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Black Celebrities Unite In Response To AIDS

NEWS RELEASE
Embargoed for release until:
February 6, 2012

New Greater Than AIDS PSAs and Social Media Messages Mark National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (Feb. 7)

More than 60 Black celebrities have united with Greater Than AIDS to bring attention to the severe and disproportionate epidemic facing Black Americans and reduce the stigma surrounding the disease. Black Americans account for half of the approximately 1.1 million people living with HIV/AIDS in this country today – and 44 percent of new infections – while representing just 12 percent of the population. Blacks are also more likely to die of AIDS as compared to other racial and ethnic groups.

Coinciding with National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (Feb. 7), Greater Than AIDS is debuting new public service ads (PSAs), coordinated social media posts and other messages from popular Black television and film actors, directors, producers, and others in Hollywood about the devastating effect of HIV/AIDS in the Black community. Many of the participating talent spoke about people they knew who are living with or have died from the disease. Participating talent will be supporting the campaign’s themes of unity, hope and empowerment through their own Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms and through personal appearances. (A list of participating celebrities is attached.)

“This is an unprecedented response from the Black Hollywood community to an issue that has touched so many of our lives,” said Phill Wilson, President and CEO, Black AIDS Institute. The Black AIDS Institute is a co-founding partner with the Kaiser Family Foundation of Greater Than AIDS. “Our voice is one of the most powerful tools we have in combating the ignorance and stigma that still surrounds this disease.” The celebrities featured in this campaign are all members of the Black AIDS Institute’s Black Hollywood Task Force on AIDS, which works to engage the Hollywood community in an effort to fight HIV/AIDS. “The artists and executives who have joined us in this campaign realize that no matter the celebrity, they are also members of the Black community, and they are trying to do their part.”

“HIV/AIDS is a deeply personal issue for many Black Americans, yet the issue is too often silent in many communities,” said Tina Hoff, Senior Vice President and Director, Health Communication and Media Partnerships, Kaiser Family Foundation. According to a national survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation, more than 60 percent – three in five – Black Americans know someone living with HIV/AIDS or who has died from the disease; for most, a family member or close friend.

The Kaiser Family Foundation and the Black AIDS Institute are executive producers. Linda Jones of The Mass Appeal produced, and Vanessa Williams (SOUL FOOD) with Quincy LeNear and Deondray Gossett (THE DL CHRONICLES, THE VOICE) directed.

Black Hollywood Task Force GREATER THAN AIDS PARTICIPATING TALENT:

• Laila Ali, professional athlete /actress /spokesperson
• Tatyana Ali, actress (THE FRESH PRINCE OF BEL-AIR/NBC, LOVE THAT GIRL!/TV ONE)
• Anthony Anderson, actor (LAW & ORDER/NBC, THE BERNIE MAC SHOW/FOX, K-VILLE/FOX, THE SHIELD/FX NETWORK, THE DEPARTED, TRANSFORMERS)
• Robb Armstrong, nationally syndicated cartoonist (JUMPSTART)
• Essence Atkins, actress (ARE WE THERE YET/TBS, HALF AND HALF/UPN, SMART GUY/THE WB)
• Rochelle Aytes, actress (THE FORGOTTEN/ABC)
• Obba Babatunde, actor (PRIVATE PRACTICE/ABC, HALF & HALF/UPN)
• Alimi Ballard, actor (NCIS/CBS, NUMB3RS/CBS)
• Denise Boutte, actress (MEET THE BROWNS/TBS, WHY DID I GET MARRIED)
• RaVaughn Brown, singer/actress (COLUMBIA RECORDS)
• Rhyon Brown, actress (LINCOLN HEIGHTS/ABC FAMILY)
• Yvette Nicole Brown, actress, (COMMUNITY/NBC)
• Anthony Burrell, actor (THE SKINNY)
• Tracy “Twinkie” Byrd, casting director (SPARKLE, JUMPING THE BROOM, NOTORIOUS, STUMP THE YARD 1 & 2)
• Affion Crockett, actor/comedian (IN THE FLOW WITH AFFION CROCKETT/FOX)
• Leah Daniels, casting director (PRECIOUS, LOVE THAT GIRL!, ATL, THE WAYANS BROS, THE PAPERBOY)
• Gary Dourdan, actor (CSI/CBS, JUMPING THE BROOM)
• Bill Duke, filmmaker/director/actor
• Nadine Ellis, actress (LET’S STAY TOGETHER/BET)
• Jennia Fredrique, actress (THE SKINNY)
• Jennifer Freeman, actress (MY WIFE AND KIDS/ABC)
• Jason George, actor (GREY’S ANATOMY/ABC, OFF THE MAP/ABC)
• Lance Gross, actor (TYLER PERRY’S HOUSE OF PAYNE/TBS)
• Dennis Haysbert, actor (24/FOX, THE UNIT/CBS)
• Samuel L Jackson, actor/producer (JUNGLE FEVER, PULP FICTION, CAPTAIN AMERICA, STAR WARS III, IRON MAN 2, KILL BILL 2, CHANGING LANES, SHAFT, A TIME TO KILL)
• Carlon Jeffery, actor (ANT FARM/DISNEY)
• Jill Marie Jones, actress (GIRLFRIENDS/UPN & THE CW)
• Orlando Jones, actor/comedian (MAD TV/FOX, THE EVIDENCE/ABC)
• Tamala Jones, actress (CASTLE/ABC)
• Kenny Lattimore, award winning musical artist
• Robinne Lee, actress (HOUSE OF PAYNE/TBS, SEVEN POUNDS)
• Nia Long, actress (THIRD WATCH/NBC, THE FRESH PRINCE OF BEL-AIR/NBC)
• MC Lyte, musical artist (President of the L.A. Chapter of the Grammys Recording Academy)
• Eva Marcille, model/actress (AMERICA’S NEXT TOP MODEL/THE CW, THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS/CBS)
• Christopher Massey, actor (ZOEY 101/NICKELODEON)
• Kyle Massey, actor (THAT’S SO RAVEN/DISNEY, CORY IN THE HOUSE/DISNEY, DANCING WITH THE STARS/ABC)
• Dr. Lisa Masterson, MD, host (THE DOCTORS/CBS)
• Elizabeth Mathis, actress (TRON: LEGACY)
• Rashad McCants, NBA player
• Nicki Micheaux, actress (LINCOLN HEIGHTS/ABC FAMILY)
• Tia Mowry, actress (THE GAME/BET)
• Naturi Naughton, actress/musical artist (NOTORIUS, FAME, 3LW, PLAYBOY CLUB/NBC)
• Michaela Pererira, anchor (KTLA NEWS)
• James Pickens, Jr., actor (GREY’S ANATOMY/ABC)
• Isa Rahman, actor/model
• Gina Ravera, actress (THE CLOSER/TNT)
• REBORN, gospel hip hop artist
• Robi Reed, Vice President of Talent and Casting (BET)
• Dominique Reighard, model (AMERICA’S NEXT TOP MODEL/THE CW)
• Shaun Robinson, ACCESS HOLLYWOOD
• J Rome, musical artist (COLUMBIA RECORDS)
• B. SCOTT, celebrity online blogger
• Tasha Smith, actress (TYLER PERRY’S FOR BETTER OR WORSE/TBS)
• Jurnee Smollett, actress (FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS/NBC, THE DEFENDERS/CBS, THE GREAT DEBATERS, GRIDIRON GANG)
• Jussie Smollett, Actor (THE SKINNY)
• Chelsea Tavares, actress (UNFABULOUS/NICKELODEON, JUST JORDAN/NICKELODEON)
• Tamara Taylor, actress (BONES/FOX)
• Bobb’e J. Thompson, actor (30 ROCK/NBC , TYLER PERRY’S FOR BETTER OR WORSE/TBS, BOBB’E SAYS/CARTOON NETWORK, THAT’S SO RAVEN/DISNEY ROLE MODELS)
• Tammy Townsend, actress (LINCOLN HEIGHTS/ABC FAMILY, SHERRI/LIFETIME TV, ROCK ME, BABY/UPN, FAMILY MATTERS)
• Brian White, actor (MEN OF A CERTAIN AGE/TNT, GOOD DEEDS)
• Michael Jai White, actor (TYLER PERRY’S FOR BETTER OR WORSE/TBS)
• Jesse Williams, actor (GREY’S ANATOMY/ABC)
• Oren Williams, actor (REBOUND, COLD CASE/CBS)
• Tyler James Williams, actor (EVERYBODY HATES CHRIS/THE CW)
• Vanessa Williams, director/actress (MELROSE PLACE/FOX, SOUL FOOD/SHOWTIME)
• Zachary Williams, actor (ROMEO!/NICKELODEON , LINCOLN HEIGHTS/ABC FAMILY)
• Zo Williams, radio personality (HOST OF THE VOICE OF REASON/FOXX HOLE SATELLITE RADIO)
• Camille Winbush, actress (SECRET LIFE OF THE AMERICAN TEENAGER/ABC FAMILY, THE BERNIE MAC SHOW/FOX)
• Blake Young-Fountain, actor (THE SKINNY, TWO BROKE GIRLS/CBS)

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About Greater Than AIDS

Greater Than AIDS is an unprecedented collaboration among a broad coalition of public and private sector partners united in response to the HIV/AIDS crisis in the United States, in particular among Black Americans and other disproportionately affected groups.Through a national media campaign and targeted community outreach, Greater Than AIDS aims to increase knowledge and understanding about HIV/AIDS and confront the stigma surrounding the disease.

The Kaiser Family Foundation – a leader in health policy and communications – provides strategic direction and day-to-day management, as well as oversees the production of the media campaign. The Black AIDS Institute – a think tank exclusively focused on AIDS in Black America – provides leadership and expert guidance and directs community engagement.Greater Than AIDS is developed in support of Act Against AIDS, an effort by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to refocus attention on the domestic epidemic.Additional, financial and substantive support is provided by the Elton John AIDS Foundation, Ford Foundation and MAC AIDS Fund, among others.