NYWIFT Blog

Crystal R. Emery: Exposing Racism in Healthcare as America’s Most Lethal Pandemic

Crystal R. Emery’s ‘The Deadliest Disease in America’ to premiere
on September 10 at New York’s Cinema Village

What makes COVID-19 even deadlier? Racism in medicine. NYWIFT member Crystal R. Emery’s documentary The Deadliest Disease in America traces the history of racism in American health care from the brutal medical experimentation forced upon enslaved peoples to the modern-day inequity in fatality rates and access to treatment experienced by people of color during the pandemic.

The timely film, which is written, directed and produced by Emery — a Connecticut filmmaker and American Association for the Advancement of Science AAAS IF/THEN Ambassador, who is also triumphing over quadriplegia and two serious diseases — will have its red carpet premieres at New York City’s Cinema Village on September 10 at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. and run through September 16. Cinema Village is located at 22 East 12th Street in Manhattan.

Ten years in the making, The Deadliest Disease in America presents the sobering personal stories of patients who have been victimized by health care inequities, including Emery, who shares her own experiences as a quadriplegic African American woman. Lending their expertise to the film by way of commentary are Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith, MD, MHS, senior adviser to the White House COVID-19 Response Team; Dr. Camara Jones, MD, MPH, PhD, epidemiologist, past president of American Public Health Association; Dr. Bert Petersen, MD, Director of Division of Breast Surgery at SBH Health System; Dr. Vivek Murthy, MD, MBA, surgeon general of the United States; and others.

Emery is also the director of Black Women in Medicine, a documentary that reached more than 14 million people worldwide and the You Can’t Be What You Don’t See Virtual Reality Experience. She is the CEO & founder of URU, The Right to Be, Inc., the New Haven-based multimedia nonprofit dedicated to education through the arts, which is presenting the screening.

Crystal Emery and Robert Shepard (Photo Credit: URU The Right to Be, Inc)

“I have always endeavored to tell stories that move us all toward a more equitable and humane world,” says Emery, who has Charcot-Marie-Tooth, a degenerative nerve disease, and diabetes. “It is vital that we call on our elected officials to create policy that uproots the systemic racism that is standing in the way of a health care system and a society that are equal for all.” 

Proof of vaccination must be presented to enter the venue the night of the premiere.

The Deadliest Disease in America was made possible with support from William Graustein, the Roslyn Milstein Meyer and Jerome Meyer Foundation, Universal Health Care Foundation of Connecticut, Connecticut Health Foundation and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.

For tickets for The Deadliest Disease in America, visit https://bit.ly/3fQfK6A.

For more information on URU, visit https://www.urutherighttobe.org/our-story. Follow URU on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram at @urutherighttobe for updates. 

 

ABOUT CRYSTAL R. EMERY:

Crystal R. Emery is a dynamic producer, author and filmmaker known for producing socially conscious storytelling on a variety of platforms that celebrate the triumph of the human spirit, a cause close to her heart as a quadriplegic who works to ensure that physical limitations don’t define her potential. A graduate of the University of Connecticut, Emery began her career in entertainment working with acclaimed theater director Lloyd Richards and film industry titan Bill Duke and later went on to receive her master’s degree in Media Studies from The New School for Public Engagement. Her previous work includes the documentary Black Women in Medicine.

 

ABOUT URU THE RIGHT TO BE, INC.:

A 501(c)(3), the mission of URU is to foster communication and understanding among diverse people by utilizing, discovering and applying tangible multimedia solutions at the intersection of the arts, humanities, science and technology. URU’s goal is to move all stakeholders toward a more equitable and humane world. Because the human condition is complex, and people are multidimensional, it understandably takes a multimedia approach to engage them, especially given their constant bombardment with information. Through a unique approach that involves lowering people’s defense mechanisms and meeting them where they are, URU continues to be successful in its mission to help people find their commonalities and work together.

PUBLISHED BY

Katie Chambers

Katie Chambers Katie Chambers is the Senior Director of Community & Public Relations at New York Women in Film & Television (NYWIFT). She also serves as the Communications Chair of the New Jersey State Federation of Women's Clubs and is a freelance writer and digital marketing strategist. Follow her on Twitter @KatieGChambers.

View all posts by Katie Chambers

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