Sheryl Lee Ralph raises AIDS awareness with DIVA
For the past 30 years, Tony-nominated actress and activist Sheryl Lee Ralph has worked on HIV / AIDS awareness through the DIVA Foundation. DIVA, which sta …
For the past 30 years, Tony-nominated actress and activist Sheryl Lee Ralph has worked on HIV / AIDS awareness through the DIVA Foundation.
DIVA, which stands for Divinely Inspired Victoriously Aware, is a nonprofit organization founded by Ralph after losing so many of his friends to AIDS at a time when few knew anything about the deadly disease.
Ralph has seen so many people turn their backs on those affected by AIDS.
“The community, everyone, people of all kinds of backgrounds, faiths and beliefs have found it easy to turn their back on those in need. The little church girl in me said, we can do better than that – I can do better than that, ”said Ralph.
Due to the abuse and stigma that people living with HIV / AIDS have had to endure, Sheryl has often been ridiculed for creating a foundation focused on this specific community.
“It was sometimes painful, you know, the way people would curse you and say you were stupid, why would you do that?” It’ll hurt your career, it’s not worth it. And I could only think people are still worth it, ”Sheryl explained.
As the foundation grew, Sheryl created DIVA’s Simply Singing, which is the premier fundraising event for the DIVA foundation which uses the power of art to raise awareness about HIV / AIDS and other social issues that affect the well-being of communities. like poverty, cancer, hunger and gun violence.
“We support artistic activism, we support young artists who want to use their art to change what is happening in the world. You never know how your art can inspire people. HIV / AIDS affects us all and we will continue to raise awareness, one song at a time, ”said Ralph.