The new campaign tackles the underrepresentation of women of color in the MS community.
Legendary rapper, Nas has found a new way to support women of color and we’re all here for it. He’s lending the title of his debut album to support a new multiple sclerosis (MS) campaign by the name of #WeAreILLmatic.
After realizing that there was a minimal amount of information available to women of color regarding the disease, Victoria Reese —who suffers from relapsing remitting MS— decided a journey toward uncovering and educating millennial women who may be searching for similar answers.
“I knew nothing about MS at the time of my diagnosis,” Reese told ESSENCE. “The stories of Black women who were dealing with this illness were just not being told. I once heard Janet Mock say, ‘If there’s a story that you want to read (that isn’t written), you must write it baby’ —so I am. I’m focused on hearing and sharing our story.”
Paying homage to the classic hip-hop album, Reese is tying the campaign to the idea of highlighting and uplifting Black families. In addition to education on the immune disease, they raise money for the National MS Society.
“I care about the Black family and how health is affecting us. Our men are in prison and our women are getting sick. We need to learn about illnesses like this. And finally have conversations about how to deal with it as a culture.”
In addition to giving his blessing for the organization to use his album’s name, Nas also showed support by sharing the ad for the campaign — which uses his Lauryn Hill featured “If I Ruled the World” instrumental— on his Instagram page.
“I believe that Black women are the most undervalued demographic in America,” Reese said. “Yet, we carry the world on our shoulders. How many of our moms and grandmothers put their health to the side to lift up our entire families? Most of them. Women of color are the strongest people I know and its time people realized it.”
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