LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) is proud to commemorate the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday observed on January 15 by participating in MLK parades and hosting free HIV awareness and testing events in more than a dozen U.S. cities across the country, including Los Angeles and San Francisco, CA; Washington, DC; Chicago, IL; Ft. Lauderdale and Miami, FL; Atlanta, GA; Baton Rouge, LA; Dayton and Cleveland, OH; Biloxi and Jackson, MS; Greensboro and Winston-Salem, NC; New York, NY; Columbia and Holly Hill, SC; and Dallas and Ft. Worth, TX.
In Los Angeles, AHF staff and volunteers will march alongside a mobile billboard featuring AHF’s recent social justice marketing campaigns—including its “AIDS Is A Civil Rights Issue” and #StandAgainstHate billboard images—during the annual Kingdom Day Parade that steps off at 10:00 a.m. at Western Ave. and MLK Blvd. For more information, please contact Patrick Stone at (619) 792-9866.
AHF contingent to march in annual Kingdom Day Parade
Monday, January 15, 2018
The parade steps off at Western Ave. and MLK Blvd. and proceeds west of MLK to Crenshaw and south on Crenshaw to Vernon. There will be a festival at Leimert Park immediately following the parade.
The parade will be broadcast live on ABC 7 from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
In San Francisco, AHF will take part in the MLK2018 March/Parade hosted by the Northern California Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Foundation that begins at 11:00 a.m. on January 15 at the Caltrain Station and ends at Yerba Buena Gardens, where a music festival will be held.
The full list of AHF’s MLK Day activities can be found at www.AHFParticipate.org
AHF kicked off the new year by dedicating its 2018 Rose Parade float to mark the 50th anniversary of the assassination of MLK. King was fatally shot at age 39 by escaped fugitive James Earl Ray on a balcony at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee, on April 4, 1968. AHF's 55-foot-long float recreated the "Stone of Hope" granite statue of MLK that is located on the National Mall in Washington, DC and the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, AL that King, Congressman John Lewis and other civil rights activists attempted to march across on March 9, 1965 before they were attacked by armed policemen in what came to be known as "Bloody Sunday."
This year's float riders included AHF Keep The Promise Youth Essay Contest Winners Lilia ‘Sweet Lily’ King (Tallahassee, FL) and Kibiriti Majuto (Charlottesville, VA); Rev. Kelvin Sauls, Senior Pastor, Holman United Methodist Church in Los Angeles and member of AHF’s Board of Directors; Susan Bro, mother of Heather Heyer, who was killed in Charlottesville, VA during a protest against an organized white supremacist demonstration; Alfred Wilson, co-founder and executive director of the Heather Heyer Foundation; and Cynthia Davis, MPH, Chair of AHF’s Board of Directors, who was interviewed by KTLA's Gayle Anderson about this year's float. Each Keep The Promise Youth Essay Contest winner received a $5,000 scholarship or grant for community projects; the two runners-up received $1,000 grants from the Heather Heyer Foundation.
“As we honor the contributions of Martin Luther King Jr. and his enduring legacy that has inspired social movements around the world, we also remember the many others who have also lost their lives standing against hate and bigotry, including Heather Heyer who was killed during the horrifying white supremacist demonstration in Charlottesville last August,” said AHF President Michael Weinstein. “In cities across the country, we’re proud to march alongside activists and community leaders who are committed to seeing the full realization of Dr. King’s vision of justice and equality in our nation today.”
As African American and Latino communities continue to be disproportionately impacted by HIV/AIDS in the United States, AHF advocates and its MLK parade contingents will continue to promote the message that “AIDS Is A Civil Rights Issue” and that access to care and treatment for HIV/AIDS should be a universal human right. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), African Americans account for 44% of all people with HIV/AIDS in the United States, yet only account for 12% of the population. Latinos account for 21% of all new HIV infections nationwide, yet only represent 16% of the U.S. population. Disproportionately high numbers of HIV/AIDS cases among communities of color may be caused by several factors, including:
AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global AIDS organization, currently provides medical care and/or services to over 850,000 individuals in 39 countries worldwide in the US, Africa, Latin America/Caribbean, the Asia/Pacific Region and Eastern Europe. To learn more about AHF, please visit our website: www.aidshealth.org, find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/aidshealth and follow us on Twitter: @aidshealthcare.
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