The Shawn Carter Foundation and Robert Kraft’s Foundation Launch Partnership to Combat Nationwide Book Ban


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The Shawn Carter Foundation and Robert Kraft’s Foundation to Combat Antisemitism launched their joint initiative to combat the nationwide book ban and safeguard educational freedom, pledging an initial $2 million fund. The partnership, announced last week, aims to preserve culture, diversify thought, and protect centers of knowledge and creativity nationwide, working together to halt the spread of hate and prevent history from repeating itself.

Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) will be a significant beneficiary of this collaboration, receiving $1.5 million to bolster its operations and support the Books Unbanned initiative. This nationwide campaign is dedicated to providing unrestricted access to books for young people, promoting free exchange of ideas.

The donation will enhance various BPL programs, including teen and children’s initiatives, justice programs, support for small businesses and entrepreneurs, bridging the digital divide, and combating censorship.

Additionally, the generous support will boost attendance at BPL, especially with the recent opening of The Book of HOV exhibit honoring Shawn “JAY-Z” Carter’s life and legacy, drawing nearly 15,000 visitors during the opening weekend alone.

The collaboration comes as a response to the alarming rise in hate crimes and book bans, with 1,586 books banned in U.S. schools during the 2021–2022 academic year, 22% of which addressed issues of race and racism. The history of Nazi Germany, where books were burned and knowledge suppressed, serves as a grim reminder of the consequences of such actions. The foundations’ united efforts stand firm in the fight against hate, ensuring history’s dark chapters are never repeated.


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