Photo Credit: Getty Images
Global icon Beyoncé Knowles-Carter announced on Thursday that she is donating $6 million to help local community-based organizations in Houston, New Orleans, New York and Detroit address mental health concerns amid the coronavirus pandemic.
In a statement posted to her website, Beyoncé said she is donating the money through her BeyGOOD initiative and wants to assist Black communities that have been hit particularly hard by the spread of COVID-19.
"Communities of color are suffering by epic proportions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many families live in underserved areas with homes that make it harder to practice social distancing. Communities that were already lacking funds for education, health and housing are now faced with alarming infection rates and fatalities and these communities lack access to testing and equitable healthcare," she said in a statement.
The Grammy-winning legend went on to say that BeyGOOD is already hard at work supporting a number of organizations like the United Memorial Center, Bread of Life, Matthew 25 and others.
BeyGOOD has been working with these organizations to provide basic necessities ranging from food, water, cleaning supplies and medicine to personal protective equipment for first responders like face masks and personal hygiene items.
In a statement provided to Vulture, Beyoncé added that there are "immense mental and personal health burdens being placed on essential workers," many of which are Black people.
"In our major cities, African Americans comprise a disproportionate number of workers in these indispensable occupations, and they will need mental health support and personal wellness care, including testing and medical services, food supplies and food deliveries, both during and after the crisis," she said.
The $6 million donation will support Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey's #startsmall initiative which is partnering with local community-based organizations, UCLA and the National Alliance in Mental Illness to provide mental wellness services in the four major cities.
Beyoncé has been an avid supporter of efforts to help people affected by the coronavirus pandemic. She participated in the One World: Together At Home concert that took place on April 18. During the concert, she spoke at length about how the virus was affecting the Black community.
She also lent her time to ABC’s Disney Family Singalong, where she sang a beautiful rendition of "When You Wish Upon A Star." During the event, she thanked healthcare workers and urged people to hold their family close during these uncertain times. The event was part of an effort to raise money for Feeding America.
"I'm very proud to be a part of the Disney family. And to help present the Disney Songbook Singalong in partnership with Feeding America, I’d like to dedicate this song to all of the healthcare workers who’ve been working tirelessly to keep us healthy and safe. We greatly appreciate you," Beyoncé said during the video.
"These are unprecedented times and it will take our collective efforts to make a difference," Beyoncé said in her statement about Thursday's donation.