Can He Live? The Charity Work of Shawn “JAY Z” Carter
Every few months the general public and media seem to debate Jay Z’s dedication to charity work. Personally Hov channels the great Jewish philosopher Maimonides, who constructed the “Eight Levels of Charity.” He believed the highest form of giving is anonymous-to-anonymous, which equates to a completely self-less offering. Hov in heavily invested in this idea and chooses to conduct his charity work privately and efficiently. But for those still wondering, here is a list of Shawn Carter’s charity work that has been made public:
Every year from 1997 to 2004 Jay-Z hosted the “Jay-Z Santa Claus Toy Drive,” where he travels back to the Marcy Projects on Christmas Day with his family to donate presents to the children living there. The Shawn Carter Scholarship Fund now assumes the role of handing out the gifts. Jay also provides for Thanksgiving turkey drives in his hometown borough of Bedford–Stuyvesant every year.
Jay-Z employs hundreds of people at his various companies, and he always endeavors to employ under-privileged young black women and men who are most in need of employment.
April 1999 - Jay-Z donated his proceeds from the Denver stop of the “Hard Knock Life Tour” to help the families of the victims of the Columbine tragedy: “We decided to donate the proceeds from this show as soon as we saw the date on the schedule. We’ve known first hand how pointless and senseless violence always is, and we wanted to show our support in a real way.”
July 2000 - Participated in a program teaching young consumers the reward of investing in the stock market. As part of the three-month program Jay donated $10,000 to his former high school, the George Westinghouse Career and Technical Education High School.
August 2000 – Hosted, commentated, and made a donation at a charity basketball game that benefited the Boys Harbor summer camp and T.H.A.N.K.U. (The Hillcrest Avenue Neighborhood Kids Union).
2001 – Jay-Z and Roc-A-Fella Records formed “Team Roc,” a charity organization affiliated with the New York Mission Society that created basketball leagues for at-risk youth.
September 2001 –
As well as a $45,000 personal donation from Jay to each charity, Roc-A-Fella Records donated a portion of each “The Blueprint Lounge Tour” concert ticket sold to the American Red Cross, WQHT New York’s “Hip-Hop Has Heart Foundation” and the New York Fire Department, who were working to support survivors and the families of the victims of the 9/11 tragedy. There was also a specially designed Rocawear shirt sold during the tour and in-stores that benefited those organizations.
October 2001 - Performed at “The Concert for New York City,” a benefit concert for victims of the 9/11 tragedy. Hov also donated unique memorabilia that was later auctioned off to support the Robin Hood Foundation.
November 2001 –Hosted and performed at the “Jay-Z’s Thanksgiving Give Back Concerts” in New York. Proceeds went to the “Team Roc” organization.
March 2002 - Headlined and donated to the “Urban Aid 2″ benefit concert in support of Russell Simmons’ charity that raises funds awareness for HIV prevention initiatives.
December 2002 – Jay-Z surprised a group of youth who were a part of the New York Knicks reading program for inner-city kids. He joined them in class for the day and read to them.
2003 - Formed the Shawn Carter Scholarship Foundation with his mother Gloria Carter. They founded the charity on the belief that any motivated individual in need should have the opportunity to further his or her education. Since its formation the Foundation has donated over $10 million to more than 750 students who would have otherwise not been able to afford a college education.
2003 - Since the first branch opened in 2003, each The 40/40 Club has ensured that a percentage of profits is given to music and sport charities in deprived communities. The club also gives first option on jobs to unemployed young people.
April 2003 - Was honored by The Foundation for Ethnic Understanding for his work in improving Black–Jewish relations.
October 2003 - Jay’s partnership with the Heineken Music Initiative had the Dutch brewers donation portions of their Red Star Sounds Present Def Jamaica dancehall project to the Shawn Carter Scholarship Foundation.
November 2003 - All proceeds from his legendary “Fade to Black” concert went to various charities, including the Shawn Carter Scholarship Foundation and the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network. During the show he donated $25,000 to the mothers of Biggie and Tupac to be used for their charitable efforts.
May 2004 – Jay-Z hosted a charity luncheon for the Golden Gloves Foundation, and along with “Team Roc” he formed a scholarship program for underprivileged youth who have boxing potential.
July 2004 – Enlisted Beyoncé, Tyra Banks, Queen Latifah, Kanye West, and more to design a pair of Reebok “S. Carter II” shoes to be auctioned off. All proceeds went to the Shawn Carter Scholarship Foundation and Jay matched the donations.
September 2005 - He donated $1 million to the American Red Cross’ relief effort after the devastating Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans. Hov also put in personal calls to his famous friends to encourage them to donate, and appeared on the BET telethon for Hurricane Katrina to appeal to the general public.
2006 - Sent more than $2,500 worth of designer street wear to the Campaign for Adolescent and University Student Empowerment, a foundation that supports the low-income area of Spring Hill in DeLand, Orlando.
2006 - Funded and co-produced the documentary film Black Sorority Project: The Exodus. The film told the story of 22 female students at Howard University who defied barriers of race and gender to join the women’s suffrage movement and form a new sorority, Delta Sigma Theta, which is still known as one of the nation’s most formidable women’s organizations.
August 2006 - Met with United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan at the organization’s headquarters in New York. He joined forces with the United Nations and together they planned to help fight the global water crisis. He set out on his “Water for Life Tour,” travelling all over the world filming the documentary “Diary of Jay-Z: Water for Life.” He installed pumps and water sewage solutions in impoverished villages all over Africa.
August 2006 – Jay-Z personally-pledged $400,000 to PlayPump International for the installation of water pumps in malnourished villages in Africa.
November 2006 – Performed a concert in New York city for his “Water for Life” program with the UN. The concert raised almost $300,000 for PlayPump International.
November 2006 - Appeared alongside Russell Simmons in a public service announcement for the
Foundation for Ethnic Understanding,
condemning anti-semitism and all other forms of racism.
November 2006 – Hosted and played in a charity poker game. $403,862 in proceeds went to the Shawn Carter Scholarship Foundation and AROD Family Foundation.
May 2008 - Established an educational trust for the two children of Sean Bell, the unarmed man shot and killed by the police in November 2006 on the day he was to be married. Jay-Z also made sure Bell’s fiancée, Nicole Paultre Bell, was taken care of, and hired her to appear in Rocawear’s ‘I Will Not Lose’ advertising campaign.
June 2008 - Designed a pair of wellington Hunter Boots during his time at the “Glastonbury Music Festival” to be sold at auction. Proceeds from the auction went to WaterAid to raise much need funds for their work in Madagascar improving access to safe water, hygiene and sanitation
June 2008 – Donated to the Robin Hood Foundation’s annual fundraising drive. The foundation’s proceeds support 240 poverty-fighting programs in New York City.
August 2008 - Performed at the “Africa Rising Music Festival” to raised money for Africa Rising, an organization established in 2006 to reflect the culture and positive attributes of Africa’s social, political, and economic progress.
December 2008 - Designed an “I/denti/tee” shirt in collaboration with Bono for Bono’s charity EDUN LIVE, which works to improve the skills of their clothing workers and aims to foster trade in Africa by ensuring all of its products are 100% African, from “grower to sewer.”
February 2009 – Formed the charity Two Kings with LeBron James. They donated over 150 musical instruments to the Mesa Arts Academy in Mesa, Arizona.
April 2009 - Jay-Z donated $25,000 to the Mary J. Blige and Steve Stoute Foundation for the Advancement of Women Now.
September 2009 – Organized the benefit concert “Answer the Call,” which benefited the New York Police & Fire Widows’ and Children’s Benefit Fund. The concert raised $750,000.
January 2010 – Recorded “Stranded (Haiti Mon Amour)” with Bono, Rihanna, and The Edge. They performed the song during the Hope foe Haiti Now live charity telethon. Proceeds from the sale of the song supported rebuilding in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake.
February 2010 – Donated a signed Gibson guitar to a charity auction for the Artists for Peace and Justice Foundation.
February 2010 – Jay-Z and LeBron James’ Two Kings charity conducted a counseling and inspiration session for the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Dallas in Texas.
September 2010 - Performed at the Keep a Child Alive organization’s “Black Ball” to raise awareness and urgently needed funds to help children and families affected by HIV in Africa and India.
May 2010 – Donated and signed his 35-piece limited edition Audemars Piguet “Royal Oak Offshore Las Vegas Strip Tourbillon” timepiece
to the watchmakers “Time to Give” charity auction. The auction benefited the Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS organization, and Hov’s AP piece sold for $220,000. The event raised a total of $816,000 in proceeds.
August 2010 – Partnered with Nike to create five pairs of exclusive “All Black Everything” Air Force Ones, which were auctioned off to benefit the Shawn Carter Scholarship Foundation.
November 2010 – Donated and signed bottles of Armand de Brignac to be auctioned to benefit The Compound Foundation, which provides funds and equipment to build recording studios inside local group home centers.
New Years Eve 2010 – Auctioned VIP tickets to his and Coldplay’s headlining show at The Cosmopolitan Hotel in Las Vegas to benefit The Grammy Foundation.
February 2011 – Jay Z and LeBron James’ charity Two Kings provided funds to renovate over 100 public parks and gyms across America.
March 2011 – Raised $42,000 for the Stephen Gaynor School, a non-profit school for students with learning differences, by auctioning the chance to sit courtside with him at two New Jersey Nets vs. New York Knicks games.
June 2011 – Donated to auction a coveted internship at Roc Nation, with proceeds benefiting the Mary J. Blige and Steve Stoute Foundation for the Advancement of Women Now.
September 2011 - Hosted a carnival-themed fundraiser at Pier 54 in New York for the Shawn Carter Scholarship Foundation. The event raised over $1 million in proceeds.
October 2011 - Lent his voice talents to the premiere episode of Warren Buffet’s animated children’s series Secret Millionaires Club. The show empowers kids by helping them understand the world they live in, teaching them about the impact their decisions have on their own lives and encouraging them to have the confidence to be the best they can be.
January 2012 – Jay Z and Beyoncé
donated a large portion of the gifts given to them upon the birth of Blue Ivy Carter to charities that could pass them on to those less fortunate.
February 2012 - Jay performed two charity concerts at Carnegie Hall to benefit the United Way of New York City organization and the Shawn Carter Scholarship Foundation.
February 2012 – Jay donated $25,000 to the Whitney Houston Memorial Foundation in the wake of her untimely death.
March 2012 - Donated the Maybach 57 used in his and Kanye West’s “Otis” video to auction, where proceeds went to Save the Children’s relief efforts for the East Africa Drought Disaster of 2011.
September 2012 – Executive-produced and funded the release of Shola Lynch’s independent documentary Free Angela & All Political Prisoners.
October 2012 - Jay auctioned ten limited-edition signed Brooklyn Nets “Carter #4″ jerseys on eBay. Over $15,000 worth of proceeds went to the Shawn Carter Scholarship Foundation.
September 2012 – Proceeds from Jay’s “Made in America” festival went to the United Way of Greater Philadelphiaand Southern New Jersey organization.
November 2012 – Donated to the Hurricane Sandy relief effort. He also purchased and donated generators to New York residents after they lost power during the hurricane.
July 2013 - Donated a large sum of money to the
Marina Abramović Institute. In 2015 she would publicly accuse him of not making the donation to her art foundation, but later had to apologize as records show he had indeed donated.
September 2013 – Donated to the Made in Africa Foundation and helped launch the Africa50 campaign, which aims to lift 200 million Africans out of poverty.
October 2013 – Jay releases a holiday collection with New York department store Barneys. After racial profiling issues arose within the store Jay ensured that 100% of the profits would be donated to his Shawn Carter Scholarship Foundation. Proceeds topped $1 million.
2014 - Donated to and supported charities who demand and fight for justice for those discriminated against in the trans-community.
January 2014 - Performed at the invitation-only “DirecTV Superbowl Super Saturday” event, with proceeds benefiting the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation.
June 2014 – Jay Z and Beyoncé’s “On The Run Tour” donated $1 from every ticket purchased to the Shawn Carter Scholarship Foundation. A portion of the proceeds from each “Chase Lounge VIP Ticket Package” was also donated to the
Shawn Carter Scholarship Foundation.
August 2014 – Donated tens of thousands of dollars to pay the bail charges for hundreds of protesters who were arrested during the Ferguson protests held after a police officer killed Michael Brown.
August 2014 – Curated the line-up and performers for the Roc Nation
“Summer Classic Charity Basketball Tournament”
charity basketball game. The $1,040,000 in proceeds benefited the RC22 Foundation and the PitCCh-In Foundation.
September 2014 – Jay performed as the headliner for the Global Citizen Festival and made a substantial donation to the cause. The Global Citizen project aims to end extreme global poverty, as well as focusing on solving epidemics like Ebola, ending the HIV/AIDS crisis, and providing clean water.
December 2014 – Jay-Z paid for and hand-delivered “I CAN’T BREATHE” shirts to the Brooklyn Nets locker room to promote the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement on a national scale.
December 2014 - Met with the Governor of New York State Andrew Cuomo about doing a top to bottom review of the Criminal Justice system. Jay pushed them to discuss how everyone can work together to pass a reform package that ensures equality in the eyes of the law.
December/January 2015 - Jay and Beyoncé
paid for over 2,000 American troops stationed in Kuwait and Afghanistan to have the opportunity to watch their “On the Run Tour” film on New Year’s Eve. They filmed spots for the beginning of the screenings, speaking of their gratitude for our nation’s troops and military families.
April 2015 - Donated tens of thousands of dollars to pay the bail charges for hundreds of protesters who were arrested during the Baltimore protests after the death of Freddie Gray.
May 2015 – Donated to the Baltimore Justice Fund. TiDAL live-streamed Prince’s “Rally 4 Peace” concert, and the streaming service matched the donations made by the general public during the stream.
May 2015 - Visited Baltimore on Mother’s Day to attend Prince’s “Rally 4 Peace” concert, and backstage he met with Freddie Gray’s family in a visit closed to the press. Hov and Beyoncé
donated a large sum of money to the family to help them continue their journey for justice.
May 2015 – Jay’s longtime friend and collaborator dream hampton reveals that he has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to the “Black Lives Matter” campaign, helping to establish new chapters of the movement all over the country.
June 2015 - Supported Roc Nation Sports athlete Robinson Cano at his annual charity event “Canoche” in Seattle. Hov donated a signed bottle of Armand de Brignac, which sold at auction for $5,500. He also made a private contribution to Cano’s charity fund.
August 2015 - Jay Z signed and wrote lyrics on two used skateboards, donated by professional riders Paul Rodriguez and
Shane O’Neil, for the Tony Hawk Foundation’s “Boards + Bands” fundraising initiative.
September 2015 - As with every “Made in America”festival, Hov provides space free of charge to charity organizations in an area called the “Cause Village.”
October 2015 - Organised the TiDAL X: 10/20 charity concert. Enlisted his talented friends to donate their time and efforts and held a concert where 100% of the proceeds were matched by TiDAL and donated to charity.
The event raised $1,500,000, which was donated to the New World Foundation and Harry Belafonte’s Sankofa non-profit group. They in turn gave the proceeds to organizations dealing with income and racial inequality, childhood education, and strengthening relationships between local communities and law enforcement.
November 2015 - Donated $100,000 to Los Angeles’ White Memorial Medical Center’s cancer unit.
February 2016 - Attended the annual “amfAR Gala,” one of the most successful and high-profile AIDS benefit events. Entrance started at $5,000 per person, and went up to $80,000 for a table.
March/April 2016 - Aligned the Shawn Carter Scholarship Foundation with Ticketmaster, with a percentage of each ticket sold by the company during a five-week period going directly to underprivileged scholarship students. “By removing financial obstacles to higher education, a student can move from public housing to public office, from bus pass to passport, and from unemployment to undeniable.”
June 2016 - Roc Nation partnered with Brooklyn-founded STATE Bags to donate over 30,000 fully-stocked backpacks to communities involved with President Obama’s “My Brother’s Keeper” initiative. The bags reached children across thirty cities nationwide, with six cities receiving a mentor programme from a Roc Nation artist or athlete. Nearly 20% of school age children in the United States are living in poverty, with 6.5 million students missing a month or more of school each year.
July 2016 - Curated the line-up and performers for the second Roc Nation “Summer Classic Charity Basketball Tournament” in Brooklyn. All the proceeds from the event went to four different benefits including the PitCCh In Foundation, the RC22 Foundation, Fundacion El Angel de Miguel Cotto and Beyond Type 1.
September 2016 - Jay Z lent his writing talents and voice to the Molly Crabapple-drawn “The War on Drugs is an Epic Fail” short film. His friend dream hampton had approached the Drug Policy Alliance about collaborating with Revolve Impact, the social impact agency she works with. Hov soon came on board with the project to encourage everyone to stand on the right side of history.
September 2016 - As with every “Made in America”festival, Hov provides space free of charge to charity organizations in an area called the “Cause Village.”
November 2016 - Jay Z headlines the inaugural Global Citizen India festival in Mumbai, India. He made a substantial donation to the cause, as well as his time. The Global Citizen project aims to end extreme global poverty, as well as focusing on solving epidemics like Ebola, ending the HIV/AIDS crisis, and providing clean water to all.
March 2017 saw the premiere of the prison reform documentary series TIME: The Kalief Browder Story, of which Jay served as an executive producer. He participated in a discussion at the Sundance Film Festival and a town hall event in New York. Upcoming productions Hov has in the pipeline include a series on the lives of Emmett Till and Trayvon Martin, as well as an inequality-focused series with National Geographic channel titled RACE.
May 2017 - Jay’s Shawn Carter Scholarship Foundation partnered with eBay on a ten-day charity auction, where the belongings of celebrities and unique Roc Nation and TIDAL experiences were auctioned off. 100% of the proceeds went to the foundation’s educational programs and scholarship fund.
June 2017 - Hov wrote an op-ed for TIME magazine on the injustices facing people of color who are trapped within the corrupt bail system. In the piece he revealed he made donations to the Southerners on New Ground and Color of Change organizations to ensure 100 fathers would be bailed out for Father’s Day.
June 2017 - Jay wrote a guest column for the Hollywood Reporter to push for projects that demand social justice.“The power of one voice is strong, but when it comes to social justice, the power of our collective voices is unstoppable. Now is the time to recognize that through our voices we really can effect change. But social justice isn’t a political issue. It’s a human issue. It’s a story of empathy. When we are able to identify that we are all not perfect and have compassion for someone else, we can move forward as a society.”
September 2017 - As with every “Made in America”festival, Hov provides space free of charge to charity organizations in an area called the “Cause Village.” Hov also signed a “Made in America” freedom camo jacket, which was auctioned off through CharityBuzz to support the One America Appeal’s hurricane relief efforts.
September 2017 -
JAY-Z purchased a table at Rihanna’s “Diamond Ball” for his Roc Nation family, at a reported cost of $150,000. The event was held in support of the Roc Nation singer’s non-profit Clara Lionel Foundation, which benefits impoverished communities across the globe by supplying healthcare and education programs. In support of his little sister Jay donated and signed a $35,000 “Nebuchadnezzar” bottle of his Armand de Brignac Rosé champagne. It is one of the most rare bottle formats in the world, with its 15 liter contents equivalent to 20 standard bottles. The champagne sold for $75,000 during the live auction. During the benefit Hov also signed pairs of Rih’s Puma x FENTY “Creeper” sneakers to be auctioned off.
October 2017 - JAY-Z’s TIDAL streaming service will hold their third annual benefit concert on the 17th. 100% of the ticket sales and donations through the donation page on the TIDAL website will be donated to natural disaster relief efforts in Puerto Rico, Mexico, Houston and the Caribbean.
October 2017 - TIDAL and Roc Nation, in conjunction with New York State, are helping Fat Joe with relief efforts in his home nation by chartering multiple planes to deliver supplies to the disaster-stricken Puerto Rico. They had hoped to collect 200,000 pounds in donations, but amazingly ended up with two million pounds.