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Common explains why he's fighting against a blindness epidemic most people don't know about

Carrie Wittmer
Common See America

(See America/Allergan)
Common is a busy guy. On top of acting and making music, the Oscar winner values the importance of using his fame and extraordinary talent for projects that reflect his own values. He cares about people, and wants to use his powerful voice to affect change.

Common came across the See America initiative from Allergan, which is bringing awareness to preventable blindness in the United States. The statistics are overwhelming, and it’s an issue Common takes very seriously.

Common recently talked to Business Insider about his connection to premature blindness, as well as what he and other celebrities can do to actually affect change.

“As a kid I had issues with my sight. So I always valued it. When I found out about See America, I just thought it was a great campaign to get involved with. Americans really don’t appreciate their eyesight. It’s not something they wake up every day and appreciate that they can see. That they have this incredible gift," Common told Business Insider. "And when I found out about what Allergan was doing, I was down to bring awareness. Because I had issues with my sight growing up, and blindness is an issue... I think 61 million Americans go blind in their lifetime."

And he’s right. According to Allergan, 61 million Americans are at risk of severe vision loss, which is more than the populations of California and Florida combined. Over the past year, only half of those people have visited an eye doctor.

SeeAm Common

(Common behind the scenes of the "Stand in the Way of Darkness" shoot.See America/Allergan)

Common made a video for See America that launched on Tuesday, and it’s powerful.

“61 million Americans, at risk of losing their sight. Is this your future? Is this your vision?” Common says as the screen goes black. “We can fight against this, and stand in the way of darkness.”

Common called the video "a really powerful message to America."

And he has some thoughts on how celebrities can affect change. 

“When I team up on projects like this that send a message, I want it to feel fresh and new, to continue evolving. You don't want to give up and move on,” he told us.

You can watch Common's full video below:

 

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