The ESSENCE Unstoppable Collective™, a $100 million public-private-NGO partnership, is an equity and justice benefit initiative for sustained change. While short-term relief efforts and emergency funding have helped bridge immediate needs through recent challenges, addressing the root issues of economic inequities and systemic injustice in new ways with new action is required for the long-term sustainability of Black and Brown communities. Thus, through unprecedented alliances with city, corporate and non-profit partners and via public donations, the ESSENCE Unstoppable Collective will raise funds through the New Voices Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization guided by its PACE (Purpose.Access.Capital.Expertise) model, to support and impact four key pillars driving racial equity in America – economic parity, health equity, education equality and equal justice.
The ESSENCE Unstoppable Collective™ will raise $100 million, supported by strategic partnerships, inspiring virtual content, purposeful recognition and celebration platforms, and influencer and celebrity ambassadors. Funds raised will enable Black and Brown entrepreneurs, non-profits, and small businesses to access critical resources such as grants, low-cost loans, coaching, training, accelerator programs and other opportunities to position them to thrive. Funds will also support virtual marketplaces and jobs platforms for Black and Brown communities. By working to strengthen frail economic ecosystems via the tenets of entrepreneurship and wealth creation, we can ensure that our communities are better equipped to Recover. Sustain. Thrive.DONATE NOW!
About the ESSENCE Unstoppable Coalition
ESSENCE cannot do this alone. Solving systemic inequalities and injustices that have caused generations of Black and Brown Americans to become disenfranchised is not a simple, solo mission. It will take a coalition of thought-leaders, practitioners and change agents to affect a global shift in equity and inclusion for all communities. The ESSENCE Unstoppable Collective™ was birthed out of the need to address this urgent mission in ways that impact communities on both a localized level, and global scale.
Powered by the New Voices Foundation, the ESSENCE Unstoppable Collective is proud to include innovative cities, including New Orleans, Atlanta, Chicago, New York, San Francisco, and Washington D.C. Additional city, corporate and NGO partners will be announced soon.
Mayor LaToya Cantrell, City of New Orleans
“We are in the midst of the most pivotal and unprecedented time of this generation; the ongoing challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, systemic racism, and structural inequality are at our doorsteps calling for action. At a time where it could be easy to retreat, we continue to rise and mobilize as we always have. The Essence Festival of Culture has always been a reminder of the power, tenacity, and love generated by our people for our people. While we won’t be able to come together this July in the City of New Orleans, the virtual experience will allow us to celebrate and connect with one another across the globe at a time when we need it the most. The City of New Orleans and ESSENCE will partner in new ways at the virtual experience to launch the Unstoppable Collective and advance equity in our communities. We look forward to welcoming everyone back to the Crescent City for the 27th Essence Festival of Culture in 2021.”
Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, City of Atlanta
“The City of Atlanta is honored to be a public partner in the ESSENCE Unstoppable Collective to help address economic, health, and education inequality and systemic injustice, which continue to be some of the greatest challenges of our time,” said Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms. “Thank you to Essence for supporting the needs of our communities and investing in the city of Atlanta. Through this partnership we will continue to advocate for the betterment of future generations.”
Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot, City of Chicago
“Perhaps for the first time, Juneteenth falls during a global moment when all eyes are focused on the inequities that have persisted since June 19, 1865 - when the conditions and events of our present and past have amassed to the point that people are demanding true and lasting change to how society treats and embraces its Black Community. This hugely ambitious initiative is a bold, visionary and necessary effort to address the profound generational inequities that exist in every city across the country, and we are proud to join forces with Essence and others to raise every voice, and create meaningful and equitable opportunities for Black people.”
Mayor Bill de Blasio, City of New York
“It’s critical that we continue to combat systemic inequity - and Essence is a leader in that fight. Their partnership will help us continue to deliver support for small businesses and Minority and Women-Owned Businesses. When our neighborhood stores thrive, our communities do too.”
Unstoppable Collective Programs
The ESSENCE Unstoppable Collective™ will customize impact programs under each pillar, including recovery and sustainability efforts focused on funding for businesses left out of the federal government’s CARES Act/PPP; resources for essential workers; entrepreneur training and other programs; job placement and readiness services; food security; mental health programs; tools addressing disparities in healthcare delivery; education access; organizations supporting racial equity and inclusion; and more.