Rihanna’s foundation has donated more than $15 million (R261 million) to mental health services.
The 32-year-old singer has pledged the huge sum from her The Clara Lionel Foundation in collaboration with Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey’s #StartSmall initiative, amid the coronavirus pandemic.
A statement from Rihanna’s foundation reads: “Racial injustices perpetrated by systems built to keep people safe are exacerbating the coronavirus’s mental health impact on individuals and families across the United States.
“Even as the majority of states have begun lifting restrictions in recent days, millions of Americans continue to face daunting challenges when it comes to their health, mental and economic wellbeing. (sic)”
The foundation – which the ‘Umbrella’ hitmaker set up in 2012 – pointed out the financial boost will go to organisations in Newark and Chicago “focused on addressing mental health issues, food insecurity, income loss and the needs of individuals excluded from federal stimulus programmes”.
The statement read: “In Newark, which has one of the highest COVID-19 infection rates in the country, senior citizens, low-income families and homeless individuals are facing impossible decisions everyday: whether to buy groceries or pay utility bills, risk eviction or risk crowded shelters.
“In Chicago, racial disparities are contributing to alarmingly disproportionate rates of infection and death among Black and Brown people. And throughout the U.S., mental health and suicide prevention support providers – particularly those serving children, at-risk students and LGBTQ youth – have seen a dramatic rise in demand for their services.
“On June 18, in partnership with Jack Dorsey’s #StartSmall initiative, we are donating more than $15 million to organizations focused on addressing mental health issues, food insecurity, income loss and the needs of individuals excluded from federal stimulus programs in Newark and Chicago (sic)”
In April, Rihanna and Jack donated $4.2million (R81 million) to help domestic violence victims in LA during the pandemic.
A statement read: “An estimated 10 million people experience domestic violence in the U.S. each year. The Los Angeles Housing Authority has determined that dozens of individuals (and their children, in many cases) are being turned away from at-capacity domestic violence shelters every week as incidents have been on the rise since the Safer at Home Order was issued in March.
“CLF and Dorsey, who have previously partnered on impact projects, knew that swift action was required and decided to address the issue together. CLF’s $2.1 million commitment follows two previous rounds of COVID-19 emergency response grants, bringing the foundation’s total to over $8 million in coronavirus-related support.”
Rihanna previously announced her Clara Lionel Foundation will give $5 million (R87 million) in grants to people working against COVID-19 on the frontline, and she and Jay-Z followed that up with another $1 million each to fight coronavirus.