Belafonte Family Foundation Sets Inaugural NYC Gala – The Hollywood Reporter

The Belafonte Family Foundation has announced its inaugural gala, supporting the foundation’s multi-generational philanthropic mission to create access, opportunities and progressive programs for historically underserved youth, adults and communities. The event is set for Oct. 24 at New York City’s Sony Hall, featuring performances, tributes, awards and a live auction.

Established in 2020 by the family members of Harry Belafonte, BFF is led by co-founders David and Malena Belafonte and their children Sarafina and Amadeus Belafonte. Harry Belafonte, who died earlier this year, inspired his family to commit to lifelong work toward social justice; the foundation honors his spirit and the work of others who devoted themselves to the betterment of the human condition.

“Having worked more than 40 years with and alongside my father, I’ve long appreciated the enormous responsibility that my family has accepted, to use our experience, energy and influence to pursue social change,” David Belafonte said in a statement. “When Malena and I married and had children, we realized that our children would share in that responsibility. That sense of shared responsibility and our family’s longstanding commitment to social justice fueled the founding of BFF, which uses an innovative multi-generational approach to the tasks at hand, incorporating lessons from the generations before us, our current experiences, needs and insights, while truly listening to the youngest of generations — that is what sets us apart. It is what drives our board, supporters and my family.”

“I personally witnessed the cultural influence that my father had around the world, and how he used that influence to address the need for social change. Inspired by what I saw — in terms of both the ever-evolving challenges faced by too many and how those challenges could be addressed — my family established BFF,” he continued. “My father’s recent passing was a reminder that the long-standing need for social change stubbornly persists. We are confident that BFF’s lasting legacy will be one that reflects how my family and our supporters inspired this generation and future ones to roll up their sleeves to bring positive lasting changes to underserved communities.”

The Belafonte Family Foundation focuses on opportunity, education, and health, humanity and well-being. The latter is currently addressed by the foundation’s Bright Road Farms program, an urban, vertical farming initiative which supplies organically and locally grown greens to underserved communities and food deserts. Another program, Bright Road Martial Arts, recognizes the mentorship and power of martial arts disciplines which improves lives through self-control, self-discovery and self-respect, offered to qualifying at-risk youth in partnership with leading academies and instructors.

BFF also offers full academic scholarships for deserving students to attend secondary or university educations. Awards are based on educational merit and economic need, with a focus on scholarships for students of color. One of the programs provides full scholarships for students in Haiti, inclusive of transportation, books and food. Winners of the scholarships will be announced at the gala.

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