Ciara’s Rooted Uplifts Black Identity and Funds Girls of Color

For her new song “Rooted,” Grammy Award winner Ciara has partnered with the non-profit Grantmakers for Girls of Color (G4GC), which will receive a portion of the song’s proceeds. “Rooted,” featuring and co-written by producer/songwriter Ester Dean, is a follow up to their 2019 Black female anthem “Melanin,” and celebrates Black Lives Matter, Black women, Black history and culture, and pregnancy.

Photo Credit: Grantmakers For Girls of Color

Rooted” was released by Ciara’s company Beauty Marks Entertainment, which is dedicated to creating business opportunities for women at the intersection of music, tech and philanthropy. The song’s video was filmed just before Ciara gave birth to her third child, Win Wilson, and prominently features Ciara’s pregnant body. It was directed by African American photographer/artist/filmmaker Annie Bercy.

The song’s lyrics, excerpted below, are rooted in Black female pride:

Young girl stay rooted
I done plant my seeds now I’m rooted
Brown skin poppin’, I’m rooted
ATL bred, I’m rooted
Rooted, nappy head rooted

All my songs come with melanin
Got the heart, got the soul like Harriet
A queen since she born, that was evident
That’s evidence, of black excellence

Ciara’s Why Not You Foundation’s partnership with Grantmakers for Girls of Color (G4GC), a leading philanthropic organization dedicated to cultivating investments in support of girls of color (Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Asian and Pacific American) is a natural fit.

Photo Credit: Grantmakers For Girls of Color

Grantmakers for Girls of Color (G4GC) began in 2015 as a shared resource across philanthropy and received support from the NoVo Foundation, Foundation for a Just Society, Ms. Foundation for Women, The New York Women’s Foundation, and the Communities for Just Schools Fund. It is now an independent entity, fiscally-sponsored by Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors.

Related: Grantmakers for Girls of Color (G4GC) (Knowledgebase)

G4GC works on behalf of Black girls, fem(mes) and gender expansive youth of color, mobilizing philanthropic resources so that they can achieve equity and justice. In May, Grantmakers for Girls of Color launched the Love is Healing COVID-19 Response Fund, which awarded more than $1.5 million to 85 organizations across the country and provided economic, educational and physical and mental health support to girls of color hard hit by the COVID pandemic.

Related: Grantmakers for Girls of Color Gives One Million for COVID-19

Rather than attempt to hide her pregnancy, or discreetly allude to it, “Rooted” celebrates it. “I am blessed to be able to carry seeds of new life into this world,” said Ciara. “The foundation of love for my family and the pride for my culture has made me feel rooted in my life, and nothing can knock me down. I am also reminded through my trials and triumphs, everything I need to survive and thrive is rooted in me. Gender nor color of your skin can limit how far you will go in life.”

Dr. Monique W. Morris, executive director of Grantmakers for Girls of Color, is grateful to Ciara for her support of G4GC. “As a long-time advocate for Black girls and girls of color, I know all too well that girls and gender expansive youth of color face interlocking forms of oppression that prevent their full participation in our country’s future,” notes Morris. “At the same time, public will and philanthropic investment to take down the barriers they face is often lacking. This partnership will help us address both those challenges in this crucial time, and support the organizations across the country who are fighting the marginalization of girls of color.”

Video: Grantmakers for Girls of Color Convened 125 Funders

Ciara’s songs have been streamed over two billion times, and her songs have garnered hundreds of millions of YouTube views and include such hits as “Level Up” (264 million views), “Ride” (193 million) and “Like a Boy” (223 million).

Ciara sits on the board of the Why Not You Foundation, which she shares with her husband, Russell Wilson, and which aims to empower and improve the lives of children and women around the globe. Ciara’s Beauty Marks Entertainment is dedicated to supporting artists and female-led enterprises, and her to fulfill creative and entrepreneurial goals in the intersecting worlds of film, fashion, technology and philanthropy.

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Philanthropy Women covers funding for gender equity in all sectors of society. We want to significantly shift public discourse, particularly in philanthropy, toward increased action for gender equality. You can support our work and access unlimited and premium content with one of our subscriptions.


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Author: Tim Lehnert

Tim Lehnert is a writer and editor who lives in Cranston, Rhode Island. His articles and essays have appeared in the Boston Globe, the Providence Journal, Rhode Island Monthly, the Boston Herald, the Christian Science Monitor, and elsewhere. He is the author of the book Rhode Island 101, and has published short fiction for kids and adults in a number of literary journals and magazines. He received an M.A. in Political Science from McGill University, and an M.A. in English from California State University, Northridge.

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