Chaka Khan and Tisha Campbell-Martin Lobby for Autism

The Women Take a Stand for a Cause Close to Home

Posted: 06/15/2011 06:16 PM EDT

"I'll bet one of my paychecks that either someone in their family or someone very close to them knows somebody that has autism happening in their immediate realm," R&B legend Chaka Khan told The Washington Examiner. Khan's sister and manager, Tammy McCrary, has a son with autism.

McCrary, actress Tisha Campbell-Martin (“My Wife and Kids” and “The Protector”); LaDonna Hughley, comedian D.L. Hughley’s wife; attorney and author Shannon Nash and conference speaker and administrator Donna Hunter have formed the organization “Colored My Mind” to educate and bring awareness to the public. Each of these women have children with autism.

Today they met on Capital Hill, assited by law firm Holland & Knight, to lobby Congress to reauthorize the Combating Autism Act of 2006, which is set to expire this year. According to ColoredMyMind.com one in 150 children are born with some form of the “condition.”

"It's just horrific," said Khan. "It seems to be like a thief in the night that comes and takes our children's minds, mental awareness and physical awareness, too. I think something needs to be done and I think we need to get back on the pony again and ride it for all it's worth to get help and awareness out there for every community."

(Photo: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

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