An anonymous $50,000 check marked the start of Prince’s donations to climate change and clean energy causes.
I had no idea that the artist so fondly associated with the color purple also had an affinity for the color green. We often learn things about people after their passing that make us admire them just a little more…
Van Jones — the CNN political commentator and former Obama administration green jobs advisor — revealed that Prince had secretly funded among his many causes, ones that supported clean energy. Jones, President and Founder of Green For All, a group working to fight climate change and bring green jobs to underprivileged populations, first came into contact with Prince 10 years ago.
In an emotional interview, political commentator Van Jones revealed that his close friend Prince wasn’t just a musical icon but also a major philanthropist. One of his many initiatives included helping Oakland, California residents go solar. “He was an incredible humanitarian… There are people who have solar panels right now on their houses in Oakland, California that don’t know Prince paid for them,” Jones said on CNN Tonight with Don Lemon.
In an interview with Grist’s Katie Herzog, Jones revealed that, while he was the face of Green For All, Prince was the driving force and checkbook. “I was an Oakland activist giving speeches about the need for green jobs,” Jones said, recalling how he first came into contact with the musician. “Prince heard me in the media and sent a $50,000 check to support the work I was doing. But he did all his giving completely anonymously, so I sent the check back. You never know when someone is trying to set you up — it could have been from Chevron or from a drug dealer or whatever. So then he sent the check back and I sent it back again, and then he sent it back and then I sent it back, until finally a representative called and said, ‘Will you please accept this check? I won’t tell you who it is from, but the guy’s favorite color is purple.’ I said, ‘Well, now you have a different problem: I’m not gonna cash this check, I’m gonna frame it.’”