Visa sponsors first-ever virtual event as part of the company’s commitment to racial equity and support for small businesses

Today, Columbia Records announces their collaboration with the National Urban League, Community Concert & Conversation. Sponsored by Visa, Community Concert & Conversation is a unique platform that was created to advocate for the economic and social justice of Black Americans and other minority communities and to raise awareness of the disproportionate rate at which COVID-19 continues to impact these communities, especially the impact on small businesses. The ultimate goal is to set the path for change in the wake of the social injustices our nation is facing and to raise attention to supporting local communities, with a focus on small businesses. This event builds on Columbia Record’s existing social justice initiatives to foster equal rights and take action against discrimination everywhere and emphasizes their commitment to developing meaningful and strategic partnerships. 

Hosted by Yvonne Orji, Community Concert & Conversation will feature thought leaders speaking with artists about the state of our community as well as performances and appearances from Nelly, StaySolidRocky, 24kGoldn, Rileyy Lanez, Cochise and more. The event is set to stream live on Columbia Record’s YouTube page on Friday, September 25 at 8:30PM EST, with a call to action for viewers to donate to the National Urban League.

Community Concert & Conversation will also highlight the need to support Black entrepreneurs and small business recovery efforts in the wake of COVID-19. Visa’s support of this event is a continuation of its ongoing commitment for racial equity and small business resiliency. In June, Visa established and announced a $10 million investment in a Visa Black Scholars and Jobs Program, and double matched employees’ donations, up to $1 million, to racial justice organizations including the National Urban League. Visa also recently launched new grants to support Black women entrepreneurs through an ongoing partnership with IFundWomen. This builds on the Visa Foundation’s $200 million commitment this spring to support small and micro business recovery, with a focus on women’s economic advancement. 

“Columbia Records is a family — from our colleagues, to our artists, and their families. We are continuously striving for peace, harmony and equality across our endeavors as music plays an extraordinary role in healing and bringing people together,” said Jennifer Frommer, Senior Vice President, Brand Partnerships at Columbia Records. “We devised Community Concert & Conversation to not only elicit thoughtful and helpful conversation surrounding the impact of COVID 19 on the African American community, but to lean into Columbia Record’s legacy in supporting social change through music. We are grateful to our partners, The National Urban League and VISA for their brave support and vision.”

“Artists, particularly musical artists, have played a vital role in shaping social justice and civil rights since our nation’s founding,” said Marc H. Morial, President and CEO of the National Urban League. “We’re honored to join Sony and Columbia Records in upholding this distinguished legacy, and grateful to Visa for its ongoing support. We look forward to a dynamic and productive dialogue.”

“We are thrilled to be supporting such an important effort to spotlight the recovery and resiliency of the Black community, including entrepreneurs who continue to shoulder a greater impact from COVID-19,” said Mary Ann Reilly, Senior Vice President, Head of North American Marketing at Visa, Inc. “Visa is committed to authentic partnerships, uplifting small businesses everywhere, and utilizing our resources to support the communities where we live and do business.”

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