During “The Color of Covid,” an hour-long special hosted by CNN’s Don Lemon and political commentator Van Jones on Saturday night, celebs put a spotlight on challenges faced by black and brown communities, provided names of organizations helping with relief efforts, and gave words of encouragement and action to viewers.
“The facts are sobering, they’re depressing and they’re tragic. African Americans helped to build this country and make this country great. We don’t deserve to be in this position. We don’t deserve to always be thought of last. And I want to say to my people: Let’s not wait on nobody to save us. Let’s use this as a reset,” Combs said during the event.
In Chicago, officials said last week that 72% of deaths from the virus have occurred among blacks, who make up about 30% of the city’s population. Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said more than 70% of the state’s coronavirus deaths were African American patients, who make up just 32% of the state’s population.
Here are some more messages shared from actors, singers and athletes:
Rapper Snoop Dogg
“I want to send some words of encouragement to all of my people out there. Yo, I want you to have some fun, I want you to make the most of your time at home. Spend some time with your loved ones, get in tune with yourself. Go to Instagram, watch some funny stuff, check out some good movies. Keep your spirits up.”
NBA legend Magic Johnson
“African Americans are leading in death from the coronavirus. If there’s anything I can tell you, we got to do what we’re supposed to do. Stay at home, social distancing. You can’t have car parties, you can’t have parties at all, you can’t have gatherings at all. You must stay at home and practice social distancing. This is killing our community, this virus.”
Actress Taraji P. Henson
“I’m reaching out to those of you in communities of color who may be feeling lost, heartbroken and alone during this time of uncertainty. I want you to know that what you feel is real. I see you and I’m with you. This moment in time has shaken us all to the bone, but I want to remind you of who you are, who we are. And we’ve always been able to link arms and make it through the storm. And we’ll do it again, together. It’s not easy, I know. And it’s OK to not be OK.”
“Hamilton” creator Lin-Manuel Miranda
“As Covid-19 continues to devastate the world’s health and economy, a new conversation is taking place. In our country, black and brown communities are getting hit the hardest. Luckily, organizations such as the Hispanic Federation are here today, just as they’ve been for the last 30 years to help. We’ve partnered with the Hispanic Federation to create the nonprofit emergency assistance to help over 150 Latinx community-based organizations all over the country and in Puerto Rico to ease the pain in Latinx communities.”
Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller
As you may have heard, I’ve been diagnosed with Covid-19 and I want to join the show tonight to make sure that people understand that this virus is very real. It’s not just affecting the elderly or those in nursing homes. We have to do all we can as a nation and community to slow this thing down and limit the spread. I’m in quarantine now but I’m looking ahead. I think it will be important to continue some of the things we have learned and to invest in programs that will keep us all protected. People in general and especially our front line workers in all fields. I hope everyone will continue to do their part and I look forward to when we are all past this.
Actress America Ferrera
“I want to say ‘thank you’ from the bottom of my heart to all the amazing people showing up everyday to provide critical services through this crisis. Some of those people are our nation’s farmworkers. They’re putting their lives and health on the line by planting, picking, and packing the food we all need to get through this COVID-19 crisis. And yet farmworkers are reporting that they do not have enough food to feed their own families. Even though the government has deemed them essential workers, they are being denied essential benefits. These frontline workers need our help.”
“I want to take this moment in time to show a lot of love and appreciation for all of the nurses and the doctors, fighting in the hospital in the front line. I also want to thank all of the drivers and delivery folk, and all of the people working in the supermarket, keeping the world moving. Without you guys, the world would really be a mess. Thank you so much. I also want to thank all the mentors and the teachers teaching online.”
Comedian George Lopez and actress Constance Marie
“We’d like to send a huge abrazo to the Latino community, which is our community,” says comedian George Lopez. Actress Constance Marie adds, “A special thank you to all the essential workers in our community because you guys are on the front lines, you are pushing through, you are heroes. We know you’re working long hours away from your family to basically help everyone.”