Kentucky has a habit of pumping out celebrities with impeccable talent. The Bluegrass State is home to folks like country legend and coal miner’s daughter Loretta Lynn, Oscar-winning actress Jennifer Lawrence, boxing legend Muhammad Ali to name a few. But the most recent addition to the state’s celebrity pantheon? 3x GRAMMY-nominated, multi-platinum, chart toping rapper Jack Harlow.
To some, Harlow had been a local celebrity name for years. But thanks to his singles “WHATS POPPIN” and “First Class,” and latest album COME HOME THE KIDS MISS YOU, the 24-year-old superstar is becoming a household name to the masses.
In November 2021, Harlow used his voice and platform to uplift his hometown city of Louisville by creating a fundraising campaign for five local nonprofits and directly donating to each of them. These organizations included AMPED Louisville, the Center for Women and Families, Grace M. James Academy of Excellence, Louisville Urban League, and Metro United Way.
“It was impossible for me to just choose one, all of these organizations resonated with me and I wanted to make sure there was some range and breadth to the love I was spreading,” Harlow told PEOPLE at the time.
Now, during Pride month, Harlow is donating directly to three LGBTQ+-centered nonprofits based in Louisville.
“I love and respect the entire LGBTQ+ community,” Harlow said. “To me it’s a no-brainer, but until everyone acts like it’s a no-brainer, there’s still work to do. This won’t be the last time I use my platform to show and voice my stance and support. I will use every chance I get to support this community and urge everyone to follow suit.”
Founder and executive director of Queer Kentucky, Spencer Jenkins said Harlow’s generous gift will literally change the trajectory of QKY because they’ve never received a gift this large. LGBTQ+ nonprofits also don’t have a ton of disposable income.
“LGBTQ+ organizations in Kentucky are often built in a grassroots way. Many founders bootstrap build their organizations and many sacrifices come along with that. Funds can be hard to come by as the pot for queer initiatives tends to be a bit small. We are so grateful for this gift from Jack and we hope to continue an intentional and impactful relationship with him for years to come.”
Louisville Pride Foundation, most known for their September Pride festival in the Highlands, will use Harlow’s gift to enhance the new LGBTQ+ center based in Old Louisville.
LPF Executive Director, Mike Slaton said he is deeply grateful for this gift that will support the first LGBTQ+ community center in Louisville to open in over 40 years.
“Mr. Harlow’s gift is proof that philanthropy is alive and well with the younger generation,” Slaton said. “Louisville is rightly proud of Jack and can be proud that he is sharing his success with his hometown”
The three organizations are receiving a total gift of $45,000 combined.
One of the newest nonprofits on the block, Sweet Evening Breeze, is also working on opening a facility. They are committed to Louisville’s LGBTQ+ affirming youth, 18 to 24 years of age, experiencing homelessness by going beyond the expectations of a shelter, providing housing, hope, and healing.
Sweet Evening Breeze wishes to thank Jack Harlow for providing such a thoughtful gift to our organization, said Glenn Martin, executive director.
“These dollars will be very helpful as we continue the struggle of getting our LGBTQ+ affirming homeless youth off the streets and connected with the right services for their success.” he said. “Jack’s thoughtfulness in providing support for this population here in Louisville shows how in touch he is with the issues facing the LGBTQ+ community today.”