Rev. Al Sharpton & Grammy Award Winning Musicians Join “Keep the Promise” NYC

In News by AHF

Trailer for AHF-produced documentary film, “Keep the Promise: The Global Fight Against AIDS” about the inaugural Keep The Promise March in Washington, D.C. in July 2012
Advocates gathering at Brooklyn’s Cadman Plaza Park on April 6th at 11:00 am to march in a call for funding and support to fight HIV/AIDS in New York

Hosted by SWAY, musical guests joined Reverend Sharpton onstage and included DJ Lina, rapper Cassidy, Bridget Kelly, violinist/producer, Miri Ben-Ari and the Rude Mechanical Orchestra whose performances inspired the crowd before the March began

To see a photo album of the event, click here.

BROOKLYN, NEW YORK (March 29, 2013)—Hundreds of advocates and community leaders joined the “Keep the Promise on HIV/AIDS” March and Rally on Saturday, April 6th beginning at 11:00 am in Cadman Plaza Park in Brooklyn, New York. The event—the third in a series calling on officials to commit to stopping AIDS—will be hosted by radio and television personality Sway Calloway and features the Reverend Al Sharpton, one of America’s foremost civil rights leaders. Musical guests include DJ Lina, hip hop emcee Cassidy, Grammy Award-Winners Bridget Kelly and violinist Miri Ben-Ari, and the Rude Mechanicals Orchestra, a New York City marching band that is donating its time to pump up the crowd before the march, which will begin in Brooklyn and proceed across the Brooklyn Bridge into Manhattan.

In order to stop AIDS in this country and around the world, there must be mobilized efforts like this one to demand access to treatment and medication.”

Created by AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the “Keep the Promise” campaign brings together local and national advocates along with spiritual and political leaders to remind elected officials that the fight against HIV/AIDS is not yet won. Advocates from regions across the Northeast—including Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island—will be traveling by bus to NYC to support the “Keep the Promise” goals and join in the rally and march. Participants are advocating for: increased funding for HIV/AIDS prevention and care; pharmaceutical companies to reduce AIDS drug prices; affordable housing for people living with HIV/AIDS; support for the decriminalization of HIV/AIDS and to declare April 10th as National Youth HIV/AIDS Awareness Day in the U.S.

Keep the Promise New York March and Rally

Malina Fisher, Elder Stacey Latimer, Reverend Al Sharpton, AHF's Michael Weinstein, and Michael Camacho march during the "Keep The Promise On AIDS" March and Rally on April 6, 2013, in New York.

“This march sends a message to national, state, and local officials to ‘Keep the Promise’—that now is not the time to retreat in this fight. In order to stop AIDS in this country and around the world, there must be mobilized efforts like this one to demand access to treatment and medication; to urge drug companies to lower their inflated prices; to support and to ensure equity in HIV prevention, treatment, and care services for all people living with HIV,” said Terri Ford, AIDS Healthcare Foundation’s Chief of Global Advocacy. “The question is no longer can we end AIDS, but will we end the AIDS?”

(Clockwise from left) Margaret Cho and Wyclef Jean at the Keep the Promise March on Washington, July 2012; Keep the Promise March on Washington, July 2012; Keep the Promise March on Washington, July 2012; Keep the Promise March in Atlanta, November, 2012

Also in attendance at the March was AHF’s Condom Nation, a safer sex initiative that aims to distribute 50 million free condoms this year in the U.S. through a national tour of a 72-foot custom-wrapped “Condom Nation”-themed big rig. Several mobile HIV testing vans will also be on hand to offer free HIV testing to the public.

This third “Keep the Promise” march follows the inaugural “Keep the Promise” March on Washington in July of 2012, when a coalition of 1,432 organizations from 103 countries came together before the XIX International AIDS Conference to call for more global HIV/AIDS funding. Reverend Sharpton was among the special guests who participated, including Wyclef Jean, Ambassador Andrew Young, Tavis Smiley, Dr. Cornel West, Margaret Cho and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. In his rousing address, Reverend Sharpton called on the faith community to rise to the challenge of fighting HIV/AIDS in their communities. Watch an excerpt of his inspiring speech in the following short video: “Keep the Promise Webisode 3: The War on AIDS Has Not Been Won.”

A “Keep the Promise” march in Atlanta, Georgia on November 3, 2012 served as a clarion call to better address HIV/AIDS in the South, through funding, health care reform, prevention and care in rural areas, and affordable housing for people living with HIV/AIDS. Another “Keep the Promise” rally and march—this time in Ohio—is scheduled for later this year.

Participating Organizations include:

More information about the “Keep the Promise” effort can be found at and by following the group on Facebook and on Twitter @KTPonAIDS.

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