These Black Women Are Fighting MS With The Nas-Inspired #WeAreIllmatic Campaign
In 2012, Victoria Reese was diagnosed with Relapsing Remitting multiple sclerosis.
Victoria Reese started doing research on the disease and discovered something startling: people who looked like her ― millennial women of color ― weren’t being represented in the MS community.
So she did something about it.
She started the #WeAreILLmatic campaign. Inspired by Nas‘s masterful debut, #WeAreILLmatic is a campaign that will unite women of color who have been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. The goal of the campaign is to redefine what sick looks like. The campaign puts it accurately when they say: “We may be ill but we are still dope.”
Which brings us to the name #WeAreILLmatic. It’s been 23 years since Nas released his classic debut LP Illmatic. Unbelievably, that album is still leaving its mark in ways that would have been unimaginable in 1994.
Here is how #WeAreILLmatic described the impact of that album:
“We want to leave a mark on culture like Nas did with Illmatic. We want to encourage people to fight our battles with illnesses like Nas did with Ether. The idea of #WeAreILLmatic, this badassness doesn’t exist without Nas – And yes, we got his permission to borrow the name for this campaign.”
Earlier in the month, Nas showed his support for the campaign by posting a video on his Instagram:
#WeAreILLmatic is planning a 10-part social media awareness tour. Each part of the tour is named after a song on Illmatic. The first part, “The Genesis,” kicks off Sept. 18 in Los Angeles.
Head to the official website to learn more about #WeAreILLmatic and support the upcoming media awareness tour.