CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Grammy-nominated R&B recording artist Raheem DeVaughn and R&B/neo-soul artist Goapele have joined forces with AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the Reed For Hope Foundation, WORLD and Chicago-based South Side Help Center (SSHC) to present “RISE Above”, a national sexual health awareness campaign, on Saturday, June 17th at 7:00 p.m. at Park West, located at 322 West Armitage Ave. This “women’s only” event is free and open to the public, but attendees must register online for tickets at riseabovehiv.org. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and seating is on a first-come, first-served basis.
The event will feature an intimate evening of live performances, conversation, free massages, giveaways and more.
Inspired by the late Dr. Maya Angelou’s powerful and impactful poem, “Still I Rise”, the RISE Above campaign focuses on eliminating HIV-related stigma by educating and empowering women of color about healthy relationships, sexuality and wellness. Launched in Oakland, CA in early March 2017 as a part of National Women & Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, the campaign will come to Chicago on Saturday, June 17th prior to National HIV/AIDS Testing Day (June 27).
On September 21, the RISE Above campaign tour will also hold an event in Cleveland, OH before culminating in Atlanta, GA in early November.
Heart & Soul magazine, a national publication dedicated to the health and well-being of women of color, has signed on as a national media partner for the campaign.
According to current statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1 in 4 individuals living with HIV in the United States are women. Black/African American and Hispanic/Latina women continue to be disproportionately affected by HIV, compared with women of other races/ethnicities. Of the total estimated number of women living with diagnosed HIV at the end of 2013, 61% (137,504) were African American, 17% (39,177) were white, and 17% (38,664) were Hispanics/Latinas.
“Across our country, women of color from all backgrounds continue to be impacted disproportionately by HIV and other sexually transmitted infections,” said Vanessa Smith, executive director of South Side Help Center. “As we celebrate 30 years of service to communities across Chicago, we are pleased to have our own Congresswoman Robin Kelly, who recently co-founded the Congressional Black Caucus on Black Women & Girls, join us for this event. We’re also excited to partner with Goapele and Raheem DeVaughn, two amazing artists who are using their visibility to bring awareness to these issues. Bringing together black women and inspiring them to break through stigma and become both sexually educated and empowered to ‘rise above HIV’ is a goal we all share.”
AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global AIDS organization, currently provides medical care and/or services to over 700,000 individuals in 38 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 and Instagram: @aidshealthcare
WORLD (‘Women Organized to Respond to Life-threatening Diseases’) is a diverse organization for, by, and about women living with, and at risk for, HIV/AIDS. WORLD improves the lives and health of women, girls, families and communities affected by HIV through peer-based education, wellness services, advocacy, and leadership development. We envision a world where women, girls, and families affected by HIV and AIDS have the tools, support, and knowledge to live healthy and productive lives with dignity. Our vision is rooted in a commitment to human rights and wellness with the understanding that this includes freedom from violence; access to housing; quality healthcare; food security; physical, spiritual and emotional wellbeing; education and economic justice.
South Side Help Center (SSHC) For 30 years, South Side Help Center has provided critical services to help negate the incidence and impact of HIV/AIDS in Chicago’s communities of color. Initially founded in 1987 with the goal of educating the African-American religious community so it could be sensitive to the needs of people impacted by HIV/AIDS, SSHC’s services have evolved to include HIV/AIDS outreach and direct care services and a comprehensive range of youth and capacity building programs to help people of all ages embrace a lifestyle of prevention against mental, physical and social ills by providing positive, healthy alternatives so that community residents can lead productive lives. Serving people and strengthening communities is its mission. In March, 2015, SSHC became an affiliate of AIDS Healthcare Foundation further strengthening its ability to fulfill this goal. To learn more about the programs and services of SSHC visit www.southsidehelp.org. and www.facebook.com/SouthSideHelpCenter
REED FOR HOPE FOUNDATION (RFHF)/LOVEHEALTHY.ORG, mission is to improve the vitality of the global village by changing specific cultural attitudes about wellness, disease prevention and health disparities through the strategic implementation of messages that impact pop culture. We aim to inspire our friends, our partners and our communities to join us in raising our voices on targeted health issues while bringing focus, action and HOPE to causes that enhance the quality of living for all.