Launching with Scott’s Cactus Jack Foundation, Project HEAL has four core initiatives: a Waymon Webster HBCU scholarship fund, an expansion of the CACT.US Youth Design Center, free mental health resources and a US Conference of Mayors Task Force of Event Safety.
In his Instagram announcement of the new project, Scott wrote, in part, “Over the past few months I’ve been taking the time and space to grieve, reflect and do my part to heal my community. Most importantly, I want to use my resources and platform moving forward towards actionable change. This will be a lifelong journey for me and my family.”
Scott’s initial investment in the new project totals $5 million, according to Billboard, spread across each of his initiatives. And though Billboard reports that Scott has previously been involved with philanthropy at HBCUs, this new project will be a larger response to what happened at last year’s Astroworld festival.
Ten people perished at Scott’s Astroworld festival in Houston last November after the crowd got out of control. They all died from compression asphyxia after the thick crowd pressed toward the stage, according to NBC. Hundreds more concertgoers were injured at the event, and Scott’s been heavily criticized for not stopping the show immediately as it was happening. The rapper said in an interview shortly after the event, though, that he wasn't aware of what was happening at the time.
Since the tragedy, Scott, Live Nation and others involved have faced numerous lawsuits about the organization of the festival and the lack of safety measures in place. It was announced last month that the individual lawsuits filed by Astroworld attendees would be rolled up into one lawsuit for the sake of expediency.
While the Astroworld lawsuits are still in progress, Scott is finding other routes to take accountability for what happened on the festival grounds. With the launch of Project HEAL, safety at these massive events will be, hopefully, held to a higher standard so tragedies like Astroworld don’t happen again. The team behind the initiative plans to do extensive research into these safety measures so they can be shared with anyone involved in planning these events for an across-the-board blueprint.
Photo via Getty/ Erika Goldring/ WireImage
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