SEATTLE — Hailed for her recent starring roles in the films “Hidden Figures” and “Moonlight” and her musical career, out of the spotlight, Janelle Monáe raises awareness around the world regarding global issues of education, poverty and disease. She has participated in numerous charitable campaigns and causes, including Let Girls Learn and Keep a Child Alive.
Monáe joined forces with First Lady Michelle Obama, Missy Elliot, Kelly Clarkson, Kelly Rowland and Zendaya for a charity single entitled “This Is For My Girls.” The single helped promote messages of self-respect and dignity. “This Is For My Girls” supported Let Girls Learn and #62MillionGirls, two initiatives that go toward women and girls around the world who lack access to a proper education.
Let Girls Learn recognizes the complex struggles girls face and works to ensure that they get the education they deserve. Education can lead girls through life with the necessary skills and knowledge to reach their full potential and break the cycle of poverty. Let Girls Learn funds efforts that expand educational opportunities for girls in areas of conflict and crisis. The initiative is composed of many public-private partnerships and challenges others to commit resources to improving the lives of adolescent girls worldwide.
In addition to supporting education, Janelle Monáe raises awareness around the world about HIV/AIDS. She signed on as an ambassador for the newly formed power council for Keep a Child Alive. The organization’s mission is “to realize the end of AIDS for children and their families, by combating the physical, social and economic impacts of HIV.” On a global scale, HIV/AIDS affects 1.8 million children and is the second leading cause of death. Keep a Child Alive emphasizes the role of prevention but also aims to provide individuals suffering from the disease with adequate medication and treatment. In a statement to the Associated Press, Monáe said “we need to come together and use our voice to help put an end to this epidemic.”
Along with her global contributions, Monáe has focused efforts at the state level, particularly in Flint, Michigan. Monáe attended a benefit event for residents affected by lead-contaminated water in Flint that raised nearly $156,000. Lead exposure in children can lead to various health problems, including impaired cognition, behavioral disorders, hearing problems, delayed puberty and reduced fetal growth in pregnant women. About 2,000 people were at the Blackout for Human Rights #JusticeForFlint event. More than 4,000 people sent in online donations.
Through her influence in the entertainment industry, Monáe raises awareness around the world and serves humanitarian needs. Like her, individuals can look to finding ways to lend a helping hand in their own communities and abroad.
– Mikaela Frigillana