By Derrick Lane
Actress Nia Long has graced many movie screens in some black America’s most iconic movies. Now, the star, 43, is a mother of two and has turned her priorities to not only her family, but the community.
Here are just some of Nia’s empowering words to our community:
On Making Breast Health A Priority
More than 200,000 women in the U.S. were diagnosed with breast cancer in 2011. Also, black women diagnosed with breast cancer are more likely to die from the disease than white women.
Unfortunately, the health challenges we face don’t stop there: Black women have higher rates of many preventable diseases, including diabetes, heart disease and HIV/AIDS.
I am very concerned about what I see happening in our community — women and girls who don’t have access to the affordable, quality healthcare services that they need. As a result, my community — our community — is literally dying.
On Making Women A Priority
What our mothers and grandmothers fought so hard for could be taken away too easily, and I know how hard it has been to make these gains for women. For example, my mother was a public school teacher. She made so many sacrifices for me to have the life that I have today. But when she retired, the cost of the health care options presented to her was astronomically high, and we had to investigate other options to ensure that she was covered.
On Making Health Care A Priority
We need health care reform so women don’t have to struggle to find affordable care the way my mother had to. I am shocked that some politicians want to roll back the gains afforded to women under healthcare reform and prevent access to critical healthcare providers like Planned Parenthood.
Both my mother and grandmother, who is in her 90s, firmly believe that a woman should have access to the type of care she deserves, and should have the right to make her own health decisions. I couldn’t agree more.
I refuse to allow those rights to be taken away — not on my watch.