Interactive discussion to focus on HIV/AIDS in black community, feature keynote address by Rev. Al Sharpton
NEW YORK (April 12, 2016) — AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) is proud to support the National Action Network (NAN) 25th Anniversary & National Convention being held April 13-16th at the Sheraton Times Square Hotel in New York City. National Action Network, the influential nonprofit civil rights group founded by Rev. Al Sharpton in 1991, hosts its annual convention in New York City to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and brings together influential national leaders in civil rights, government, labor, religion, business, politics, media and activism to assess the current state of the African American community.
On Thursday at 12:45 PM in the Empire East Ballroom, AHF will host a “Vote2EndHIV: #BlackVotesMatter” presentation and interactive panel discussion on HIV/AIDS in the African-American community that will feature a keynote address by Rev. Sharpton and panelists Cynthia Carey-Grant, Executive Director, Women Organized to Respond to Life-Threatening Disease (WORLD); Dr. Cynthia Davis, Board Chair, AIDS Healthcare Foundation; Ingrid Floyd, Executive Director, Iris House; Tracy Jones, Executive Director, AIDS Task Force Greater Cleveland; Kalvin Leveille, Field Director/Program Coordinator, Columbia University; Vanessa Smith, Executive Director, Chicago Southside Help Center; and Dr. Rodney Wright, Board Member, AIDS Healthcare Foundation. The discussion will be moderated by Debra Fraser-Howze, Senior Vice President, Government & External Affairs at OraSure Technologies, Inc.
“We are excited to build upon our partnership with the National Action Network and Rev. Sharpton by sponsoring and participating in NAN’s 25th Anniversary and National Convention,” said AHF Senior Director of Worldwide Sales and Marketing Samantha Granberry. “Given how many African-American lives are touched by HIV/AIDS each year and how much is at stake in the upcoming presidential elections, we are encouraged that Rev. Sharpton and the National Action Network is fully supportive of the need for frank discussion around HIV/AIDS. With national statistics continuing to show staggeringly high HIV/AIDS infection and mortality rates among African-Americans, HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment must be at the forefront of our next president’s agenda. We look forward to working with the National Action Network and our partners to keep attention focused on this issue and securing the resources needed to win the battle against HIV/AIDS.”
AHF was pleased to support the NAN National Convention in 2015 during which it hosted a panel discussion to culminate its “AIDS Is A Civil Rights Issue” campaign. Headlined by Rev. Sharpton, the yearlong advocacy and public awareness campaign held town hall sessions in eight U.S. cities to draw attention to the disproportionate rates of HIV/AIDS infection in the African-American community and called for the end of stigma and increased funding and resources to combat the disease. Rev. Sharpton was also presented with AHF’s Community Vanguard Award during the conference.
At NAN’s 16th Annual Convention in 2014, AHF President Michael Weinstein received the organization’s “Keeper of the Dream” award for launching the “AIDS Is A Civil Rights Issue” campaign. The award is given each year in April to mark the anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s death and “honor those who have continued to advocate for the principles for which Dr. King gave his life.”