Did you hear? Beyonce wrote an essay. If you know anything about this week’s release of The Shriver Report, that is most likely what you know. It was very smart of the people behind this report to harness the celebrity power of stars like Beyonce as well as Eva Longoria, Jennifer Garner, Jada Pinkett Smith, and LeBron James. These are names you are probably familiar with, names that might entice you to read, names that might be the sparkle that leads you to the actual diamond that is the entire report.
I wrote about The Shriver Report this last weekend and why I was personally excited about its release. My writing about it probably didn’t cause much of a blip on the interest ripple in the universe. However, I happened to be on Twitter when news about Beyonce’s involvement became known and it was amazing to watch the excitement explode online.
The @ShriverReport account shared the news on January 7th and (as of this writing) beyond being favorited once, it wasn’t retweeted or shared at all.
Four days later things started to take off:
— Beyoncé Lite (@BeyonceLite) January 11, 2014
Beyonce was able to use her fame to bring in such a wide audience and then, through her essay Gender Equality Is a Myth!, she started a conversation.
“So why are we viewed as less than equal? These old attitudes are drilled into us from the very beginning. We have to teach our boys the rules of equality and respect, so that as they grow up, gender equality becomes a natural way of life. And we have to teach our girls that they can reach as high as humanly possible.” – Beyoncé Knowles-Carter
It’s not just Beyonce lending her voice to this report; there are many celebrity voices that have penned powerful essays on subjects that are far beyond, “who are you wearing?” Eva Longoria has written “Empowering Latinas” and within it she calls our attention to some serious education issues for Latinas: “No matter how large or small our contribution, we must do our part to help these students succeed. Together, we can create a world that doesn’t need a Shriver report about ‘women on the brink’ because women — all of our women — will have the opportunities they need to gain access to the American Dream.”
Jennifer Garner’s piece, “Turning Poverty Around: Training Parents to Help Their Kids,” brings up the amazing work of organizations like Save the Children. Jada Pinkett-Smith has written an essay called “Human Trafficking and Slavery in the United States” that will shake you to your core. (Both of these essays are available only for view once you download the full report.)
As a working single mom, the essay by LeBron James dedicated to his mom touched me. “America’s Working Single Mothers: An Appreciation” is so heartfelt and passionate. He begins with, “You think LeBron James is a champion? Gloria James is a champion too. She’s my champion.”
These celebrity essays are just a small part of the whole package that is the powerful and inspiring Shriver Report. January 15th is the last day you can download the entire book FOR FREE. This report is a blueprint for so many of us to work from and to build on. Even if you think there could be nothing in the report for a woman like you, I urge you to download it because it could help you understand your sister better or your best friend. There are women standing next to you who are fighting to survive and they are just barely hanging on.
See Speakers from Shriver Report LIVE
“The Shriver Report Live” will be streamed live on the web today from 9am to 5pm. Use the hashtag #WhatWomenNeed to follow along on social media.
Image Credit: Beyonce Instagram
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