their doors for good due to the pandemic.