Tina Knowles Lawson has joined Beyoncé’s BeyGood foundation and the United Memorial Medical Center to start her own initiative called “#IDidMyPart,” so more people in Houston, Texas, can get tested for COVID-19.
The tests will be conducted on Mother’s Day weekend with 1,000 test kits being given, as well as masks, gloves, vitamins and other hard-to-get items that people have been using for COVID-19 protection.
The tests will be drive-in only, meaning people won’t have to leave their vehicles. There will be 500 tests administered on Friday, May 8, between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. at Cullen Middle School in Houston’s 3rd Ward. There will be another 500 tests given the following day at North Houston’s Forest Brook Middle School, also from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Everyone who gets tested will be given a gift card from Texas’ H-E-B Grocery Company, along with vouchers from the local restaurants Burns Original Bar-B-Q and Frenchy’s Chicken. Those conducting the tests will be given restaurant vouchers too.
Knowles Lawson released a statement about the need for Black and brown people in the United States to get tested for COVID-19 since people in those communities have been dying from it at higher rates compared to others.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention points to a number of factors that cause the disparity, like living conditions and people not having jobs that can be worked remotely.
The CDC says that almost a quarter of Black and Hispanic “workers are employed in service industry jobs compared to 16% of non-Hispanic whites.”
Knowles Lawson said that it’s crucial for these communities to be tested, and they shouldn’t be in the dark about whether they’re infected or not.
“The virus is wreaking havoc on the Black community so we need a movement to prioritize our health,” said Knowles Lawson in a statement. “We are all in this together, but we have to look at what is happening in our Black and Brown communities and how they are being decimated by COVID-19. It is critical that we stay vigilant with social-distancing, wearing a mask and most of all getting tested.”
“If you don’t get tested then you don’t know if you are a carrier of the virus,” she added. “Being asymptomatic is how you infect your entire household and those around you, the very people you love. We have got to go to these free testing facilities and find out our status.”
Knowles Lawson’s “#IDidMyPart” part initiative was announced just days after its been revealed that her daughter Beyoncé is giving $6 million to provide mental health assistance during the outbreak.
Beyoncé made the announcement last month when she participated in Global Citizen’s “One World: Together at Home” event, where she cited an alarming statistic reported by Texas CBS News affiliate KHOU11: 57 percent of COVID-19 deaths in Houston have been those of Black people.