Beyonce has announced a donation of $6m for mental health and other initiatives during the coronavirus outbreak.
The singer teamed up with Twitter founder Jack Dorsey’s relief fund #startsmall to make the donation to the National Alliance in Mental Health, University of California Los Angeles, and local community-based organisations working to improve mental health. In a statement on her website, Beyoncé said mental burdens were accelerating for people who can’t access basic necessities during the crisis.
She also gave support to a range of charities providing those necessities, including food, water, cleaning supplies, medicines, face masks, and personal hygiene items.
She opened her statement by saying: “Communities of colour 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.”
Last weekend, she gave support to African American communities during the live-streamed benefit concert One World: Together at Home. She said they were “severely affected by this crisis. This virus is killing black people and in an alarmingly high rate here in America.”
Dorsey created #startsmall earlier this month, moving $1bn of his equity in his payments company Square to the fund – around 28% of his personal wealth. #startsmall has distributed $8m to different causes so far, not including Beyoncé’s donation; its activity can be tracked in a public spreadsheet.
Beyoncé closed her statement by saying: “These are unprecedented times, and it will take our collective efforts to make a difference.”