Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds Donate $200,000 to NAACP Legal Defense Fund
Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds are taking action.
In response to the national outrage sparked by the death of George Floyd, the couple announced that they have donated $200,000 to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, an organization that strives for racial justice by making structural changes to expand democracy and eliminate disparities through litigation, advocacy and public education.
Taking to social media to urge others to follow suit, Lively and Reynolds spoke candidly and vowed to be allies to the black community moving forward.
"We've never had to worry about preparing our kids for different rules of law or what might happen if we're pulled over in the car," the parents of three's statement began. "We don't know what it's like to experience that life day in and day out. We can't imagine feeling that kind of fear and anger. We're ashamed that in the past we've allowed ourselves to be uninformed about how deeply rooted systemic racism is."
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"We've been teaching our children differently than the way our parents taught us," their statement continued. "We want to educate ourselves about other people's experiences and talk to our kids about everything, all of it…especially our own complicity. We talk about our bias, blindness and our own mistakes. We look back and see so many mistakes which have led us to deeply examine who we are and who we want to become. They've led us to huge avenues of education."
Promising to instill more racial awareness in their three children, they added, "We're committed to raising our kids so they never grow up feeding this insane pattern and so they'll do their best to never inflict pain on another being consciously or unconsciously. It's the least we can do to honor not just George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and Eric Garner, but all the black men and women who have been killed when a camera wasn't rolling."
To further take a stand against systemic racism, the Green Lantern co-stars also pledged to start voting for candidates with platforms that mirrored these ideals as well.
"Last week we contributed $200,000 to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund," they continued. "We stand in awe of this organization and its leader, Sherrilyn Ifill. And this is just a start. We also pledge to stay educated and vote in every local election. We want to know the positions of school board nominees, sheriffs, mayors, councilpersons. We want to know their positions on justice. But mainly, we want to use our privilege and platform to be an ally. And to play a part in easing pain for so many who feel as though this grand experiment is failing them."
Concluding their statement, Lively and Reynolds also encouraged their followers to get involved by donating to similar organizations, signing petitions and reaching out to their local representatives to demand action.
"E! stands in solidarity with the black community against systemic racism and oppression experienced every day in America," the network said in a statement on May 31. "We owe it to our black staff, talent, production partners and viewers to demand change and accountability. To be silent is to be complicit. #BlackLivesMatter."