Statewide Celebrity tour urges Black community to get tested for HIV
CINCINNATI, April 19 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- This week, the Buckeye state will become Black Hollywood East, as movie and TV stars flock to participate in the Test 1 Million Ohio Celebrity Tour.
From April 21 to April 24, 2010, celebrities Danny Glover ("Death at a Funeral"), Rockmond Dunbar ("The Family that Preys"), Lamman Rucker ("Why Did I Get Married Too?"), and Sheryl Lee Ralph (Tony Award nominee) will visit Dayton, Oxford, Cleveland, Cincinnati, and Columbus to fight AIDS stigma, raise awareness about the magnitude of HIV/AIDS in Black communities, and encourage people to get tested for HIV.
"There has never been an effort to mobilize the Black community in Ohio like this," says Mamie Harris, CEO and founder of IV Charis (www.4charis.com), a Cincinnati- and Northern Kentucky-based AIDS-service organization and the event co-sponsor. Other tour supporters include the Ohio Minority Health Commission, Orasure Technologies and a statewide coalition of 27 organizations. "We hope that combining the efforts of local organizations, including colleges and universities, churches, elected officials and health departments, with a mobile 'billboard' featuring Hollywood celebrities will get people's attention," says Harris.
"We are fortunate to have all these talented performers participating," says Phill Wilson, President and CEO of event co-sponsor the Black AIDS Institute (www.BlackAIDS.org), the only national HIV/AIDS think tank in the United States focused exclusively on Black people.
The tour kicks off on Wednesday, April 21 at Central State and Wilberforce Universities and continues on Thursday, April 22 with a stop at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.
In Cleveland on Friday, April 23, the department of health and Radio One station 107.9 WENZ-FM will present the HIV/AIDS awareness play "Secrets." On Saturday morning April 24, Cincinnati's Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta will hold its 4th annual walk and, that afternoon, the African Heritage Festival will be held at Ohio State University. HIV testing will be available at all events.
The Test 1 Million Celebrity tour is funded in part by the Ohio Commission on Minority Health, Orasure Technologies, the MAC AIDS fund, the Ohio department of alcohol, and drug addiction services, Gilead Sciences, the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Black AIDS Institute.
SOURCE Black AIDS Institute