The Shawn Carter Foundation, co-founded in 2003 by Jay-Z and his mother, Gloria Carter, hosted a black-tie gala in New York City on Friday (July 14), raising $20 million that will be used to help people facing socioeconomic hardships further their education at postsecondary institutions.
The fundraising included a $10 million legacy donation to the foundation from Jeff Bezos and Lauren Sanchez. Jack Dorsey donated an additional $2 million as part of his annual contribution.
The organization’s Friday night gala at Pier Sixty celebrated the 20th anniversary of The Shawn Carter Foundation and welcomed a number of high-profile guests in music, sports, business and entertainment.
Jay-Z and Ms. Carter were of course in attendance, as was Beyoncé, who shared a series of photos from the evening on Instagram. See her first post featuring pictures of her dramatic gown here, and a video montage from the gala, which she hilariously set to the “My Husband” remix that went viral on TikTok. (“I am on to see my husband. I’m happy, I’m happy, to see my husband,” Beyoncé says in the audio clip.)
Guests included music artists DJ Khaled, Lil Uzi Vert, Meek Mill, Babyface, Miguel, Tinashe, A$AP Ferg and Saint Jhn. New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, and Fanatics founder Michael Rubin were also in attendance, as well as Regina Hall, Chazz Palminteri, Robinson Cano, Dez Bryant, Angie Martinez, Corey Gamble, Tamika Mallory, Zane Lowe, Ebro Darden and more.
The Shawn Carter Foundation has provided college scholarships, study abroad opportunities, wealth building programs and more for underserved youth and families from disenfranchised communities.
Before the gala, The Shawn Carter Foundation and Robert Kraft’s Foundation to Combat Antisemitism announced a partnership and teamed up to contribute $1 million toward stopping nationwide book bans and protecting educational freedom. Fanatics and Live Nation contributed an additional $500,000 each to this initiative, which will provide book donations, legal support, marketing assistance, publishing help and additional resources to protect creatives and institutions harmed by the nationwide book ban.