Amid the many surprises Beyoncé dropped over the weekend, you might’ve missed this one: The superstar entertainer started a fund to aid children in Flint, Michigan, affected by their local water crisis.
Her interest in Flint’s current state of affairs isn’t too surprising. Flint is a working-class city of about 100,000 people – the majority of whom are black. And the water crisis is particularly harmful to young kids. Beyoncé is a known advocate for civil rights and children’s causes.
Last year, research scientists from Virginia Tech ran tests on Flint’s tap water and found high levels of lead. Exposure to lead can cause lower intelligence and attention problems – especially in kids under age 6. To make matters more concerning, the effects of lead exposure can’t be reversed.
So the singer says she is partnering with the Community Foundation of Greater Flint to “create a fund that will address long-term developmental, education, nutrition and health needs of the children affected by the Flint Water Crisis.” The move is a part of her ongoing philanthropic efforts to team up with local charities in areas that sometimes coincide with tour stops.
After releasing a politically charged new song and video Saturday and performing at the Super Bowl on Sunday, Beyoncé announced a world tour in a commercial that ran right after her performance. The tour is being promoted by Live Nation, and an announcement on its site touted the new fund.
Reveal reached out to Beyoncé’s charity organization, #BeyGOOD, and Live Nation for more details about how the initiative will be funded and how she will support her latest cause on tour. We have yet to hear back.
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Beyoncé uses Super Bowl spotlight to help kids in Flint
Julia B. Chan worked at The Center for Investigative Reporting until June, 2017. Julia B. Chan is a producer and the digital editor for Reveal's national public radio program. She’s the voice of Reveal online and manages the production and curation of digital story assets that are sent to more than 200 stations across the country. Previously, Chan helped The Center for Investigative Reporting launch YouTube’s first investigative news channel, The I Files, and led engagement strategies – online and off – for multimedia projects. She oversaw communications, worked to better connect CIR’s work with a bigger audience and developed creative content and collaborations to garner conversation and impact.
Before joining CIR, Chan worked as a Web editor and reporter at the San Francisco Examiner. She managed the newspaper’s digital strategy and orchestrated its first foray into social media and online engagement. A rare San Francisco native, she studied broadcasting at San Francisco State University, focusing on audio production and recording. Chan is based in Reveal's Emeryville, California, office.