NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The National Action Network (NAN), the influential nonprofit civil rights group founded by Reverend Al Sharpton in 1991, honored AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) President Michael Weinstein with one of its ‘Keepers of the Dream’ Awards at a gala ceremony Wednesday night during the group’s 16th annual convention in New York City. According the NAN, the awards, which are given each year in April to mark the anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s death, “…honor those who have continued to advocate for the principles for which Dr. King gave his life. The Keepers of the Dream awards are given by members of the civil rights community who have committed themselves to fairness and racial harmony.”
Weinstein, President of AIDS Healthcare Foundation, the largest global AIDS organization, was honored for his HIV/AIDS work; for launching the ‘AIDS is a Civil Right Issue’ awareness and advocacy campaign which addresses the fact that African Americans continue to be disproportionately impacted by HIV/AIDS; and for spearheading ‘Keep the Promise on AIDS’ marches and rallies in Washington, New York, Atlanta and Cleveland. Rev. Dr. W. Franklyn Richardson, Chairman, National Action Network and Reverend Sharpton presented the award.
“I am humbled to be considered a ‘Keeper of the Dream’ and honored by this recognition by the National Action Network and the community,” said Michael Weinstein. “Sadly, AIDS today has a disproportionate—and devastating—impact on both the African American and Latino communities. AIDS Healthcare Foundation, working together with partners like Reverend Sharpton as well as churches, non-profits and community groups around the nation are striving to open a frank dialogue within the community to address these health disparities through forums including our ‘AIDS Is A Civil Right Issue’ events. The campaign and these town hall discussions also emphasize the fact that access to HIV prevention, care and treatment for HIV/AIDS should be universal. While deeply honored by this award, we still have much work to do in this fight. We must also remember and commend the work of those like Dr. King, who came before us and helped pave the way for such awareness campaigns to be possible.”
AHF launched its ‘AIDS is a Civil Rights Issue’ national awareness campaign on Martin Luther King Day, and it was supported by events throughout February in Jackson, Mississippi; Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Dallas and Los Angeles – all of which featured Sharpton as the keynote speaker – that reached out through community partners and religious institutions to raise awareness within each city’s African-American community. AHF expanded the reach and imagery of the campaign’s billboard component—which initially featured artwork consisting of a stylized, artistic rendering of civil rights icon Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. with the headline, ‘AIDS is a Civil Rights Issue’—by posting similar artwork featuring Cesar Chavez with the tagline, ‘SIDA, Cuestíon de Derechos Humanos’ in Miami and Los Angeles in March.
Sharpton founded the nonprofit civil rights group National Action Network in New York City in 1991. This year’s four-day convention will feature discussions on elections, gun violence, immigration, women’s rights, and the annual “Keepers of the Dream” reception, which spotlights modern-day civil rights efforts that align with and support hopes Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. expressed in his iconic “I Have A Dream” speech.
AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) is the largest non-profit HIV/AIDS healthcare provider in the USA. AHF currently provides medical care and/or services to over 300,000 individuals in 32 countries worldwide in the US, Africa, Latin America/Caribbean, Eastern Europe, and Asia. For more information, visit www.aidshealth.org, find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/aidshealth and follow us on Twitter: @AIDSHealthcare