Photo credit: Sister Circle TV, T.I. (Sister Circle Live) (cropped), CC BY 3.0
Cannabis company Viola recently appointed rapper, songwriter, actor, record producer, and entrepreneur, Tip “T.I.” Harris to the Viola team as the company’s Social Justice and Reform Ambassador. Founded by NBA veteran Al Harrington, Viola is dedicated to producing ultra-premium products rooted in purpose with extensive social equity work done through its recently launched charity, Viola Cares. T.I. brings decades of community advocacy supporting Black and other minority communities in need into his new senior advisory role at Viola.
In this role, T.I. will direct the community impact strategy for Viola. Pioneering initiatives that make the cannabis industry more diverse, equitable and inclusive, he will drive Viola’s mission of racial equity and justice further by conveying the company’s core values as it continues to give back to communities most affected by the War on Drugs. His efforts in unity with Al Harrington’s will propel mass social reform of the cannabis industry. A key driver of this progress will be forthcoming developments through Viola Cares, the brand’s hallmark social equity program aimed at fully funding social equity applicants as they transition into the legal cannabis business. The vision of this program is to create 100 Black millionaires in the near future.
“I have the utmost respect for Al and all the work he has done with Viola to increase minority representation in cannabis and help Black and brown communities who have fallen victim to the War on Drugs,” says T.I. Harris. “Together we will expand social justice reform by providing tangible resources for disenfranchised communities and opportunities to build economic autonomy within the cannabis industry.”
Through education, equitable offerings, expungement, and incubation programs, the Viola Cares mission is to increase minority representation, facilitate community building and provide employment opportunities to Black and other minority groups in cannabis. With T.I.’s work within underserved Black communities, this new alliance and combined effort between Viola and T.I. will result in forthcoming initiatives such as supporting adult halfway houses in CA, CO, OR, WA, MI, OK in partnership with Us or Else, T.I.’s social justice non-profit. The partnership will also provide scholarships to HBCU students who are studying the cannabis field at Southern University. On Monday, December 21st, Harris Community Works in conjunction with Viola Cares, gifted boys ages 11 to 25 from the Next Level Boys Academy diversion program with coats and shoes as a kick-off to this partnership.
“As we continue to increase our social imprint within the cannabis industry, I am honored to welcome my brother T.I. into the Viola family,” says Al Harrington, CEO and founder of Viola. “His work helping communities of color over the years directly aligns with Viola’s core values as we look to meet the needs of underserved communities by fostering new opportunities for people that look like us.”
T.I.’s expansive work within the social equity space includes multiple organizations and initiatives. Us or Else’s mission statement of fighting for the liberation of Black and all other oppressed people leads the ethos of his charity work. Harris Community Works (Atlanta), a subsidiary of Us or Else, works with the underserved communities to provide food, clothing and education. For The Love Of Our Fathers, works with Alzheimer’s and dementia patients. T.I. has also spoken at area schools and has donated time and money to worthy efforts ranging from hurricane relief to the Boys & Girls Clubs. He has spent millions to buy properties and plots of land in Center Hill, where he grew up, to rejuvenate the neighborhood.