Looking glamorous in white, floor-length gown and her hair pulled back in a sleek ponytail, B sings the poignant song with the U.N. audience seated in front of her, and images from recent disasters screening in panoramic view behind her. As the song progresses, scenes of globes and constellations turn up; laser lights and a small blue arrow, imprinted with the song’s title, trace a path along the globe.
On August 10, Beyoncé appeared at the U.N., along with CNN’s Anderson Cooper, and filmed the video that night. She belted out the tune in front of an audience in an effort to shed light on the various regions that have been affected by natural disasters as well as the humanitarian workers who selflessly come to their aid.
“I’d like to ask everyone to make sure they’re a part of August 19,” B said of commemorating the 2003 terror attack on Iraq’s Canal Hotel, which left 100 wounded and killed at least 22, including the U.N. Special Representative in Iraq. “It’s such a beautiful, beautiful day, and I’d like to honor the 22 people who lost their lives. God bless you all, thank you so much for having me.” Queen B and the U.N. joined forces with humanitarian aid organizations to launch the initiative, “a global day to celebrate humanity and the spirit of people helping people.”
The World Humanitarian Day website recently launched and allows users to post the “individual acts of good” they have done in their communities. By today’s end, organizers are hoping to reach 1 billion people with a single message.
“We all see the headlines, and we think, ’What can I really do to help?’ ” Beyoncé said in a statement. “World Humanitarian Day is an opportunity for all of us to work together to make a difference. This is our time to leave our mark on the world and show that we were here and we care.”