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Queen Latifah has supported BIPOC causes for years. In the 80s Latifah rapped about misogyny in the Black community and last year she began speaking about the mental health and the benefits of therapy for people of color. She even appeared on Dr. Oz’s show to discuss her mental health journey.
Latifah is hosting a fundraiser for the for the American Lung Association’s #Act4Impact initiative to raise funds for Black and Latinx frontline workers affected by the pandemic. This cause is personal to her as several of her family members are frontline workers who have battled covid. It will livestream on September 26 at 7 p.m. ET on Facebook and includes cameos by other celebrities including Gabrielle Union and Dwayne Wade, Katharine MacPhee, Common, and Harry Connick, Jr. Here’s more, from People:
Watching friends and family suffer from the virus spurred Latifah to action: She’s teaming up with the American Lung Association to host its first-ever livestream benefit #Act4Impact on September 26, which will raise money for the organization’s COVID-19 Action Initiative.
The initiative aims to highlight the alarming, disproportionate effects of the pandemic on Black and Latino communities throughout the United States and to work on solutions to close the gap: distributing free cloth masks, advocating for accessible, affordable coronavirus and flu vaccines and investing in respiratory research and other programs.
While everyone is at some risk for getting the coronavirus, the ongoing pandemic has highlighted the stark lack of resources and healthcare in minority communities, where infection rates have skyrocketed. According to the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC), Black and Latino people are nearly five times as likely to be hospitalized due to coronavirus as white patients.
Public health experts have pointed to underlying health conditions, limited access to healthcare, jobs that cannot be done remotely, crowded households and the stress of dealing with racism that make Black and Latino Americans more vulnerable to the virus.
“If there’s anything we’ve seen this year, it’s that there’s some big differences in how people of color are treated in our country, whether it’s from healthcare, to policing, to this pandemic,” Latifah says. “This fundraiser is an opportunity for regular, everyday people to get good information, get a break from the craziness of it all, but also hear from some of your favorite people.”
I really love this initiative. It is truly sad that our government has so thoroughly failed us and that it has taken celebrities and charities to fill in the gaps. I knew that the numbers for COVID infections and death were disproportionately higher in BIPOC communities but I didn’t know it was five times higher! That’s absolutely criminal and exposes the white supremacy in our government.
I have always loved Queen Latifah. She is more palatable to diverse audiences these days, but I will never forget the Queen from 1988 who rapped the song U.N.I.T.Y wearing a dashiki and African Kufi hat while exposing the misogyny in the Black community. She was an angry Black feminist and that song was like a war cry for my 12 year old self. I have loved seeing her grow into her own and expand. Not to mention she is STUNNING. I think #Act4Impact is a great initiative and a wonderful way to honor underserved communities in America. I will most likely count some change and donate what I can. Especially, since my grandmother, uncle, and father all died from lung-related diseases.
I also like that she is another well known celebrity that is advocating for mental health fitness and the benefits of therapy in the Black community. The more celebrities like her, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II that advocate for Black people to go to therapy, the better. You can learn more about the #Act4Impact initiative on their website.
Photos credit: Getty and via Instagram