Amid the various celebrity telecasts and efforts to lift spirits and offer support to charities during the coronavirus crisis, there has been one constant: Beyoncé. She appeared on the Disney Family Singalong to offer her support to Feeding America and health-care workers. She wore a fun hat on the Global Citizen broadcast and used her platform to speak about how black Americans are disproportionately affected by the coronavirus pandemic, both in health outcomes and through essential service positions. Even Blue Ivy is making PSAs.
On now on April 23, Beyoncé’s BeyGOOD initiative announced that it is pledging $6 million in funding to support organizations that tackle an often-overlooked element of the coronavirus pandemic: the mental-health toll on communities and essential workers, in particular. In a statement, the organization announced that it is partnering with UCLA and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey’s #startsmall efforts to provide this $6 million “to organizations providing mental wellness services.” BeyGOOD also will also partner with the National Alliance on Mental Illness to provide local support in Houston, New York, New Orleans, and Detroit. In a statement from BeyGOOD on Beyoncé’s website, the organization explains its reasoning for supporting mental-health and personal-wellness efforts, in particular:
Beyoncé’s BeyGOOD recognizes the immense mental and personal health burdens being placed on essential workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. 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.
On April 7, Dorsey tweeted that he will pledge $1 billion of his equity in Square to “#startsmall LLC to fund global COVID-19 relief.” So it looks like relying on the goodwill of the ultrawealthy and famous to support coronavirus efforts while the government is reportedly blocking intercepting PPE access and bungling its public health management is where we are. However, if this is the particular dystopian lot we’ve been dealt, we’re grateful Beyoncé’s the one at the helm.
Update, 11:20 PM, Thursday, April 23: Beyoncé posted a video on her Instagram encouraging her followers to donate to those affected by the coronavirus pandemic. “The impact of this pandemic is far reaching, and it’s going to take each and everyone of us to help make a difference,” Beyoncé wrote in a caption. “If one of the organizations we are supporting speaks to your heart, you can join us and contribute by clicking the link in my bio.”