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BTS ARMY Match Group’s $1 Million Donation for Black Lives Matter

For the past two weeks, fans of global Korean boyband, BTS, came together to raise awareness and donate to various organisations in support of the Black Lives Matter.

Although the group wasn’t planning on publicizing their donation, it was reported by Variety on June 6 after they reached out for clarification. BTS and their label, BigHit Entertainment donated $1 Million to the Black Lives Matter movement.

The act of fundraising and giving back is nothing new to the fans of BTS. BTS fans (known by the official Fanclub name of ARMY) have organised over 634 fundraisers globally. “Since BTS’ debut in 2013, the group has promoted advocacy and social change encouraging their listeners, especially youth, to speak up and stand up not just for themselves but for those around them as well(read about this here).” When the idea came to match BTS’ donation of $1 Million, ARMYs strong desire to always help others and raise awareness was ever-present. You can refer to it as their muscle memory of mass mobilization, as mentioned beforehand this isn’t the first time the fandom has come together to fundraise. They’re no strangers when it comes to this.

© One In An ARMY

The initial idea stemmed from the mind of Daezy, an ARMY of three years. Daezy shared with Affinity how her mental health had been all over the place because of everything going on regarding George Floyd and the onslaught of police brutality happening at the protests. She, as well as other Black ARMYs, took a break from Twitter and although away from social media for a few days, Daezy continued to sign petitions and donate where she could.

After seeing the news of BTS’ donation, she shares that it “gave us [ARMY] so much hope” and how it became a turning point within the fandom.

“Everyone was already donating, and the One In An ARMY donation carrd had been created a few days before the news, but when we saw they donated a million, we got excited, but we turned that excitement into curiosity. Suddenly it went from “oh my gosh they just donated $1 million!” to “what if WE could match that?” Then, that curiosity turned into productivity.”

Within the fandom, a carrd was created by One In An ARMY to easily mobilize information for fans regarding donations in support of the movement. One In An Army is a fan collective of volunteers around the globe and they run donations and charity projects in the name of BTS ARMY. With One In An Army mobilizing the information for the fandom, Daezy thought it would be easier to get the job done if a hashtag was created to bring awareness to the initiative. With a suggestion from a fellow ARMY, Rhea, the initiative #MatchAMillion was created.

With a concrete plan and hashtag in place to get the initiative running, it was time to get the word out. Daezy worked for eight hours nonstop messaging ARMYs with a big following and spreading the word on multiple platforms. She was also able to work with Korean ARMY, Sarah, to translate the details of the project into Korean and spread it on the official fan community, Weverse.

“It took a lot of networking and my fingers kinda hurt, but for a cause like this, it’s worth it. This was more than just some statement. This was a flicker of hope. And I hope that others will be inspired to help fight for Black lives as we have,” shared Daezy. “As a Black person myself who was born and raised in America most of my life, being the kickstarter for the hashtag along with Rhea means the world to me, and I’m so glad I could help.”

On June 6 at 7:49 p.m. (EST) #MatchAMillion was born. 

With One In An ARMY further organizing and co-ordinating the initiative and, of course, the help of ARMYs all over the world, things fell into place effortlessly.

With the donation carrd that One In An ARMY created, it gave fans several charities and funds to donate to, including the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Black Lives Matter, Black Aids Institute and Loveland Foundation among others.

“We added a goal tracker to our donation page and our website purely to keep ARMY updated on the total amount raised. We’ve run big projects before, but the amount of support for this project is overwhelming,” a spokesperson for One In An ARMY said in a press statement.

Within 24 hours, ARMYs matched a million from over 34,000 donators. At the exact 24 hour mark, they hit $1,026,531 and the number still continues to rise.

“We truly didn’t know whether the goal would be reached. We’re so proud that ARMY have once again channeled their power for good and are making a real impact in the fight against anti-black racism.”

One In An ARMY have no current plans to end the Black Lives Matter fundraiser and have given it a permanent page on their website.

“Black Lives Matter isn’t something that has a time limit. It’s a belief everyone needs to carry in their everyday lives.” 

Featured Image via BigHit Entertainment

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Zoë Selesi
Written By

Zoë is from England, currently living in New York for university studying Magazine Journalism. She is the senior editor for the Arts &Culture site. Zoë is a lover of all music genres, especially alternative R&B, UK Grime and Korean music.

3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Vi

    June 8, 2020 at 4:34 pm

    This is a great read 🙂

  2. Avatar

    RA

    June 8, 2020 at 12:55 pm

    great article!! thank you so much!

  3. Avatar

    Daezy

    June 8, 2020 at 11:10 am

    This is an amazing article! Thanks for interviewing me, Zoe!

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