This Is How Much Money These Celebs Are Donating To Protesters

As video showing 46-year-old George Floyd's death in police custody on May 25, 2020 went viral, protests began in his native Minneapolis, MN and quickly spread to the rest of the country, and the world. Adding their voices to the mix, countless celebrities called for justice and joined protesters on the streets. Others have gone further still by funding worthy initiatives to support those in need.

Kerry Washington, for example, hosted a "loving movement/yoga/meditation session" on Instagram Live and donated money for each person who joined her to both the Black Visions Collective and the Louisville Community Bail Fund. Harry Styles proclaimed that "being not racist is not enough" and announced he's "donating to help post bail for arrested organizers."

And while Lizzo encouraged fans to join her in donating to the Minnesota Freedom Fund, Gabrielle Union and Janelle Monae opened up the initiative to include donations to the Louisville Community Bail Fund in honor of yet another police brutality victim: 26-year-old EMT Breonna Taylor who was killed in her apartment during a police raid. But those are just a few of the A-Listers who have opened their wallets in a time of great civil unrest. Here's how much money today's biggest celebs are really donating to help protesters.

Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds pledged to 'stay educated' while giving $200K

Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds are known for their funny social media antics, but on June 1, 2020, they took a very different tone when they announced their $200,000 donation to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and put their money where their mouth is, posting a truthful (and inspiring) letter on both of their Instagram pages.

Admitting that they've "never had to worry about preparing [their] kids for different rules of law or what might happen if [they're] pulled over in the car," the couple confessed to being "ashamed that in the past [they've] allowed [themselves] to be uninformed about how deeply rooted systemic racism is." They continued, "We've been teaching our children differently than the way our parents taught us. ... We talk about our bias, blindness and our own mistakes."

Noting that their donation was not only meant to honor George Floyd, but also "all the black men and women who have been killed when a camera wasn't rolling," Lively and Reynolds went on to "pledge to stay educated and vote in every local election," adding, "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."

Drake rose to Mustafa the Poet's challenge with a $100K donation

Toronto poet and songwriter Mustafa the Poet may not be a household name, but he's got some pretty impressive friends, including fellow Torontonian Drake. When Mustafa the Poet shared a screenshot of a receipt for his $400 donation to the National Bail Out fund, he called on Champagne Papi to jump in, writing [via XXL], "My Toronto kings @champagnepapi and @theweeknd, swipe up and match my donation. But add 3 zeros! Let's help reunite black families."

Drake responded by sharing the screenshot on his Instagram Stories and writing, "@mustafathepoet say less brother." After privately messaging Mustafa to ensure he had the right link — "Where do I make the donation family," he asked — Drake rose to the challenge. It seems his good deed was met by a bit of a roadblock, however. As he wrote Mustafa, "They just called fraud on my card." Assuring that he was "trying to contact them right now," he joked, "I donated 100k. They were like yeah, nah."

Although Drake didn't quite meet the $400,000 target set out for him by his friend, he eventually shared a screenshot of his own receipt, showing his $100,000 contribution to the fight for justice.

Colin Kaepernick launched his own legal defense initiative

Outspoken civil rights activist and football star Colin Kaepernick has been protesting police brutality since 2016 when he began to sit (and eventually kneel) during the National Anthem at NFL games. It's no surprise then that he took significant action to support the protests sparked by George Floyd's death.

Taking to Twitter, Kaepernick encouraged his followers to unite in protest, writing, "When civility leads to death, revolting is the only logical reaction. The cries for peace will rain down, and when they do, they will land on deaf ears, because your violence has brought this resistance. We have the right to fight back!"

In addition to speaking out about the injustice, Kaepernick set up a new charitable initiative. "In fighting for liberation there's always retaliation," he wrote on Instagram. Noting that "we must protect our Freedom Fighters," he announced, "We started a legal defense initiative to give legal representation to Freedom Fighters in Minneapolis paid for by [Know Your Rights Camp]," his youth initiative, which strives to "raise awareness on self-empowerment and interacting with law enforcement."

The newly established Know Your Rights Camp Legal Defense Initiative "has identified and teamed up with top defense lawyers nationwide," according to its official site, all in an effort to provide legal assistance to anyone who needs it, including those arrested while "fighting injustice across the nation."

Chrissy Teigen shaded 'MAGA night' with a $200K donation

After protesters took to streets surrounding the White House on May 29, 2020, President Trump wasted no time addressing them. In an early morning tweet the next day, he proclaimed that they "had little to do with the memory of George Floyd" and accused them of simply wanting to "cause trouble." After proclaiming that the Secret Service "handled them easily," he appeared to suggest that his supporters should gather at the White House, adding, "Tonight, I understand, is MAGA NIGHT AT THE WHITE HOUSE???"

Amidst the outrage, Chrissy Teigen found a unique way to clap back. "In celebration of whatever the f**k MAGA night is, I am committed to donating $100,000 to the bailouts of protestors across the country," she tweeted. When a critic fired back in a since-deleted tweet [via CNN], calling protesters "rioters and criminals," the supermodel had the perfect response for that too, as she tweeted, "Ooo they might need more money then. Make it $200,000."

Teigen's hubby, John Legend, jumped in on the conversation to offer details about the organizations he and his wife were supporting, namely, the Movement 4 Black Lives, the National Lawyers Guild, and The Bail Project. "Americans have the first amendment right to peacefully protest oppression and injustice," he wrote. "Chrissy and I will be donating to these 3 organizations which are organizing, supporting and defending those marching for justice."

Kim Kardashian offered to pay an injured protester's hospital bills

As protests continued to spread across America on June 1, 2020, an increasing number of shocking images made the rounds on both the mainstream news and social media, including a graphic selfie showing a young woman's face covered in blood, a huge gash caused by a rubber bullet visible on her forehead. The image was posted by Minneapolis' Shannyn Sharyse Nara who tweeted, "I was protesting tonight. I was recording everything when I got hit with a rubber bullet. This is the result." 

As the image spread, she took to Facebook to explain the situation further, emphasizing that she "was not aggressive" and that "IT WAS DEFINITELY A COP! They hit my friend with the same thing right after when he got in their face for hitting me," she wrote.

A number of celebrities responded to Nara's story, including Patricia Arquette who tweeted she was "so angry." Meanwhile, Kim Kardashian went one step further. Taking to Twitter, she shared a viral post showing Nara's image and wrote, "This is heartbreaking and so disturbing. Does anyone know how I can get in contact with her? I would love to help her with her medical care if she needs it." As of this writing, there's no word yet on whether she's connected with Nara.

Seth Rogen and Noname started celebrity giving chains

While some celebrities decided to go big with headline-making donations and initiatives, others chose to join into smaller giving chains. One such chain was started by rapper Noname who tweeted out to all of her celebrity followers, writing, "Just gave $1000 to [the Minnesota Freedom Fund]. Celebrity accounts that follow me... match." Soon enough, responses began flooding in from the likes of Janelle Monáe — "Just matched you" — Yara Shahidi — "Let's keep this going" — Kehlani, 6LACK, and Jameela Jamil.

Another similar chain began when The Safdie brothers matched author Lincoln Michel's $50 donation to the Minnesota Freedom Fund and inspired Seth Rogen to follow suit. "Matched," he tweeted, then returned to add, "(And then much more)." This prompted Steve Carell, Ben Schwartz, and Don Cheadle, among others, to jump in on the thread as well.

While these donations may seem small, it's likely they're not the only ones these stars have made. As designer Virgil Abloh, who was slammed for posting about a $50 donation, noted, giving chains can be deceiving. Taking to Instagram, he explained that while he "joined a social media chain of friends who were matching $50 donations," that wasn't all he did. "I apologize that appeared to some as if that was my only donation to these important causes," he wrote, adding that he's actually "donated $20,500 to bail funds and other causes related to the movement."