All hail Queen Latifah on her collaboration with the American Lung Association (ALA) to bring awareness to lung disease and the health disparities plaguing Black Americans.
On Saturday, September 26 @ 12 p.m. EST, Queen Latifah will host the first-ever American Lung Association’s livestream benefit #Act4Impact, which will raise funds for the ALA’s COVID-19 Action Initiative that shines a light on healthcare disparities that continue to disproportionately impact Black and Latino communities.
In 2018, Queen Latifah’s mother, Rita, passed away from systemic sclerosis-associated interstitial lung disease. That tragedy in her life spurred her to action.
She decided she wanted to do something to help others with their journey and bring awareness to diseases that disproportionately affects people of color. “I’m proud to partner with the American Lung Association to spotlight the ongoing health disparities that continue to affect the Black and Latinx communities, especially during this pandemic,” explains Queen Latifah. “This has hit us really hard.
Out of the 6.5 million people across the country who has tested positive for COVID-19, we are the ones more likely to die from it, and more likely to contract it. We are three times more likely to be diagnosed with it than whites, and that’s a problem.”
The American Lung Association realized this pandemic was not going away and was going to be far worse than initially thought and that is why they created a $25 million fund to enable their efforts to:
- Provide free lung health education and cloth masks to those in need
- Protect public health by advocating for accessible and affordable COVID and flu vaccines in underserved communities of color
- Prevent future outbreaks by investing in respiratory virus research
The ALA has been a champion for lung health for over 100 years. They are continuing their mission with #Act4Impact by exposing the gap in resources, providing information and raising funds to combat COVID-19.
Besides COVID-19, there are so many more health inequities that disproportionately affect Blacks such as lung-related disparities associated with air pollution.
According to the American Lung Association “…[studies] found that those who live in predominately black or African American communities suffered greater risk of premature death from particle pollution than those who live in communities that are predominately white.4”
The list of disparities the affect Blacks and Latinx could go on and on, but the bottom line is, ALA and Queen Latifah want to do something to help.
Queen Latifah has assembled a few of her friends for this event.
The growing list of celebrities, entertainment talent, and musicians confirmed to participate include:
- Jimmy Fallon – Comedian, actor, television host, writer, and producer.
- Mary J. Blige – singer-songwriter, actress, and philanthropist
- Common – American rapper, actor and writer
- Idris Elba – actor, writer, producer, rapper, singer, songwriter and DJ
- Lena Waithe – screenwriter, producer, and actress
- Dwayne Wade – Former professional basketball player
- Gabrielle Union – Actress, voice artist, activist, and author
- Vivica A. Fox – Actress, producer and television host.
- Harry Connick Jr. – Singer, pianist, composer, actor, and television host
- LL Cool J – Rapper, record producer, actor, author, and entrepreneur
- Jill Scott – singer-songwriter, model, poet and actress
- Questlove – musician and music journalist
To find out if you are at risk for lung cancer, read our article “Are You At Risk? Take This Lung Cancer Screening Eligibility Quiz?”