We are delighted to announce the launch of the Power of Pop Fund!

8th February 2023

We are delighted to announce the launch of the Power of Pop Fund!

The fund will strengthen creative organisations at the cutting-edge of harnessing popular culture for social change in the United Kingdom.

We have pooled together over £1 million in funds for this initial pilot phase with our partners:

Together, we will work with the following three core organisations working at the intersections of racial justice and migration: 

  1. For the Culture and Community(opens in new window)

  2. Skin Deep Media(opens in new window)

  3. We Are Bridge UK(opens in new window)

We Are Bridge UK said: “We Are Bridge are proud to be working alongside forward-thinking partners as passionate as ourselves about the role of pop culture to inspire meaningful change in social and racial justice.”

We are also committed to improving the environment that facilitates the development of narrative power for social change. This is why we are actively investing in infrastructure organisations with the experience and partnership to scale impact in this space. We are working in collaboration with the following partners in this space:

  1. Counterpoints Arts(opens in new window)

  2. OKRE(opens in new window)

What are we aiming to achieve through the PoP Fund?

The PoP Fund will prioritise six key objectives:

  1. Growing of the popular culture and social change field in the United Kingdom and the intersection with racial justice and migration;

  2. Increasing the capacity and sustainability of organisations on the cutting edge of this work;

  3. Improving our understanding of how to successfully measure and evaluate the impact of this work;

  4. Sustaining an increase in opportunities to access and influence the broadcast and creative industries for people of colour and those with lived experience of the migration system in the U.K;

  5. Promoting a long-term measurable shift in cultural norms around racial justice and migration;

  6. Increasing funding into the popular culture for social justice space.

We’ve been a part of British popular culture since we were founded in 1985. For decades since then, we have used the power of funny to celebrate culture and advocate for a fair and just world. Ultimately, we believe in the power of culture to transform society.

The PoP Fund was informed by recommendations from the New Brave World(opens in new window) report commissioned by Unbound Philanthropy and written by  Alice(opens in new window)  Sachrajda and Marzena  Zukowska(opens in new window)

The report identified a lack of pervasive lack of diversity within the broadcast, television and film industries with only 12% of film,  TV and radio workers were from working class backgrounds and only 4% identified as BAME.

The report also explores the significant changes that are underway in the broadcast and creative industries in the UK, particularly in the wake of significant global movements including the Black Lives Matter and Me Too Movements.

Samir Patel, CEO of Comic Relief said: “Working with our progressive partners – Oak Foundation, Esmee Fairbairn, Unbound Philanthropy and Paul Hamlyn Foundation – we are committed to investing in organisations led by, and for, people of colour and look forward to supporting more communities and individuals with lived experience of racial injustice to tell their own stories authentically."

Dame Caroline Mason(opens in new window), Chief Executive of the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation said: "We’re thrilled to be supporting the Power of Pop Fund. We believe popular culture can be an effective tool for change – by raising awareness, disrupting stereotypes, as well as informing and influencing attitudes and cultural norms. The Power of Pop Fund will strengthen creative organisations at the forefront of using popular culture to address systemic injustice and advocate for more inclusive and representative stories in our media and wider society. We’re also excited about the Fund’s collaborative approach and emphasis on learning, which has the potential to have a lasting impact beyond the organisations funded."

Taryn Higashi(opens in new window), CEO of Unbound Philanthropy said: “We are delighted to be supporting the Power of Pop Fund. We believe deeply in the potential of popular culture to transform the narrative landscape and are excited to see this work develop and flourish in the UK.”

Moira Sinclair(opens in new window), CEO of Paul Hamlyn Foundation said: “PHF are delighted to be supporting the Power of Pop Fund. As a social justice funder with a deep commitment to the arts and creative learning we believe inclusive and representative stories are crucial for a healthy and vibrant society and this work is part of making that happen.”

Douglas Griffiths(opens in new window), President of Oak Foundation said: “Oak Foundation is delighted to support the Power of Pop Fund. We hope this fund will demonstrate how the power of popular culture can inspire social change around migration and racial justice so that all communities and people in the UK can have just and prosperous lives. We look forward to supporting the broadcast and creative field, and to learn together through this exciting pilot project”.  

If you would like to learn more about the PoP Fund donor collaborative please contact f.ali@comicrelief.com.(opens in new window)