Cleveland to Welcome ‘Keep the Promise’ Free Concert & March Sunday, July 17th

Hosted by Soledad O’Brien, ‘Keep the Promise’ will feature keynote addresses by Rev. Al Sharpton and Dr. Cornel West, remarks by actress and White House Ambassador for Citizenship and Naturalization Diane Guerrero, with musical performances by the Grammy Award-winning band The Roots, Empire’s Jussie Smollett; singer/songwriter Raheem DeVaughn and Mary Mary, the Grammy Award-winning American contemporary gospel duo, among others.

Participants to gather at the Wolstein Center at Cleveland State University at 1:00 pm; advocates to march to Hope Memorial Bridge and back, then enjoy free concert in the Wolstein.  Event provides a forum for advocates to publicly call on Republicans on the day before the opening of the RNC to articulate clear domestic and global policies on HIV/AIDS, income inequality and other critical social justice issues.

CLEVELAND, OH (July 1, 2016) Thousands of advocates, member of church groups, community leaders, students and others will gather in Cleveland on Sunday, July 17th to join together and participate in a ‘Keep the Promise’ free concert and march (#KTPUSA) the day before the opening of the Republican National Convention (RNC). Hosted by Soledad O’Brien, KTPUSA will feature keynote addresses by Rev. Al Sharpton and Dr. Cornel West, two of America’s foremost civil rights leaders; musical performances by the Grammy Award-winning band The Roots, Empire’s Jussie Smollett, singer/songwriter Raheem DeVaughn and Mary Mary, the Grammy Award-winning American contemporary gospel duo, among others. Actress Diane Guerrero, (Orange is the New Black, Jane the Virgin) and a White House Ambassador for Citizenship and Naturalization, will also address the crowd.

WHAT:        ‘KEEP THE PROMISE’ Free CONCERT & MARCH 

WHEN:        SUNDAY, July 17, 2016—-1:00 PM  

WHERE:      The WOLSTEIN CENTER at CLEVELAND STATE UNIVERSITY

2000 Prospect Ave., Cleveland, OH 44115

WHO:    Soledad O’Brien, Host 

           Keynote Addresses by civil rights leaders:
                         Dr. Cornel West
                        Reverend Al Sharpton
                        Diane Guerrero, Actress (Orange is the New Black, Jane the Virgin) and White House Ambassador for Citizenship and Naturalization

            Musical Guests:
                    The Roots, Grammy Award-winning band
                    Jussie Smollett (FOX’s Empire television series)
                    Mary Mary, Grammy Award-winning contemporary gospel duo
                    Raheem DeVaughn, singer/songwriter

                    Other performances, guests, speakers TBD

B-ROLL:

  • Advocates wearing “Keep the Promise” t-shirts, carrying signs, banners and flags reading ‘Keep the Promise,’ ‘Healthcare is a Right,’ ‘Free Hugs’ and other messages.
  • A double-decker bus wrapped with ‘AIDS is a Civil Rights Issue’ graphic (permit permitting)

CONTACTS:

  • Rebecca Strong, AIDS Taskforce of Greater Cleveland
    Phone: (216) 621-0766 x.2915, Mobile (216) 235-3417   [email protected]
  • Ged Kenslea, AHF Dir. of Comm. (323) 791-5526 cell  (323) 308-1833 work [email protected]

 

“Cleveland’s ‘Keep the Promise’ provides a forum for advocates and activists together to publicly call on presidential candidates and elected officials—including Republican officials and other key party members gathering at the RNC—to articulate clear domestic and global policies on HIV/AIDS, income inequality and other social justice issues,” said Tracy Jones, Midwest Regional Director & National Director of Advocacy Campaigns for AHF. “Many of those affiliated with ‘Keep the Promise’ share a fundamental belief and understanding that universal access to healthcare is a right, regardless of one’s wealth or income. This is one of the many messages we will share as a key tenet of ‘Keep the Promise’ in Cleveland.”

Participants will gather for ‘Keep the Promise’ Sunday, July 17th at 1:00 PM outside the Wolstein Center at Cleveland State University (2000 Prospect Ave., Cleveland 44115), where the KTPUSA march will kick off and end. Advocates will march to and from the Hope Memorial Bridge, with the free concert following at the Wolstein. Priority seating will be provided to those who join in the march.

The upcoming ‘Keep the Promise’ in Cleveland will bookend a parallel ‘Keep the Promise 2016’ concert and march taking place 8,600 miles away in Durban, South Africa on July 16th calling for similar awareness and action on the fight to end global AIDS. That Keep the Promise event takes place before the opening of ‘AIDS2016,’ the 21st International AIDS Conference and will feature performances by Queen Latifah and Common.

Partners for Cleveland’s ‘Keep the Promise’ include:

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 and for other social justice issues is not yet won.

The Cleveland ‘Keep the Promise’ is the fifth in a series of similar KTP events spearheaded by AHF since 2012, with the inaugural event in Washington, DC, in July 2012, followed by KTP events in Atlanta (Nov. 2012); Brooklyn, NY (Apr. 2013) and a prior ‘Keep the Promise’ held in Cleveland in May, 2013.

Advocates from cities throughout Ohio—including Dayton, Toledo, Cincinnati, and Columbus—will travel by bus to Cleveland to support the “Keep the Promise” goals and join in the rally and march. Participants are advocating for: increased and maintained funding for HIV/AIDS prevention and care; the pharmaceutical companies to reduce AIDS drug prices; support for HIV prevention programs; and support for healthcare reform.

More information about the “Keep the Promise” effort can be found at http://usakeepthepromise.org.


Following is what ‘Keep the Promise’ advocates are asking of all major presidential candidates:

HEALTHCARE IS A RIGHT

 Universal access to healthcare is a right – regardless of one’s wealth or income.

1. The presidential candidates MUST clearly articulate a policy on HIV/AIDS.

Domestic AIDS: Increase funding for testing and treating HIV/AIDS; preserving Ryan White Care Act; increasing funding for STD prevention and treatment programs

Global AIDS: Commit to FULLY funding The Global Fund and PEPFAR 

  • The President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) is the cornerstone of U.S. global health efforts and of HIV/AIDS efforts around the world
  • Reverse restrictive trade policies that undermine access to affordable generic medicines around the world
  • AHF is concurrently hosting a march and rally in South Africa 

2. Access to healthcare needs improving.

  • e. rising healthcare costs, overburdened medical safety net providers, costly prescription drugs are obstacles to maintaining one’s health

3. The U.S. government must Keep The Promise on pressing social issues of our day:

  • Expand access to health care; increase funding for global efforts to prevent, test and treat HIV/AIDS
  • Oppose legislation that directly or indirectly promotes stigma among the HIV patient population
    • The negative attitudes, prejudice and discrimination associated with HIV related stigma undermines public health efforts to get people tested, treated and adhering to treatment. Consequently, playing a role in the increase of new HIV infections in communities across the U.S.
  • Other social justice issues:
    I.e. fairness in policing and treatment by the criminal justice system; right to environmental protections; growing the economy while addressing corporate greed and wealth inequality; racial justice and LGBT equality; women’s rights

4. Call for presidential candidates to support the fair treatment of immigrant communities and access to U.S. health care system without
fear of deportation.

  • Threats of deportation prevents Latinos from accessing the U.S. health care system, including being tested and treated for HIV/AIDS
  • Latinos are 3X more likely to be infected with HIV than that of their white counterparts