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Killer Mike to be honored as the first recipient of Billboard's Change Maker Award

Courtesy of Billboard

Rapper, social activist, entrepreneur and member of hip hop-rock duo Run the Jewels, Killer Mike will be honored with the inaugural Billboard Change Maker Award at the 2020 Billboard Music Awards.

The award — which honors the artist or group that speaks truth to power through their music, celebrity and community — will be presented by Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms at the historic APEX: African American Panoramic Experience Museum in Georgia. 

Killer Mike has spent his entire 20-year music career advocating for social justice and civil rights, pushing for voter registration, and opening and supporting Black-owned businesses throughout his hometown of Atlanta. 

The Swag Shop barbershop chain owner has also played a huge role in improving the Black community and other underserved communities by using his platform to educate, inspire and motivate others to become the change they want to see, as demonstrated in the wake of the recent deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Rayshard Brooks.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports Mike’s most recent effort involves launching his own digital banking platform for Black and Latinx people. He partnered with several Black executives to launch Greenwood Bank, named after the brutal 1921 destruction of the Greenwood neighborhood of Tulsa, Oklahoma, known at the time as Black Wall Street.  More than 35 square blocks of homes and businesses were destroyed by a white mob and an estimated hundreds of Black men, women and children murdered.

“All are welcome to bank #Greenwood!” Mike tweeted, sharing an article about the bank. “It’s for the culture!!!!! Love and Respect!” 

The 2020 Billboard Music Awards airs on Wednesday, Oct. 14 at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.

By Rachel George
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