Grammy-winning artist Ciara is advocating for her community and urging Black women to level up on their wellness checks.
The 35-year-old, who has been leading the #CervingConfidence campaign to raise awareness of cervical cancer, sat down for an interview with Blavity last week.
"When I learned about the disparity for Black women and Brown women as it related to cervical cancer, I felt that this was a great opportunity to really jump in and amplify the message," she told Blavity. "I learned that Black women are two times more likely to die from cervical cancer. When you learn information like that, you can't help but want to find ways to help."
While working to raise awareness of the disease, Ciara said she also learned the importance of wellness checks.
"There's nothing better than being totally dialed in with your total wellness," she said. "Just being really dialed in and knowing where you are is amazing. And it gives you that ultimate confidence. If God forbid, you discover something wrong, you're giving yourself an opportunity to fix it."
The "1, 2 Step" singer recently partnered with Project Health Equality and the Black Women's Health Imperative to launch the #CervingConfidence initiative, CBS News reported.
"The cool thing is you can prevent cervical cancer. How amazing is that?" Ciara told CBS This Morning. "Go out there and make an appointment. Put yourself first, you have to. Putting yourself first is everything. Then you can take off and be your best self in every way possible."
According to Jackson Health, about 2,000 Black women are diagnosed with cervical cancer every year, with more than 40% dying from the disease. Ciara's #CervingConfidence website, which provides information on cervical cancer treatment, advises women to begin regular pap smears at age 21.
The singer and her husband, Russell Wilson, are also leading a number of other initiatives. That includes a charter school they are funding in the Seattle area. The couple has contributed $2 million to rebrand the existing charter program known as Cascade Midway Academy.
Speaking with Blavity, Ciara said her husband was recently honored as Captain America by Marvel and Disney. The NFL quarterback also had a chance to take underprivileged children to the Avengers' ride at Disney.
Ciara said the couple has shared similar visions in life since they first came together.
"Sharing the same passion for things in life is huge," she said, adding that faith is especially important in their relationship. "There's power when two pray together. When two or more gather in a room, we know that the presence of the Lord is there. That's one thing we can always stand on."
Ciara advised mothers to take it easy on themselves, take time to recover after pregnancy and enjoy life as much as possible.
Watch the full interview here: