The Silent Angel: The Secret Philanthropy of Prince

princeOn April 21st, the world lost a musical icon. As a Minnesota-based organization, we felt (and are still feeling) the full effect of the death of Prince, a Minnesota native. It seems that we learn something new about Prince’s behind-the-scenes life daily as reporters uncover more details.

One of the aspects of Prince’s life that has made headlines has been his commitment to philanthropy. While many celebrities are open and outward about the causes that they support, much of Prince’s charity work was kept under the radar due to his spiritual affiliation as a Jehovah’s Witness.

Prince was extensively involved in:

  • Yes We Code: Yes We Code connects low-income youth with the technology sector, and Prince was at the forefront of founding this great organization. The idea for this cause came out of the Trayvon Martin verdict with Prince wanting to dismantle the stereotype that “Every time people see a young black man wearing a hoodie, they think, he’s a thug. But if they see a young white guy wearing a hoodie they think, oh that might be Mark Zuckerberg. That might be a dot-com billionaire.” Instead of attributing this thought process to racism, he blamed society for not producing “enough black Mark Zuckerbergs.”
  • Green For All: This nonprofit brings green jobs to disadvantaged communities. Their goal is to make sure that people of color have a voice in the climate movement and that all neighborhoods are strong and healthy. Many homes in Oakland, Calif. have solar panels on their roofs, and no idea that Prince was the one who paid for them.

Other organizations that Prince supported included:

  • Urban Ventures: A Minneapolis, faith-based organization using community to eliminate urban poverty.
  • Circle of Discipline: A South Minneapolis boxing club
  • Chanhassen Elementary School
  • Love 4 One Another: Prince’s charity foundation

Aptly nicknamed “The Silent Angel” when word got out about his charity work after his death, Prince will not only go down in history for his musical talent, but for his generosity and philanthropy.