Janelle Monáe's new protest song, Say Her Name, is a collaboration with the African American Policy Forum, and serves as a way to honour the Black women and girls who have died as a result of police brutality.
The track, which is a follow-up to her 2015 song Hell You Talmbout, is a reminder of the 61 Black women and girls that have been killed by law enforcement. The 17-minute song sees Janelle chanting their names alongside the likes of Beyoncé, Alicia Keys, Chlöe x Halle and more. Proceeds from the song/video will benefit the African American Policy Forum's #SayHerName campaign. The AAPF creates emergency resources to support the loved ones of those who have died, as well as helping families tell their story through art.
Speaking about the track, Janelle told PEOPLE that she wants Say Her Name to "bring more awareness to what has not been covered and to also allow their families an opportunity to be able to hear people sharing their stories about their daughters as the human beings they were and as the daughters they were."
She also highlighted the power of music, saying, "Music has always been therapy for me. What this [song] is also doing is capturing a moment in our history and how we all came together to spread the word about who they are. To be able to uplift their names in this song is taking a piece of American history and taking a piece of what has happened so that history won't repeat itself again."
Speaking about the #SayHerName campaign to PEOPLE, Dr. Kimberlé Crenshaw, co-founder of the African American Policy Forum, echoed Janelle's thoughts and says, "The silence that surrounds the killing of Black women is what we have just witnessed. So what are we going to do to reverse it?" Crenshaw explains. "The saying her name was the creation of that cacophony of sound. We needed to not only say their names, but explode the sound barrier by saying the names that had been erased for so long."
Say Her Name honours Rekia Boyd, Latasha Nicole Walton, Atatiana Jefferson, Kendra James, Priscilla Slater, Yuvette Henderson, Renee Davis, Kyam Livingston, Cynthia Fields, Kindra Chapman, India Kager, Shelly Frey, LaJuana Phillips, Kisha Michael, Dannette Daniels, Crystal Ragland, Pamela Turner, Latandra Ellington, Crystalline Barnes, Korryn Gaines, Michelle Cusseaux, India Cummings, Sandra Bland, Symone Marshall, Yvette Smith, Margaret Mitchell, Mya Hall, Tyisha Miller, Alesia Thomas, Kayla Moore, Alberta Spruill, Breonna Taylor, Aiyana Stanley-Jones, Nizah Morris, LaTanya Haggerty, Layleen Polanco, Shereese Francis, Sheneque Proctor, April Webster, Kathryn Johnston, Michelle Shirley, India Beaty, Tanisha Anderson, Sandy Guardiola, Shukri Ali Said, Duanna Johnson, Eleanor Bumpurs, Jessica Williams, Sarah Riggins, Charleena Lyles, Sharmel Edwards, Deborah Danner, Joyce Curnell, Natasha McKenna, Darnesha Harris, Pearlie Golden, Miriam Carey and Tarika Wilson. You can listen to it below, and learn more about the African American Policy Forum here.