Like a lot of us, actress Regina King can’t remember a time when she didn’t use Vaseline.
“I don’t remember a time when Vaseline wasn’t in my life—that’s how long it’s been in my life,” she says. “It’s been in my home since I was a little girl and I still use it as an adult. It’s exciting when you can partner with a brand where you actually use the product.”
Now, the 49-year-old Academy Award winner is teaming up with the household name (this is her second time working with the brand) to bring awareness to the fact that COVID-19 has disproportionately affected the Black and Latinx communities—not because they are more susceptible to the virus, but rather the systemic issues associated with these communities’ access to quality medical care.
During a roundtable conversation, King discussed the issue, calling it “something important to talk about” and encouraged communities of color to join her in learning more, take action and help those who don’t have access to care to find the help they need through Vaseline’s long-standing partner, Direct Relief. (Vaseline has already donated one-million dollars to support Direct Relief and its COVID-19 Fund for Community Health, which, in addition to offering testing and care, provides PPE to frontline health workers and products for medical staff and patients; the aid achieved through Vaseline’s contribution is specifically being directed to healthcare providers in COVID-19 hot spots, have expanded activities related to COVID-19 care, and serve communities of color that have been disproportionately affected by the virus.)
“This year has been very challenging for all of us…states are opening back up and it’s important to put this message out there and give better context to people so that they can help participate in reducing the numbers,” she said.
As part of the initiative, King will also engage her social media community through an awareness video via Instagram and shared a personal message on how she’s handling this unprecedented time.
“I’ll be honest, there are times when it gets really heavy and then there are times when I’m grateful the universe has forced the world to pause,” she said. “I try to use that as spiritual time…I try to be still and emote. I think it’s very important for us not to always put on a ‘face.’ What we’re going through is unimaginable and I do allow myself the time to be emotional.”