Kelly Price, Jody Watley, Freda Payne, Kelly Rowlands, Gloria Loring, and Rachel Price will be among the women converging on the stage of the Wilshire Ebell Theatre in Los Angeles on Sunday, October 9 for the 15th annual Divas Simply Singing extravaganza.
The annual event is designed to raise awareness and money for HIV/AIDS services. According to the Divas Simply Singing website, “every cent of the millions raised through their efforts goes to help men, women and children infected by HIV/AIDS.” This year’s fundraiser will benefit the AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) and the Black AIDS Institute (BAI).
Actress/activist Sheryl Lee Ralph created and produces Divas Simply Singing annually. She said, “We must stem the tide. We have to be out there to make people aware that the house is burning down and you are in it…Get out of the house,” Ralph said, referring to a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control showing a dramatic increase in the number of new HIV/AIDS cases, especially among people of color, women, and teenagers.
Ralph envisioned the Divas Simply Singing project in 1990, after losing many friends to the disease.
“We must be responsible for our own behavior and take heed to the messages out there. Condoms are a great start, but condoms are not perfect. Behavior has to change. People need to realize that when it comes to HIV/AIDS it all about you,” Ralph continued. “Awareness starts at the very top. Leaders of church, government and community must help effect change. Sweeping it under the rug…there will be consequences, there will be death.”
The AHF is the largest specialized provider of HIV medical care in the United States with medical care designed around HIV-positive clients.
As a non-profit charitable organization, BAI is the first black HIV/AIDS policy center dedicated to reducing HIV/AIDS health disparities by mobilizing black institutions and individuals in efforts to confront the epidemic in their communities.Divas Simply Singing at Wilshire Ebell Theatre, 4401 West 8th Street, Los Angeles. Show starts at 7:30 p.m. For tickets or more information visit www.divassimplysinging.com or call Ticketmaster at (213) 480-3232.