Alicia Keys has shown the world and her fans that next to making music, she is passionate about helping others and making the world a better place. The multi-award winning singer-songwriter has used her voice, music, and influence to bring change and raise awareness about various social issues, has advocated against racism and for women’s rights, education, and has donated to various charity organizations and disaster relief fundraisers.
In addition to helping others, Alicia has inspired thousands of women to go makeup free and feel beautiful in their own skin.
Here’s all you need to know about her charity organization, “Keep a Child Alive” and the “No Makeup Movement.”
The Keep a Child Alive organization:
Born in the 1980’s, during the same time the virus had first been detected, Keys became familiar with HIV/AIDS when she was 8 years old after a family friend had passed away from the disease. In 2003, at the peak of her music career, Keys wanted to use her influence to bring awareness to HIV and AIDS. She co-founded Keep a Child Alive with fellow HIV activist Leigh Blake with the aim to provide healthcare, support, and the necessary resources needed to families affected by HIV and AIDS in communities in Africa and India.
Keys and Blake were inspired to start KCA after they visited various clinics in South Africa with HIV-infected mothers and children, where they realized the lack of resources and education on the disease. They also visited Uganda and Kenya to educate communities on the disease. In 2008, Keys released a documentary called “Alicia in Africa: Journey to the Motherland” which recorded her philanthropic work done while visiting.
To keep the KCA’s mission of providing HIV/AIDS healthcare and resources to communities in need alive, the organization hosts an annual fundraiser called “The Black Ball” to raise money for HIV/AIDS treatment. The annual gala is attended by various artists, activists, and philanthropists in support to raise funds for the cause and has to date raised over $20 million.
Since its founding, KCA has partnered up with nine organizations from Kenya, South Africa, Uganda, and India serving over 150,000 people. They’ve also expanded their work and support to communities worldwide with the following:
● Education to young people about facts and their rights relating to sexual health.
● Enhance livelihoods and leadership skills by equipping the young with the knowledge, skills, and opportunities to better their communities and future.
● They take action against sexual abuse, support victims of it, and help convice the perpetrators.
● During the COVID-19 pandemic, KCA provided food to children and families in need around the world.
● They provide maternal and child healthcare.
● They currently have a crisis fund open for donations in support of Ukrainian children and families.
In 2009, Keys won the Humanitarian Award for her philanthropic work at the 2009 BET Awards. For Alicia, here’s no cause too big or too small if it means bringing change and helping others in need.
Her No-Makeup Movement:
Since 2016, Alicia Keys has, without planning it, started the “No Makeup Movement” and we absolutely love it! According to Alicia, she was about to do a photoshoot for her new album release at the time, which of course, required makeup. However, the photographer felt different and was in love with the raw look of Alicia arriving on set, and decided on shooting her without any makeup, telling her that “The music is raw and real, and these photos have to be too!”
Alicia shared that during that shoot, it was the most empowered, beautiful, free, and strongest she’s ever felt in her own skin. Since then, she made the decision to not feel pressured into wearing makeup all the time when heading out, even when it's to a red carpet event! She has proudly rocked her raw and natural look at a few BET and Grammy Awards events.
Her confidence has influenced thousands of women to feel beautiful in their own skin, and serves as a great reminder that we don’t need makeup to feel beautiful. Besides, going makeup free will be giving our skin the much needed break needed from being covered up. Going makeup free is also the perfect time to pick up on a healthy skincare routine.