Beyonce Honored With Humanitarian Award at 2020 Bet Awards and Urges People to Vote This Year

Published June 29th, 2020 - 05:06 GMT
Beyonce Honored With Humanitarian Award at 2020 Bet Awards and Urges People to Vote This Year

Beyonce was honored at Sunday's 2020 BET Awards with the Humanitarian Award.

Ex-First Lady Michelle Obama presented the 38-year-old songstress with the honors, citing her charitable efforts and activism on global, national and local levels, including the singer's native Houston.

In her acceptance speech, the Single Ladies artist sent her gratitude toward the people who have demonstrated in support of the Black Lives Matter movement against racism and police brutality.

Beyonce urged people to 'continue to take action' and 'continue to change and dismantle a racist and unequal system.'

Beyonce noted the upcoming election in November, stressing the need for people to vote.

'There are people banking on us staying at home during local elections and primaries happening in states across the country,' she said. 'We have to vote like our life depends on it because it does.' 

The singer also took to Instagram earlier Sunday to share an open letter her mother Tina Lawson penned urging U.S. senators to pass the Heroes Act bill in an effort she said was to 'ensure that our vote is protected this election cycle.'

She wrote in the caption, 'I am proud to stand with my mother, @mstinalawson and the Mothers of The Movement to send this open letter to senators calling for the passing of the Heroes Act. 'This bill would help provide funding to ensure that our vote is protected this election cycle. Read the letter and add your voice with ours.

The Houston native urged her 149 million followers that 'together we can be the change we want to see in the world,' ending with the powerful hashtag #ANDSTILLIVOTE.

The Grammy-winning star included a petition to sign in support of Lawson's letter, which was addressed to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Minority Leader Charles Schumer.

The HEROES (Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions) Act, which was proposed in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic - and its subsequent impact on all aspects of life - is aimed at protecting the voting rights of the 'disproportionately impacted Black and Brown communities.'

Lawson had a number of celeb cosigners to her letter, including Beyoncé and Solange, Halle Berry, Jada Pinkett Smith, Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer, Regina King and Kerry Washington. 

The letter is also cosigned by the mothers of Trayvon Martin, Breonna Taylor, Eric Garner and the matriarch of George Floyd's family, among others.

Lawson said in the letter, 'We are concerned Black women. Many of us are mothers of Black sons and daughters -- some of whom have lost our children -- and we have a vision for a new America.

'This past month has culminated in a moment of reckoning for the country.'

She continued: 'As members of the Black community, we are hurting, we are angry, and we are anguished by the repeated assaults of Black bodies, brought to light once again by the recent murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor at the hands of what has for too long been incorrectly coined "justice."

'But even in this moment, when we feel despair and deep exhaustion, we remember one essential truth: our voices have power.'

© Associated Newspapers Ltd.

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