Ciara Talks New Album, Making an Impact With Russell Wilson and More (Exclusive)
By Mekishana Pierre
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Ciara is using her platform to spread an important message!
The "Rooted" singer opened up to ET about her new campaign, Cerving Confidence, a collaboration between the Black Women’s Health Imperative and Project Health Equality aimed to encourage Black women to schedule a well-woman exam, including getting screened for cervical cancer with Pap and HPV testing.
"I think there's a huge opportunity to impact many lives, to maybe even save lives, especially for my Black women," Ciara told ET. "Obviously being a Black woman, when I heard about the opportunity to be a part of this amazing campaign, I was super excited. I also got to educate myself in the process and when I learned that Black women are two times more likely to die from cervical cancer I was taken aback, but also super compelled to use my platform. And I think that now is the time to change the narrative."
The singer went on to share that she was hoping to use her platform to make a difference in someone's life. Noting that the conversation around well-women exams has always been "a little funny," she explained that she wanted to change the narrative and make it an "exciting moment" for women.
"Let's make this a tradition or a standard thing that we do in our lives, especially as women of color," she added. "Black women have been disproportionately affected by cervical cancer as well as [Latinx] women. And so I think there's just a huge opportunity to really make a difference here and to change the narrative. Let's hashtag serve confidence."
The mother of three likened the campaign to friends checking up on one another and lifting each other up. "It's about us being there for each other... let's increase our value. Let's know the amazingness that we behold and let's take care of it."
Ciara explained that she was motivated to join the campaign when she learned that someone on her team recently overcame cervical cancer. "Seeing her go through her process and having her faith, keeping her faith strong and really understanding the disparity that Black women are two times more likely to die from cervical cancer... that made me say, 'I have to get out and I have to share this message," she said. "I need to inform all my Black queens around the world to know this and to know we can change this. It's really simple, it's just about us knowing the information, going out and scheduling our paps, scheduling our exams and just simple as that."
The academy plans to officially open to students in fall 2021 and be tuition-free, operating in full accordance with the Washington state charter school law.
"I think this is a huge opportunity to really make a difference in many ways. And what I'm really proud of is that a lot of the big visions and dreams that I had, and in this case that both Russ and I have shared, are happening," Ciara told ET. "There's just no greater feeling than experiencing that. ... With the Why Not You Academy, we got the opportunity to go to the school location last week and surprise a couple of students and staff. And to see the reaction on their faces was just so touching, but also to hear them talk about how proud they were of being founding students of the Why Not You Academy and how much hope they had and the success of their future and just all they want to do. It was just beyond touching."
She went on to add, "There's so much opportunity to change someone's life and the course of their life. If some didn't have the opportunity to education, who knows how damaging that could be. But knowing that they have the opportunity to further their education can create a new legacy for their family and their kids' kids and so it's kind of a gift that keeps on giving. And it's just one that we're super charged about and impact is at the forefront of everything that we do. And so it's been amazing to do it all together. It's really fun."
And as if her hands weren't full enough, Ciara revealed that she's also working on her next studio album. Although she didn't want to tease her fans too much, she shared that the album is "coming along really good." Her focus, she explained, is picking the right timing and making sure everything is as she envisions before she puts it out to her fans.
"I can't wait till that moment is here and as soon as I have that date, I will make sure to put it out there for my fans," she said. "So I'm excited and looking forward to it."