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Sands donating $400K to local groups to fight systemic racism

Las Vegas Sands Corp. will contribute $400,000 to community organizations that empower diverse groups in an effort to address systemic racism.

The donations have two priorities, according to a company news release. The first is education and mentorship to support youth and workforce empowerment. The second is advancing social justice work through advocacy and awareness.

The effort stems from 2020’s “race-related events,” which brought the impact of systemic racism to the forefront of discussions, Ron Reese, senior vice president of global communications and corporate affairs at Las Vegas Sands, said in the release.

In May, George Floyd, a Black man, was killed by a white Minneapolis police officer. A bystander published a video of the incident on the internet, which went viral. Black Lives Matter protests against police brutality and racism soon took place in Las Vegas and around the world.

“We’ve taken measured steps to listen to the needs and viewpoints of our team members and met with key leaders of organizations that empower diverse groups to better understand how we can help advance their initiatives and provide solutions,” Reese said.

The funds will be distributed through Sands Cares, the company’s community engagement and charitable giving program.

The organizations receiving funding include: Nevada Partners, 100 Black Men Las Vegas, the Urban Chamber of Commerce Las Vegas, Hope for Prisoners, Mastering Mindsets Las Vegas, National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Inc. – Las Vegas and the Las Vegas Urban League.

Nevada Partners will receive $250,000 in funding — one of the organization’s largest corporate donations, according to the release. Those funds will address education and youth development in the West Las Vegas Promise Neighborhood.

The funds will go toward literacy programs, youth camps, mentoring programs and a Youth Empowerment Center, which will have technology and arts opportunities for youth education.

“This year has marked a moment in time when people are choosing to show greater support for these long-standing and sometimes ignored issues,” Kenadie Cobbin-Richardson, executive director of Nevada Partners, said in the release. “We are grateful to Las Vegas Sands for its truly authentic commitment to moving the needle through this work. It is really powerful when the people behind the investments care, and that’s what we get from Sands.”

Sands is also donating $100,000 to 100 Black Men Las Vegas, some of which will support its COVID-19 Community PPE program, which provides masks, gloves and sanitizer to residents. Funds will also go toward 100 Black Men Las Vegas’ CrossRoads Mentoring and Life Skills program, Pathways to Public Service program and KCEP Teen Talk public radio talk show.

“The Sands Cares donation will have exponential impact on these programs; for instance, we can more than double the number of youth mentored and expand our reach to different age groups through the CrossRoads program,” Gentry Richardson, president and chief executive of 100 Black Men Las Vegas, said in the release.

The Review-Journal is owned by the family of Las Vegas Sands Corp. Chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson.

Contact Alex Chhith at achhith@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0290. Follow @alexchhith on Twitter.

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