Queen Latifah, the Emmy Award-winning musician known as Dana Owens while growing up in New Jersey, will host the American Lung Association’s (ALA) first livestream fundraising event. The benefit, #Act4Impact, will stream on September 26 and will fund activities that aim to eradicate COVID-19 and support lung health, especially within underserved communities.
Participating acts will appear from their homes and other remote locations. Performances include music and comedy presentations, as well as information from scientists and frontline workers and testimonials from people impacted by the virus.
During the two-hour event, viewers will be urged to donate to the Chicago-based ALA’s COVID-19 Action Initiative, which provides masks and access to care to underserved communities. Donations will also fund development of planning for preventing future pandemics and research.
The ALA will advocate at the state and federal levels for an end to disparities in health and treatment accessibility and provide frontline healthcare workers with COVID-focused education.
Since the inception of the COVID-19 Action Initiative, the ALA has expanded research into the disease, funded awards and grants for preventative research, vaccines and antivirals and provided pilot grants to evaluate the impact of COVID-19 on individuals with chronic lung disease. Individuals with lung ailments are among the more vulnerable to the coronavirus’s effects, and the pandemic has hit Black and Brown communities especially hard.
“COVID-19 has affected the lives of so many people around the world, but Black and Hispanic Americans have suffered substantially higher death rates than any other community,” said Queen Latifah via a statement. “After my mother died from lung disease, I knew I wanted to collaborate with the American Lung Association to help others fight. This is an urgent issue, and we need to act urgently to make an impact for people who need us the most. I’m honored to partner with the Lung Association and encourage others to support the organization’s efforts.”