A new partnership between Indigenous artist Jimmy “Taboo” Gomez (Shoshone) of the Black Eyed Peas with Native Americans in Philanthropy has resulted in a generous gift of $50,000 to support the organizations’ cutting edge social impact work. Underscoring the launch of this partnership was Taboo’s arrival at the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs) where he was joined on the “blue carpet” by Native Americans in Philanthropy CEO, Sarah Eagle Heart, several co-founders of advocacy network Indigenous Women Rise and Native musician group Magnificent 7.
“I have been so fortunate in my life and career, I recognize the responsibility to give back. My Grandmother was a strong Native woman who gave me so much, partnering with Sarah Eagle Heart and Native Americans in Philanthropy is another step toward honoring her legacy. I want to use my voice to bring to light the many issues facing the Native American population,” stated Mr. Gomez.
In addition to the donation to Native Americans in Philanthropy, Mr. Gomez pledges to fundraise an additional $50,000 in matching funds to support ongoing advocacy, education and launch of a new fellowship to highlight how Native cultures, traditions and worldview can drive social change.
Mr. Gomez has been a vocal advocate for Native American youth and Native Americans in Philanthropy’s work with President Obama’s White House Initiative Generation Indigenous sparked the new philanthropic relationship. Mr. Gomez also recently joined the board of directors for the new venture The Biden Cancer Initiative to develop and drive implementation of solutions to accelerate progress in cancer prevention, detection, diagnosis, research, and care, and to reduce disparities in cancer outcomes.
“Our partnership with Taboo helps amplify the need to bring Indigenous traditions of collectivism to cross-sectional movement building, while securing ongoing funding for efforts that link health and holistic change,” said Ms. Eagle Heart, “The Biden Cancer Initiative, Generation Indigenous, My Brother’s Keeper, Standing Rock and Indigenous Women Rise partnerships are powerful platforms to engage Native communities directly, and will support the growing impact of Native Americans in Philanthropy.”
At the VMAs Sunday night, all the nominees in the ‘Fight Against the System’ category received an award, including Taboo for ‘Stand Up / Stand N Rock #NoDAPL’. This is the first solo VMA for Taboo. The song is a show of support to those who have stood with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in their fight against the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). Indigenous Women Rise attended to honor Taboo’s work as a social impact warrior and raise visibility of the issues affecting Indigenous Women including missing murdered indigenous women.