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As long as there are children living in poverty and facing inequity, every day is Red Nose Day

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Comic Relief US Launches Youth Empowerment as a New Pillar of Red Nose Day Grantmaking

Portfolio launches with initial investment of $1.6 million; New grants align with organization's deepening focus on investments in communities of color

Press Release

New York, NY (May 10, 2021) - Comic Relief US has announced a new grantmaking focus for its Red Nose Day Fund: youth empowerment. The pillar will support programs that expand economic opportunity for low-income youth and provide support for a new generation of young leaders to engage in social change.

The organization kicked off this work with $1.6 million in initial investment from its Red Nose Day campaign, committed to a range of innovative partners working across the US and around the world. Grants within the Red Nose Day empowerment pillar focus on leadership development and economic mobility for young people, with investments in job training, job placement and microenterprise. Empowerment is a priority of Comic Relief US’s grantmaking to foster sustainable change and help break the cycle of intergenerational poverty.

Red Nose Day Empowerment Grantee Partners receiving initial investment include:

  • Echoing Green: supporting BIPOC-led social entrepreneurship and economic opportunity programs serving low-income youth in the US;

  • EMpower: advancing inclusivity-focused jobs training, learning and economic mobility for girls in under-resourced communities in urban India;

  • Grantmakers for Girls of Color: fueling economic empowerment and workforce development programs for girls, femme identifying and gender-expansive youth in the US;

  • Hispanics in Philanthropy (HIP): offering support, training and seed investments to young Latinx entrepreneurs in the US;

  • West Africa Vocational Education (WAVE): providing job training and job placement for unemployed and underemployed youth in Nigeria; and more.

The majority of recent grants within the new empowered pillar support organizations led by people of color, in alignment with Comic Relief US’s deepened focus on racial equity and centering the voices of communities most impacted by poverty within its grantmaking. This strategy is in recognition of the need for greater philanthropic investment in BIPOC-led organizations and the deepening inequities facing communities of color, who have been disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 crisis.

"We believe in the power of youth to change their lives, communities and the wider world, and that every young person should be equipped with the necessary skills, opportunities and confidence to do so," said Alison Moore, CEO of Comic Relief US. "The addition of empowerment as a core pillar of our grantmaking reflects our wider organizational commitment to programs that break the cycle of poverty, and we are thrilled to be partnering with organizations doing powerful work in this space."

"Young people have always been at the forefront of social change throughout history, and we need their courage, leadership and creativity more than ever," said Lorelei Williams, SVP Grants Programs at Comic Relief US. "While empowering young people has always been an element in our historic grantmaking, the launch of our new empowered pillar ensures investments in these programs will be an even greater priority, giving young people we serve the power and opportunity to shape a more just and equitable future."

"Grantmakers for Girls of Color invests in organizations that center the wisdom and guidance of girls and gender-expansive youth of color in their core mission and in their daily work. This support from Comic Relief US will allow us to deepen our support for organizations that create pathways for increased economic opportunity for girls of color and those who are dismantling structural barriers created by economic inequality,” said Dr. Monique Morris, President and CEO, Grantmakers for Girls of Color. "We are grateful to Comic Relief US for helping us advance our mission to invest in a world where girls and gender-expansive youth of color are healthy, safe and thriving."

"We know that girls and young women in urban areas of India have been profoundly impacted by the pandemic — with their access to school and jobs severely restricted," said Dr. Nisha Dhawan, EMpower's Country Director for India. "This support will be essential in enabling girls to learn new skills and adapt to a completely new economic environment."

To date, the Red Nose Day campaign has raised over $240 million to help address the immediate needs of children facing poverty and foster long term change, with funds positively impacting more than 25 million children in communities across all 50 states, DC and Puerto Rico and over 30 countries around the world.

About Red Nose Day

Red Nose Day USA is a fundraising campaign run by the non-profit organization Comic Relief US, a registered U.S. 501(c)(3). Red Nose Day started in the U.K. in 1988, built on the foundation that the power of entertainment can drive positive change. To date, it has raised over $1 billion globally. Since its US launch in 2015, Red Nose Day has raised over $240 million to positively impact over 25 million children in the US and around the world. Money raised supports programs that ensure the children who need it most are safe, healthy, educated and empowered. For more information about Red Nose Day USA and its impact, visit www.rednoseday.org. Follow @RedNoseDayUSA on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

About Comic Relief US

Comic Relief US, also known as Comic Relief, Inc., is a registered U.S. 501(c)(3) public charity. It harnesses the power of entertainment to drive positive change with the vision to create a just world free from poverty and help those who need it most in the U.S. and around the world. Campaigns include Red Nose Day and Hand in Hand: A Benefit for Hurricane Relief. For more information about Comic Relief US and its impact, visit www.comicrelief.org. Follow @ComicReliefUS on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.