It’s been just over a year since Beyoncé dropped Lemonade, a visual album that made headlines not only for socio-political statements regarding racial profiling within the US, but also for its cinematically orchestrated scenes and new age sound that tell a poetic story far past pretty words and contagious beats. It’s now been dubbed the highest selling album of last year, and in true Queen style, Beyoncé is using its anniversary to launch a new initiative, with the hopes of encouraging young girls to follow their dreams. According to her website, the ‘Formation Scholars’ program will give four scholarships to women who are looking to study within the spheres of creative arts, music, literature or African-American studies in the 2017-2018 academic year, a part of her #beygood initiative.
The scholarships are in partnership with Berklee College of Music, Howard University, Parsons School of Design, and Spelman College, the president of which, Mary Schmidt Campbell, told the Washington Post, “[students] face very real financial barriers to attendance. Her gift opens a door to a transformative Spelman experience for at least one of them. We are so grateful to this visionary artist for helping us build a future for our young people.”
Michelle Obama, has also jumped on board to sing Queen Bey’s praises on Twitter:
— Michelle Obama (@MichelleObama) April 26, 2017
It seems only fitting that the scholarship comes in celebration of the album’s anniversary, as since its launch, it has stood as a tome for African-American women everywhere, also evident in her red-carpet appearance at the 2016 VMA awards, where she entered with a posse of inspiring women by her side, including her daughter, Blue Ivy.
Beyoncé has long been an active philanthropist, openly advocating for the Obamas, as well as Hilary Clinton during her campaign. She has also donated proceeds of her Formation tour towards organisations aiding the Flint, Michigan, water crisis and also has an association with Global Citizen and Chime for Change. Her recent move proves she’s just getting started. #ForeverBey