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Queen Latifah has partnered up with the American Lung Association to host its first-ever livestream benefit, #Act4Impact, on September 26.
The fundraiser will raise money for the organization’s COVID-19 Action Initiative.
“As frontline workers, they were right in the crosshairs of the virus,” Latifah told PEOPLE. “I’m really thankful they were able to fight it off, but this thing is serious and it’s hitting Black and Latino communities at a higher rate than white people.”
The fallout of systemic racism makes Black and Latino Americans more far more vulnerable to the virus. Overcrowded housing and limited access to crucial resources and funding mean that the communities are testing positive for coronavirus at a higher rate than their white counterparts.
“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.”
Celeb guests include Jimmy Fallon, Laura Dern, Whoopi Goldberg, Gabrielle Union and Dwayne Wade.
“While Covid-19 has been diagnosed in more than 6.5 million people across the country, the pandemic has exposed a deep gap in resources, support and healthcare access within black and Latinx communities hit hardest by the virus,” a representative for the American Lung Association said in a statement per Rolling Stone.
“People of color have been disproportionately affected by Covid-19, and recent studies have renewed concern about the susceptibility of children in these communities. This is an urgent issue, and the American Lung Association is positioned to make a substantial and rapid impact through their Covid-19 Action Initiative.”
You can watch the American Lung Association’s #Act4Impact fundraiser via Facebook Live on Saturday, September 26, starting at 7 p.m. EST.
All funds from the event will go directly to its COVID-19 Action Initiative.