Steven Spielberg to gift $2m. toward racial, economic justice

Grants will be funded by his $1 million Genesis Prize award, as well as a matching $1 million contribution made by Spielberg and Kate Capshaw.

Steven Spielberg Head Shot (photo credit: AMBLIN)
Steven Spielberg Head Shot
(photo credit: AMBLIN)
The Genesis Prize Foundation (GPF) and this year’s Genesis Prize Laureate, Steven Spielberg, have announced the recipients of the 2021 Genesis Prize grants – ten non-profit organizations working on the frontlines of racial and economic justice in the United States.
The grants will be funded by Spielberg’s $1 million prize award and a matching $1 million contribution he is making with his wife, Kate Capshaw.
The annual Genesis Prize, dubbed the “Jewish Nobel” by TIME magazine, honors extraordinary individuals for their outstanding professional achievement, contribution to humanity, and commitment to Jewish values. In February, Spielberg was announced as the 9th Genesis Prize Honoree.
“America is facing a crisis, and our responsibility is to act now – so that America can be ‘America again, The Land that has never been yet, And yet must be,’” the major producer and director said, quoting the poet Langston Hughes.
“Judaism and Jewish history begin with two narratives: Genesis and Exodus, stories about creation and liberation from oppression, about the discovery of the moral voice and of human dignity,” he said. “From these accounts come the ethical precepts commanding us to work for a more just and equitable world.”
Spielberg continued: “Honored to be among the Genesis Prize Laureates, I am both granting my award prize and Kate and I are matching the contribution with funds from our foundation to inspiring social justice organizations – Jewish and secular – that are on the frontlines of the struggle for a more equitable America.”
The following organizations will receive the grants: Avodah, Black Voters Matter, Collaborative for Jewish Organizing, Dayenu – A Jewish Call to Climate Action, Jews of Color Initiative, Justice for Migrant Women, National Domestic Workers Alliance, Native American Rights Fund, One Fair Wage and the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism.
In a letter of congratulations to Spielberg, US President Joe Biden said: “Steven, I am inspired by the ways in which your Judaism has compelled you to confront the ugly forces of hate and intolerance with the healing power of truth and love. This is a timeless struggle and is a worthy cause to which I proudly join you in pledging my devotion.”
Stan Polovets, co-founder and chairman of The Genesis Prize Foundation, said: “Our democratic foundations are being challenged, and the COVID crisis has further increased social and economic disparities. Steven Spielberg’s decision to focus his Genesis Prize on the pursuit of racial and economic justice reflects the urgent need for us to act.”