In today’s edition of Black Excellence, we salute Courtney B. Vance, as he has been tapped to lead as the new president for the SAG-AFTRA foundation.
The SAG-AFTRA foundation is the charitable arm of the actors’ union and its mission is to create awareness and funding for programs that benefit its 160,000 members across the country.
He has a goal that he wants to match during his presidency and that is to make the foundation “part of the industry fabric.”
Vance told Variety, “There’s the union side to SAG-AFTRA, which handles the industry and negotiates health care and pensions. It is so necessary, but what happens to performers when they’re on the way up, or on the way down? Who is there for you?”
He continues, “When you start to hear about the cases of members in need, who have turned to our foundation and received this support, their lives change. And we want to keep changing lives.”
In comparison to the other organizations similar to the SAG-AFTRA foundation, Vance made this comparison, “Look at the Recording Academy and MusiCares. Everyone knows that MusiCares supports recording artists, and it does incredible work providing life support… We’re moving to set that up, to help in all aspects of the performer’s life.”
According to Variety, the foundation has advisory committees independent of its board of directors: The Actors’ Council and The Entertainment Industry Council.
On The Actors’ Council there are celebrity names like George Clooney, Viola Davis, and Kerry Washington. And on The Entertainment Industry Council executives like Steven Spielberg, Walt Disney Studios chief Alan Horn, Universal motion picture chair Donna Langley and Warner Bros. Entertainment CEO Ann Sarnoff.
The foundation operates on a $6 million annual budget and provides aid to all SAG-AFTRA cardholders. Services include emergency health and financial assistance, disaster relief and artistic and business education programs. Vance will need to continue to raise money for the foundation to continue all of its excellent work.
Congrats to Mr. Vance as he takes on this new position. Now all he has to do is tap his beautiful wife, Angela Bassett and watch the money start pouring in.