Kehlani Raises $555K For Aid to the Palestinian People and Citizens of War-Torn Sudan and Congo
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Kehlani Raises $555K For Aid to the Palestinian People and Citizens of War-Torn Sudan and Congo

Kehlani revealed to fans on Thursday (June 13) that sales of shirts promoting their “Next 2 U” single raised more than $555,000 for the Palestinian people, as well as the people of war-torn Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo. “This song is about protection, something that institutions have failed to do for the people of Palestine, Congo, and Sudan,” she wrote in an Instagram post on Wednesday.

“No one got us the way we got each other,” they added. “Me & my team feel overwhelmed with gratitude for yall showing out for this fundraiser. We’re blessed to say we supported artists in the West Bank while raising money for families in Gaza, Sudan and Congo. We’re blessed to say that we are supported by a community standing on business together. We’re blessed to play a small part in a growing tide towards the truth about Palestine.”

The singer concluded the note by saying, “we’re invincible together and I feel ever so inspired by y’all. THANK you for showing out on the streets of DC, with your dollars, with your labor and organizing, with your bodies blocking business as usual.” The note also featured the phrase “I believe that we will win” and a watermelon emoji, which has become a symbol showing support for the Palestinian people.

The $65 T-shirts for the singer’s latest single were made in Bethlehem and printed in Ramallah, cities that are both in the West Bank. The fundraiser comes as the war between Israel and the militant group Hamas drags into its ninth month following Hamas’ surprise Oct. 7 attack on Israel in which officials said more than 1,200 women, children and men were killed and 250 citizens were taken hostage. Israel’s retaliatory strikes have killed more than 36,000 Palestinians to date according to authorities, while displacing more than one million people and causing what aid groups have called the worst famine in recent history.

In the video for “Next 2 U,” Kehlani placed her solidarity with the Palestinian people front-and-center, with an opening message featuring a poem from Palestinian-American writer Hala Alyan and the message “Long Live the Intifada” — a reference to the two violent uprisings in the West Bank and Gaza Strip aimed at ending Israel’s occupation of those territories. The clip also features the singer and their background dancers waving Palestinian flags and wearing suits accented with keffiyeh scarves. It ends with a message saying that her team included a link to the list of the names of the “thousands of deceased children” killed in Israel’s attack on Gaza provided by Al Jazeera in the video’s description because it was too long to include in the clip.

Over the past few months, Kehlani is among the artists who’ve been speaking out in support of the Palestinian people, posting an Insta video in May — which has since been removed — in which she called out her “highly f–king platformed” peers for not commenting on the war, saying “You can’t speak? Disgusting… It’s f–k Israel. It’s f–k Zionism. And it’s f–k a lot of ya’ll too.” Her comments have been supported by rapper Macklemore, who recently released his pro-Palestinian protest song “Hind’s Hall,” named for the Hamilton Hall building at Columbia University that students occupied in April and renamed in honor of a six-year-old Palestinian girl, Hind Rajab, who was killed by Israeli forces in Gaza.

Check out Kehlani’s post below.

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