Beyoncé is giving back during the coronavirus pandemic.
The singer announced via her official website Thursday morning (Apr. 23) that her BeyGOOD foundation has partnered with Twitter and Square CEO Jack Dorsey’s #StartSmall charity to provide $6 million in funding to various organizations providing mental health services with help from UCLA.
According to Beyoncé’s site, they’re partnering with the National Alliance in Mental Illness (NAMI) to help organizations like United Memorial Medical Center, Bread of Life, and Mathew 25 provide wellness support to essential workers in cities like Houston, New York, Detroit and New Orleans.
“Beyoncé’s BeyGOOD recognizes the immense mental and personal health burdens being placed on essential workers during the COVID-19 pandemic,” reads an official statement from Beyoncé.com.
“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, included testing and medical services, food supplies and food deliveries, both during and after the crisis.”
The novel coronavirus has disproportionately affected Black Americans, with most cases and deaths coming from cities with higher black populations, and during Global Citizen’s “One World: Together AT Home” special, Beyoncé addressed the virus’ impact on the Black community.
“Black Americans disproportionately belong to these essential parts of the workforce that do not have the luxury of working from home. African-American communities at large have been severely affected in this crisis,” she said. “Those with pre-existing conditions are at an even higher risk. This virus is killing black people at an alarmingly high rate here in America.”
Beyoncé also honored the “true heroes” who are “making the ultimate sacrifice to keep us all safe, fed, and healthy.”
She said in part: “We are one family, and we need you. We need your voices, your abilities, and your strength all over this world. I know it’s very hard, but please be patient, stay encouraged, keep the faith, stay positive, and continue to pray for our heroes.”
Beyonceé’s mom, Tina Knowles-Lawson, also recently revealed on Instagram that one of her close friends, Sheila Campbell Christian, died from COVID-19. Christian was a nurse and Beyoncé was the flower girl at her wedding.
“Losing our healthcare workers who are fighting for our families and us is the saddest thing. These are real people with real families,” Lawson said. “These healthcare workers are dying of this disease. Please take it seriously and stay home if you can.”
In addition to Beyoncé, Rihanna’s Clara Lionel Foundation teamed up with Jay-Z’s Shawn Carter Foundation and Jack Dorsey’s #startsmall initiative to fund over $6 million in grants aimed at supporting COVID-19 rapid response efforts all over the world, including vulnerable populations in New York, New Orleans, and Puerto Rico.