Following its monthlong celebration of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU), iHeartMedia launches the “iHeartRadio Communities Spotlight Media Grant Program,” an all-new initiative to support organizations that are making a positive impact on their communities.
To mark the launch of the grant program, long-time partner UNCF, an organization that helps fund 37 private HBCUs, has been named the first recipient and will receive a minimum media grant of $350,000 to be used through the end of the year.
The broadcaster says its 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.”
The PSAs will air through the end of the year on iHeartMedia radio stations in an effort to bring attention to the social, financial, educational and mental health challenges the pandemic has caused for communities of color. 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, iHeartMedia 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,” Chairman/CEO Bob Pittman said in a release. “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.”
Lomax added, “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.”
Future “iHeartRadio Communities Spotlight Media Grant” PSAs will address issues ranging from minority education to mental health to food insecurity and the many long-term impacts of COVID-19 in the U.S.