Former first lady Michelle Obama presented Beyoncé Knowles-Carter with this year’s Humanitarian Award. at the 20th annual BET Awards ceremony on Sunday .
Michelle praised Knowles-Carter for her humanitarian efforts, saying: “She’s always turning up, looking out and making us all a little bit better, a little more fierce.” “And she’s doing it all while staying devoted to her children and the loved ones she holds dear,” she continued. “To my girl, I just want to say — you inspire me. You inspire all of us.” Beyonce was honored for charitable work she’s done for the black community through her BeyGOOD initiative and her donations to groups helping provide health and mental resources to those in vulnerable communities.
During her acceptance speech on Sunday, Knowles-Carter said she wanted to dedicate her award to those “inspiring, marching and fighting for change” as nationwide protests against racism and police treatment of people of color continue following the police killing of George Floyd and more African Americans.
“Your voices are being heard. You’re proving to your ancestors that their struggles were not in vain. We have one more thing we have to do, and that is to vote. I’m encouraging you to continue to take action, continue to change and dismantle a racist and unequal system,” she said.
“We have to continue to do this together, to fight for each other and lift each other up. There are people banking on us staying a home during local elections and primaries. We have to vote like our life depends on it — because it does,” she added.