Through her charity, the Clara Lionel Foundation, Rihanna has donated US$15m to the climate justice movement. The donations are split between 18 organisations across the USA and Caribbean.
Rihanna started the Clara Lionel Foundation in 2012 in honour of her grandparents, Clara and Lionel Braithwaite. Over the last decade, the foundation has donated many millions of dollars to disaster relief, medical institutions, HIV/AIDS support and child education.
The CLF’s $15m climate justice funding is directed at entities focused on and led by women, youth, Black, Indigenous, people of colour and LGBTQIA+ communities. In a statement, the CLF explained what influenced its decision making: “We must not only reimagine our reactive approach to climate disasters but support those most equipped to address climate justice.”
Climate justice has become the CLF’s primary focus in recent years. The CLF defines its work as being centred on two core pillars: climate resilience and justice. The former “supports communities before climate-related natural disasters strike.” The latter “supports the climate justice movement – the grassroots communities, leaders and organizations on the frontlines of the urgent fight to build new, more equitable systems.”
In February 2020, Rihanna was awarded the NAACP’s President’s Award for her business and public service achievements. In March 2020, Fast Company named the CLF one of the world’s most innovative not-for-profit companies.