$1 Million In Media To Be Granted To Organizations Working To Positively Impact Social And Racial Justice
UNCF Named The First Grant Recipient
New York – December 1, 2020 – iHeartMedia, the number one audio company in America, today announced the launch of iHeartRadio Communities Spotlight Media Grant Program, an all-new initiative to support organizations that are making a positive impact within the communities iHeart serves and to use iHeart’s multi-platform media network to deliver messaging that is timely, relevant and hyper-targeted to most effectively serve impacted communities.
The inaugural Spotlight Grants will provide a nationwide platform for Black-focused community organizations to inspire, educate and empower listeners to take a stand against systemic racism and promote social justice; celebrate Black excellence, achievement and culture; help members of the Black community express themselves and address the unique needs of their communities; and invest in educational programs and individuals that are inspiring the next generation of Black journalists and leaders.
To mark the launch of the grant program, long-time partner UNCF, an organization that helps fund 37 private historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs), has been named the first partner and will receive a minimum media grant of $350,000 to be used through the end of the year.
The all-new PSA will begin airing today through the end of the year across all iHeartMedia radio stations and will bring attention to the many social, financial, educational and mental health challenges the COVID-19 pandemic has caused to communities of color and the threat to America’s progress for a more equitable society. UNCF is asking listeners to donate $10 online at UNCF.org/donate to help HBCU students who had to withdraw from school because of COVID-19 challenges get back to college in the spring. Additionally, iHeart will again host UNCF President and CEO Dr. Michael L. Lomax as a guest on the iHeartRadio Communities public affairs show in the coming weeks.
“iHeart strongly believes in the mission of UNCF and the importance of investing in an equitable and just society and we will continue to work with them into the future,” said Bob Pittman, Chairman and CEO of iHeartMedia. “The iHeartRadio Communities Spotlight Media Grant Program is an opportunity at a critical moment in history to share the work and messages of organizations like UNCF and bring them to the largest possible audience.”
“We thank iHeart for this investment in a vital component of better futures for us all—our institutions and students,” said Dr. Michael L. Lomax, president and CEO, UNCF. “Getting our message out and making people aware of how we work tirelessly to support HBCUs and the Black community is vital. Partners like iHeart make our work at UNCF possible, and we are grateful for this support. As UNCF enters its 76th year, our mission is critical now, more than ever, as we work to ensure that students get back to college and that their futures – as leaders, professionals, and responders to the next pandemic – are secured.”
Most recently, iHeart has worked closely with leading civil right organizations including the NAACP and National Urban League to invest in ensuring Black voter participation in the 2020 presidential election and to advocate for the importance of minority education and college readiness as well as explore the deep cultural influence of HBCUs. In addition to the media grant, iHeart will continue to work with UNCF and other organizations to ensure their messages and missions are heard beyond these campaigns.
Future iHeartRadio Communities Spotlight Media Grant PSAs will address individual issue areas ranging from minority education to mental health to food insecurity and the many long-term impacts of COVID-19 on our country, and will spotlight critical issues facing all of our listeners and provide a platform to explore the issues that matter most to them both locally and nationally.
In 2019, iHeart contributed over $355 million in media to thousands of national and local organizations and the iHeartRadio Communities Spotlight Media Grant Program is an extension of that commitment. The program is designed to explore the many facets of timely issues like social justice and racism facing our country and offer multiple outlets for action.