Washington, D.C. – March 1, 2005 – From the heartland to Hollywood, Americans are wearing White Bands in support of ONE, a coalition of the nation’s leading relief and advocacy groups, to fight global AIDS and poverty. Building on endorsements by the Christian music and Hollywood communities, ONE began distributing White Bands to the general public through events in over a dozen cities across the country.
“While The ONE Campaign is honored to have spokespersons like Jamie Foxx, Pat Robertson, and Michael W. Smith, Americans from cities like Louisville, Chicago, Tucson and Seattle are going to make the difference for the world’s poorest people,” said Paul Dioguardi, national coordinator for ONE. “It is our hope that every American will be wearing a White Band to support the fight against global AIDS and poverty when President Bush heads to Scotland for the Africa Summit in July.”
Every day, 8,000 people die and another 13,000 contract the HIV virus, nearly 1,800 of who are children. In poor countries, there are approximately 6 million AIDS patients in need of lifesaving medicines, but only 700,000 currently have access. More than one billion people – including half the population of Sub-Saharan Africa – live on less than one dollar a day.
The distribution of White Bands on March ONE wraps up a week of activity that included the launch of ‘ONE in the Spirit’ a call to action to the faith community by the biggest names in Christian music and a call to action by Hollywood’s biggest stars – including Brad Pitt, George Clooney and Hollywood icon Jack Valenti. Pitt recently traveled to Africa with DATA (www.data.org) on behalf of ONE. ONE White Bands are available online at www.one.org.
“We need to make people aware of what’s going on,” Oscar winner Jamie Foxx said. “I’ve been to Africa and seen the problems with HIV and extreme poverty. So when you get a chance to do something positive like this, it’s really great. Why not try to lift your brother man up?”
The first (ONE) day of every month will feature a call to action ONE grassroots activists nationwide. On February ONE, field organizers hosted informational meetings and followed them on February 2 with State of the Union watch parties in 9 cities (Albuquerque, Cornell (IA), Denver, Des Moines, Iowa City, Louisville, Portland (OR), Seattle and Tucson).
White Bands were distributed in the following cities: Cedar Rapids, Chicago, Claremont (CA), Clive (IA), Des Moines, Indianapolis, Louisville, Monrovia (CA), Montclair (CA), Mt. Vernon (IA), Portland (OR), San Diego, Seattle, Tucson, Urbandale (IA), and Wheaton (IL).
ONE is a global advocacy and campaigning organization backed by more than 2 million people from around the world dedicated to fighting extreme poverty and preventable disease, particularly in Africa. For more information please visit www.ONE.org.