Hip-Hop Summit Youth Council Teams with Rosario Dawson For A-Team Program
Plans for a new HIV/AIDs awareness program were revealed during a recent health fair and forum organized by the Hip-Hop Summit Youth Council.
The event- sponsored by Glaxo/Smith/Kline with support from Popper Swift & Associates -was held Wednesday (Jan. 25) at York College and featured actress Rosario Dawson as the keynote speaker.
The organization's new A-Team (Artists, Athletes, Actors & Authors Against AIDS) program will work to unite celebrities and young people in an effort to combat HIV/AIDS, according to HHSYC founder and chairman Charles Fisher.
"The community has failed this generation in our fight against HIV/AIDS and the statistics prove it. To support the A-Team's purpose, we have solicited the support of major Record labels like Warner Music Group to assist us in our work to team young people up with celebrities in a new fight against HIV/AIDS," said Fisher, who spoke to audience members. "We are looking for you to be AIDS awareness ambassadors to help us in the war against HIV/AIDS. Our program advocates abstinence and awareness."
Youth and young adults can play a vital role in helping to stop the growth of the virus in our communities, Fisher added.
Dawson and Dr. Marc Johnson, the event's host, also addressed attendees as they answered about HIV/AIDS while sharing stories about how they dealt with the disease.
"The statistics are alarming, especially for African Americans. "What's worse, they don't reflect the true enormity of the disease," Dawson said. There are so many people who are afraid to get tested. That's why I'm working to build awareness with GlaxoSmithKline. To tell as many people as possible to get tested and take control of your lives."
Johnson believes the A-Team's efforts to partner young people with celebrities will make "a huge difference."
"I know that our youth and young adults can make a difference and it is time for us to give them the resources they need to eliminate the spread of HIV/AIDS, especially in minority communities," said Johnson, a worker with the Aids Center of Queens County and N.Y. Technical Hospital who looked forward to working with Dawson on the new program.
Randy Fisher, HHSYC executive director, was also impressed by Dawson.
"The forum was a huge success and gave us an opportunity to prepare for the official launch of the A-Team during Black History Month because AIDS is devastating the black and hispanic communities at an alarming rate and we have to do something about it now! Rosario Dawson is well educated about the virus and is serious about working with us to fight the disease," Fisher said in a statement. "We are truly blessed and happy to have our first celebrity A-Team member on board to help us in our efforts to better enlighten our youth and young adults about the HIV/AIDS virus."