Common has launched a new advocacy campaign, #WeMatterToo, to help those who are incarcerated during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Grammy and Academy award-winning rapper unveiled the new campaign on his Instagram page on Wednesday (May 13).
“We have to be there for our vulnerable communities including our people who are currently incarcerated,” the post read. “I’m proud to launch #WeMatterToo today alongside 70+ organizations who have dedicated their time and energy to supporting our brothers and sisters currently in prisons, jails, and detention centers around the country during this scary and uncertain time. Every life matters.”
Along with the message, Common shared a 2-minute short film composed of recordings from people, whose identity was not shared, that are currently incarcerated. Many voiced that they are unable to properly social distance and that they have not been provided with gloves or masks to safeguard themselves against contracting the respiratory illness.
“We all have unanswered questions about the pandemic,” Common told Billboard about the new initiative. “But being in prison adds new levels to that questioning, because of the way that people have been treated in prison,”
The prison system has been swept up by some of the worst cases of the coronavirus, with major outbreaks happening at numerous correctional facilities across the U.S.
According to the Bureau of Prisons, over 51 facilities nationwide have been impacted by the novel coronavirus, with more than 2820 federal inmates and 266 personnel testing positive for COVID-19.
For the latest on the coronavirus, check out BET’s blog on the virus, and contact your local health department or visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.