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Advocates Gathering to Fight For Equality in U.S. Health Care System, Film Screening

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                             Press contact:  Michelle Mattere

(718) 857-9210



Advocates Gathering to Fight For Equality in U.S. Health Care System, Film Screening


“The Deadliest Disease in America”

Film Gives Voice to Many Who Have Faced Inequality in

 the U.S. Health Care System


Washington, DC – On May 19th, 2009 policymakers, social justice, health care advocacy, and consumer groups will gather at the United States Capitol Visitor Center as part of a national campaign to raise awareness of health care disparities. The screenings and workshops are intended to inform policymakers, activists, medical professionals and communities of the need to develop a cohesive and unified strategy to reform the American health care system. URU The Right to Be, Inc. is producing more than 15 sister events in cities around the country throughout 2009 to raise awareness of the devastating effects of systemic racism in the health care system. Community members, policymakers, activists, medical professionals, and others are working together to ensure that health care reform addresses the serious and pervasive inequalities that plague the American health care system.  They are fighting for health care that works for EVERYONE.


The screening is presented by URU The Right to Be, Inc. and the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Inc. in collaboration with the Office of Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro and the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) Health Braintrust.   The evening features remarks by Congresswoman Donna M. Christensen, Dr. Brian D. Smedley Vice President and Director of the Health Policy Institute at the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies and Dr. Pierre Vigilance Director of the Washington, DC Department of Health and will end with a Q&A session.


The Deadliest Disease in America follows four individuals, including the filmmaker, whose personal stories humanize the health care reform debate. Emery shares her encounters with racism while navigating the American health care system. Emery, whose arms and legs are paralyzed as a result of Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, a form of Muscular Dystrophy, shares the stories to stimulate individuals to action. In late April, Ms. Emery was honored with the Congressional Black Caucus Braintrust Leadership in Journalism Award for her work on the film and for her tireless efforts to generate the political will necessary to eliminate racial and ethnic health disparities.


“On behalf of the CBC Health Braintrust, I am pleased to join my friend and colleague, Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro, in helping to ensure that the nation’s lawmakers and their staffs, as well as the leading health and health care advocates and providers see this important documentary,” noted Congresswoman Christensen.  “This film underscores the need for health equity as an integral element in health reform and I am certain that it will play a key role in keeping the social determinants of health – especially race and ethnicity – on the radar.”


“This stunning documentary chronicles the real experiences of people of color who faced indignities and discrimination, simply because of the color of their skin,” said Brian Smedley. “Crystal Emery has created a powerful and insightful film that should be seen by anyone who wants to understand how unequal health care has a profound human and economic toll.”


The ultimate goal of this film is to illuminate disparate treatment based on racial, economic and ethnic differences in order to help achieve a health-care system that serves all Americans equally,” explains Crystal Emery.  Filmmaker Bill Duke calls the film, ...daring and insightful..  . it challenges all of us to demand equal treatment of everyone in the American health care system.”


To RSVP for the event, please send an email to  or call URU The Right to Be, Inc. at 203-389-7466.


For more information about The Deadliest Disease in America and to view a trailer of the film, visit URU’s website at 


What:         Screening of Documentary Film:

The Deadliest Disease in America.

Q & A


Where:       United States Capitol Visitor Center

                   Orientation Theatre, CVC 241, Washington, DC 20515


When:        Tuesday, May 19, 2009, 6:00 PM

                   (Hors d’oeuvres and Refreshments served)


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