Beyoncé, Solange, Janelle Monáe, and many others have signed a open letter penned by Beyonce's mother, Tina Knowles-Lawson, that urges the Senate to pass legislation that would protect voting rights, especially those of black and brown citizens.

The letter was addressed to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, calling on them and the rest of the Senate to pass the HEROES Act (which passed in the House of Representatives in May). She writes, the HEROES Act "would provide a $3 trillion safety net for those most impacted by COVID-19, including disproportionately impacted Black and Brown communities, through provision of healthcare, economic security, justice system reforms, housing, and voting access." She goes on to write, "This is modern-day voter suppression plain and simple. Voters in all these states risked their health, and that of their communities, simply to make their voices heard. People should be able to exercise their constitutional right to vote and stay healthy, even during a pandemic. We should not have to choose between public health and a functioning democracy."

Further into the letter, Knowles-Lawson writes, "Congress has starved state and local communities of the resources they need to run safe, accessible elections. We can't allow this to happen in November. Our democracy can't wait."

Her letter's message is backed by the organizations And I Still Vote and the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights. Additionally, "The Mothers of the Movement" and "22 concerned Black women" (including Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer, Regina King, Halle Berry, Jada Pinkett Smith, Whoopi Goldberg, Gabrielle Union, Kelly Rowland) have signed her letter, as noted by Knowles-Lawson. Said mothers are the mothers of children whose deaths have sparked the Black Lives Matter movement, including Gwenn Carr (mother of Eric Garner), Kadiatou Diallo (mother of Amadou Diallo), Sybrina Fulton (mother of Trayvon Martin), Tamika Palmer (mother of Breonna Taylor), Geneva Reed-Veal (mother of Sandra Bland), and many others. You can read the entire letter below (or read a PDF here).

In other news, Beyoncé recently announced her new visual album, Black is King—which was inspired by her 2019 album The Lion King: The Gift and her role in the live-action remake of the Disney film, The Lion King. It will be released on Disney+ on July 31st. You can watch the trailer below.

Beyoncé was also honored with the Humanitarian Award at the BET Awards (which took place yesterday, June 28th) for her philanthropic efforts. In her acceptance video,Beyoncé urged viewers to vote “like our life depends on it" and to “dismantle a racist and unequal system” in the country. Watch that here:

Beyonce also recently released new single "Black Parade" in honor of Juneteenth, celebrating Blackness, and supporting Black-owned businesses (via her new BeyGOOD's Black Business Impact Fund).


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