Building on World AIDS Day, “Raise Your Voice” Video Engages Faith Community in AIDS Awareness

Spoken-word artist Jon Jorgenson combines faith, art, and advocacy in new video

WASHINGTON — Following last week’s World AIDS Day, You-Tube artist Jon Jorgenson produced a video urging people of faith to use their voices to “raise your voice/raise your hope/reach out a lifeline” to people suffering from AIDS and extreme poverty in sub-Saharan Africa. The video is a partnership between Jorgenson and the ONE Campaign to engage Christians in the United States in the fight against AIDS and extreme poverty in Africa.

ONE teamed up with Fullscreen Creator Network management to collaborate with influential talent like Jorgenson to develop unique projects that leverage their passions and give their massive audiences access to issues that they believe in.

Jon Jorgenson is an author, speaker, and spoken word poet whose YouTube videos have been viewed by more than 15 million people. Jon partners with numerous organizations including Awana International, Moody Bible Institute, the Willow Creek Association, and hundreds of other churches, colleges, and conferences all over the globe. His spoken word poetry provides a dynamic and creative experience that captures the imagination of audiences everywhere. As a former Broadway actor, Chicago native, and very lucky husband, Jon hopes to provide a fresh, unique voice to some of life’s most difficult and challenging questions.

Watch the video or read the transcript below.

CREDIT: JON JORGENSON

I’ve never been very good at math

but here’s a few numbers for you

4,500 Africans die every day of preventable, treatable disease

1/2 of children dying under the age of 5 die from malnutrition

17,000 women are infected with HIV every week

1 billion people live in extreme poverty (less than $2.00/day)

Now, we can be sadistic about statistics

but it’s hard to ignore a face

with a name, and a family, and a future

if we can remove this space

this giant chasm between the scale of emergency and the scale of response

we can give them a place in tomorrow

Now you may say, 

HIV is a fallacy

but it does destroy millions

poverty doesn’t bother me

but it does incarcerate billions

all thoughts of disease

we avoid with ease

but for the least of these

they’re present realities

and just because the names are forgettable

doesn’t mean their symptoms aren’t preventable

this epidemic is untenable

so we can either ignore it

or raise your voice

raise your voice

for those without the choice

to know well what well feels like

for whom the opportunity to experience

the feeling of healing is peeling away

like seconds drip from the face of the clock

like tears drip from the face of the hurting

Africa is churning day after day

while face after face is turning away

and race after race is learning today

that some help is on the way

but there’s a scarcity 

a rarity

not of charity

but of justice

1 billion starving people is not sad

it’s unjust

 and if you must know where God is in all of this

he’s already there

he cares for the crying

he’s close to the hungry

he is with those in the dust

God is already with them

he’s waiting for us

so raise your voice

raise your hope

reach out a lifeline

cause they need a rope

so widen your scope

and raise your voice

raise it for the abused

the sick

the dead and the dying

make the hurting no longer alone in their crying

I know it sounds big

but we have to keep trying and trying and trying and trying

and praying and praying and praying 

that’s all I’m saying

Here’s another number for you…

1 (every voice brings us 1 step closer to changing everything)