LOS ANGELES, Nov. 2, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The Magic Johnson Foundation (MJF) announces the launch of Point Forward Day, a national day of awareness and action to celebrate 20 years of impact. The Foundation's 20th Anniversary campaign (MJF:20) will kick off with a press conference featuring Earvin "Magic" Johnson at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on November 7, 2011, exactly 20 years to the date that one of the world's greatest basketball players announced his HIV status and subsequent retirement from the NBA.
Johnson pledged to transition his performance on the basketball court to philanthropy through the creation of the Magic Johnson Foundation and continues to have an unmatched record for service to urban communities. For over two decades, MJF has served and enriched urban communities nationwide through its three program pillars: HIV/AIDS testing and awareness, Community Empowerment Centers (CECs) and the Taylor Michaels Scholarship Program (TMSP).
"It is time for the Magic Johnson Foundation to communicate the impact we have had in urban communities across the US. Point Forward Day is about getting involved and giving back like Magic has done. It is time for all of us to stop spectating and start doing! Through our continued work in educational empowerment, it is our hope to cyclically cultivate, inspire and help to achieve self sufficiency in underserved communities," said Amelia Williamson, Interim President of the Magic Johnson Foundation.
One in five people living with HIV don't know their status. On Point Forward Day, the Foundation asks Americans to join together and learn their status. In partnership with AIDS Healthcare Foundation MJF will host free confidential testing events in cities across the US. At select CEC locations, testing will include participation from government officials, dignitaries and athletes who will lead their communities by getting tested first at on site mobile units. Mobile Testing units will be available in the following cities: Atlanta, Brooklyn, Bronx, Chicago, Dallas, DC, East Harlem, Fort Lauderdale, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, North Miami, San Antonio, Hampton, VA, Wilton Manors, Fla, Marrero, LA.
Nine of MJF's 17 Community Empowerment Centers will also join in Point Forward Day celebrations by hosting community events. The Magic Johnson Foundation will make new commitments to empowering communities, including technology upgrades to urban areas and focusing on issues like literacy and reading readiness going into its 20th Anniversary year. The Foundation's very own Taylor Michaels Scholarship recipients and alumni will coordinate the festivities on Point Forward Day. Host cities include: Oakland, Sacramento, Harlem, North Miami, Cleveland, Carson Calif., Bladensburg MD, Eastover/Columbia SC, and Bennettsville SC.
Point Forward Day is made possible through the generosity of its title sponsor, Wells Fargo, which has been a long time support of the Magic Johnson Foundation. Best Buy, Cisco, FedEx, Grockit , IBM, AEG, and Walgreens will be providing additional local and national support through technical assistance, employee engagement and in-kind contributions.
Celebrities and athletes are joining the campaign through a social media initiative aimed at raising awareness about HIV/AIDS. Dwayne Wade, Ludacris, Justin Bieber, Kobe Bryant, Adrian Peterson, Pau Gasol, Paula Abdul, Steve Nash, Monique Coleman, Faith Evans, Blair Underwood, and more are pledging their support through Facebook, Twitter and Tout and encouraging fans to get tested on Point Forward Day.
As the Foundation approaches the 20th Anniversary of a seminal moment in American history, it is inviting select groups of 40 leaders to stand with Earvin "Magic" Johnson in celebrating the legacy and future of MJF through a $25,000 commitment to support the organization. To date MJF has raised $700K.
To learn more about the Magic Johnson Foundation or for additional information on Point Forward Day, visit magicjohnson.com/pointforward. To donate and support the Foundation's efforts, text MAGIC to 80888 and reply with "YES" to finalize the donation. Standard text messaging rates may apply.
About Magic Johnson Foundation
The Magic Johnson Foundation, a 501(c) (3) organization was established in 1991 to raise funds for community-based organizations focused on HIV/AIDS education and prevention. To date, the foundation has donated over $15 Million to underserved communities. MJF has evolved from an HIV grant making organization to one that advocates for community based organizations, and supports educational empowerment through HIV/AIDS education/testing/awareness work, minority college access, and digital literacy. Additionally, the Magic Johnson Foundation provides inner city youth access to social activities and outings such as professional sports events and holiday parties otherwise unavailable to them.
SOURCE The Magic Johnson Foundation