Diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) are at the centre of RX’s mission and values. In January 2021, we pledged $1M over five years to select not-for-profit partners around the world who are working to improve inclusivity and diversity in their local communities. We catch up with our partners in Brazil, South Africa, the UK, USA and Australia to find out how our 2022 funding allocation has enabled them to build on their vital work promoting and supporting racial equity.
GO Foundation ‒ empowering indigenous young people through education
The Goodes O'Loughlin Foundation (GO Foundation) in Australia creates opportunities for indigenous young people through their holistic Scholarship Program, which supports Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students from primary school through to university.
GO scholarships provide opportunities for students to learn about their cultural heritage and offer financial support and mentoring to remove any barriers to education that indigenous students face. Research shows a strong link between cultural identity and successful educational outcomes; in particular, the presence of role models is vital to driving engagement in learning and enrolment in further education.
With RX’s support GO has been able to increase capacity to deliver more opportunities for more scholars in 2022. They were also able to recommence their face to face graduation ceremonies and provide cultural and aspirational mentoring through the delivery of their amazing Cultural Connection Days after two years of Covid-induced isolation.
RIC Foundation – building an economically more inclusive world
The Research in Color Foundation (Research in Color) is a US-based, non-profit organisation which is dedicated to increasing the number and retention of racial and ethnic minorities in economics through mentoring and financial support.
“Economics directly influences policies across healthcare, education, criminal justice, and beyond, but economics as a discipline includes disproportionately few people of colour,” RIC’s founder Chinemelu Okafor explained. “When you exclude the viewpoints of marginalised groups, you restrict the range of economic insights available to policy makers, which can perpetuate economic and political disparities in everyday life. Our goal is to increase the number and retention of Ph.D. students of colour in economics and economics-adjacent disciplines, and to support meaningful economic and policy research on communities of colour, with the aim of achieving a more inclusive profession, and economically inclusive world.”
RX’s 2022 contribution funded scholarships for the Research in Color Foundation’s third cohort of mentees in economics and economics-adjacent fields. Specifically, it provided $1000 to each mentee to help support their PhD applications, opening doors for people of colour who may be financially constrained from applying. RX’s contribution also helped support Research in Color’s programming and administrative costs to keep the organisation alive and running.
A Better Chance in Darien – helping girls of colour achieve their potential
The mission of A Better Chance in Darien is to provide scholarships to academically talented girls of colour from underserved communities allowing them to realize their academic and social potential while living in Darien, Connecticut, and attending Darien High School.
ABC in Darien is completely funded by private donations. RX’s contribution in 2022 was used to fund international study abroad trips over the summer for two Sophomores and two Juniors. The students participated in ‘The Experiment for International Living’ and each spent three weeks traveling in their chosen country. The Juniors travelled to Ghana and Ecuador and the Sophomores to Germany and Italy, undertaking a specific subject of study and community service.
RX funding was also used to purchase new Apple laptops for two graduating seniors to take to their colleges, Yale and Tufts.
18Twenty8 – educating and mentoring young women in South Africa
18twenty8 is an award-winning, women-led, non-profit organisation that empowers young women in marginalized communities through education, bursaries and mentorship.
In partnership with Life Orientation teachers, 18twenty8 provides life skills workshops for young women at university-level. They also provide mentors for undergraduate young women through their Big Sister Network; Leadership Development Camps to hone undergraduates’ leadership skills; and financial assistance towards their higher education expenses.
RX funding in 2022 provided bursaries for one student to complete the final year of a BA Psychology degree at the University of Johannesburg; and another to complete the third of a four-year Bachelor Accounting Science degree at Wits University.
ADUS Institute, Brazil – transforming the lives of refugees
The Instituto Adus in Sao Paulo serves refugees and victims of forced migration to reduce the obstacles they face and help them integrate into Brazilian society. The institute offers Portuguese classes, access to professional qualification courses, and help to enter the job market.
RX funding in 2022 helped to finance Portuguese classes for 3,550 refugees of 44 different nationalities, assisted by 78 teachers. “The Portuguese classes were a huge help, not only academically, but also in adapting to Brazil,” said Syrian refugee Emmanuel Ouba. “The Portuguese I learned made it easier for me to enter a prep course and then a Federal Institute. My teacher became a valued friend and I also learned about the culture in Brazil and made friends for life.”
RX also contributed to the Training and Income Generation project, through actions to raise awareness amongst potential employers, train refugees and send them out to the job market. 554 refugees were trained and 415 were hired.
During 2022 Adus Institute delivered an awareness workshop to the RX leadership team around the theme of refuge, and how events can support the promotion of their cause. Subsequently, Equipotel, Latin America’s leading hospitality event’ invited the Institute to the event to give a presentation on the theme of refuge within the hospitality sector. Based on the success of this pilot, the institute will be invited to attend other RX events in Brazil in 2023.
Business Initiative for Racial equality – breaking biases in the workplace
Iniciativa Empresarial pela Igualdade Racial (Business Initiative for Racial Equality) is a movement formed by companies and institutions committed to promoting racial inclusion and overcoming racism. The Iniciativa universe represents more than BRL 1.3 trillion in revenue and more than 800,000 people globally. Donations to the organisation help support job opportunities for afro-Brazilians, mentorship programmes to Afro-Brazilian university students, and English language payment supporting English teachers for the Afro-Brazilian community.
As a sponsor signatory to the IEIR, RX Brazil has pledged to adhere to 10 commitments on the inclusion, promotion and enhancement of racial diversity within our organisation.
During 2022, RX Brazil’s senior leadership team took part in a workshop on racial literacy delivered by the Initiativa Empersarial. All RX employees also took part in a training workshop on breaking biases, and RX vacancies were shared on entrepreneurial channels focused on racial diversity. To track our progress, RX Brazil participates in the IEIR’s annual Index on Racial Equality in Companies to understand how we are performing against other signatories.
Racial Justice Network – promoting and supporting racial justice
The Racial Justice Network brings together individuals, community groups and organisations from across West Yorkshire and beyond to proactively promote racial justice and address legacies of colonialism.
They do this through various initiatives such as their Unlearning Racism courses, Collective Conversations in the community at large, as well as consulting, reporting and workshops for companies working to improve diversity and inclusion. In recent years, RJN has also been reaching out and building alliances globally, particularly in Kenya and Brazil, to understand the nature of the colonial legacies they seek to challenge, to offer support, and share learnings and resources.
RX funding in 2022 supported researchers and activities in Kenya to undertake research and document historical indigenous knowledges and actions that have been distorted or made invisible by modernity and coloniality. It helped community groups and activists in Salvador, Brazil with community activities, training and political education, and funded necessities for communities impacted by climate disasters. It also contributed towards project expenses with indigenous communities in Colombia who contributed to conversations on climate justice projects.
Our donation also allowed RJN to continue their important task of media documentation and editing of their work, improve organisational infrastructure, add vital staff hours, and support staff wellbeing.
Heritage Corner, UK – celebrating diversity through creative collaboration
Leeds-based Heritage Corner is committed to uncovering, sharing and celebrating the hidden narratives of African history and our shared humanity in the UK.
Following on from the success of the first Black History walk of a British stately home in 2021, which was significantly subsidized by funding from RX Global, our 2022 donation enabled Heritage Corner to develop an interpretation project for Harewood House, helping them to contextualize artefacts on display which related to the house’s transatlantic history in the sugar trade.
RX funding in 2022 also supported ongoing work with the British Library, researching diverse narratives associated with a former textile factory in Leeds which the British Library intends to make a second home. It funded research into inclusive narratives celebrating 150 years of Leeds’ Roundhay Park, one of the largest urban parks in Europe. And it supported contributions to a decolonizing exhibition at Leeds Art Gallery; a presentation on decolonizing museums in Yorkshire; and liaison with colleagues in England and Scotland conducting Black History Walks.
Oliver’s House ‒ inspiring young people through education and skills training
Supporting local disadvantaged communities in Benoni on the East Rand, Oliver’s House (also known as Oliver’s Village) is an NGO focusing on education, early childhood development, food security and enterprise development. Their mission is to provide a caring and supportive environment where young people are inspired to learn and are empowered through education and skills training.
RX’s donation contributed directly to the running of the Computer Training Centre which offers grade 11 and 12 students, as well as underemployed and disadvantaged people, free access to computer skills training in order to increase their chances of finding employment.
Specifically, it enabled the Centre to increase its student intake from 60 students each day to 120 in 2022, having a significant impact on the prospects for young people in the local community. 60 of the students undertook an introductory course on Microsoft Office, email and Internet, and the remaining 60 took the Intermediate and Advanced Course. RX’s donation also helped to fund the Internet Library which learners and students use for homework assignments, research, and to further improve their computer skills.
“2022 has been a transformative year for our charity partners and the communities they serve. Not only have we extended our support for our seven founding charities, but we have also welcomed two new partners (GO Foundation and RIC Foundation) to the RX global fund. All have been carefully chosen to create meaningful, enduring changes that align with RX’s strategic priorities and values. We are excited to continue our partnerships in 2023 to help leverage racial equality through projects that drive education and develop capabilities, support social change and secure equal opportunities for all."