Reverend Al Sharpton to Headline ‘AIDS is a Civil Rights Issue’ Town Hall, Agape Temple A.M.E. Church, Dallas, Feb. 22nd

Reverend Al Sharpton to Headline ‘AIDS is a Civil Rights Issue’ Town Hall, Agape Temple A.M.E. Church, Dallas, Feb. 22nd AIDS Healthcare Foundation recently launched a new national awareness and advocacy campaign headlined “AIDS is a Civil Rights Issue.” (Graphic: Business Wire)

In response to the fact that African American and Latino communities continue to be disproportionately impacted by HIV/AIDS, AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) has embarked on a new national “AIDS is a Civil Rights Issue” public awareness campaign intended to highlight this health disparity as well as to emphasize the fact that

access to HIV prevention, care and treatment for HIV/AIDS should be universal.

As part of its campaign, AHF has teamed with local Dallas area partners Agape Temple A.M.E. Church, Allen Chapel A.M.E., to host an ‘AIDS is a Civil Rights Issue’ town hall discussion at Agape Temple A.M.E. Church (3432 Mingo St., Dallas) from 6:00pm to 9:00pm on Saturday evening, February 22. The forum—which takes place during Black History Month and during the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964—is the second in a nationwide series spearheaded by AHF. Reverend Al Sharpton will be keynote speaker followed by a program featuring a town panel discussion with several respected local community, political, heath, religious and HIV/AIDS leaders.


‘AIDS is a Civil Rights Issue’ TOWN HALL DISCUSSION Keynote Speaker, Rev. Al Sharpton


Saturday, February 22nd, 6:00 pm to 9:00pm


Agape Temple A.M.E. Church/Pastor Fred Moss

3432 Mingo St., Dallas, TX 75223

KEYNOTE SPEAKER: Reverend Al Sharpton, Civil Rights Leader



Director Zachary Thompson of Dallas County Health and Human Services has served as an adjunct professor in Eastfield’s Social Work and Substance Abuse Counseling programs since 1991. He has more than 25 years of experience in providing social services, managing state and federal grants and serving as a consultant to educational and community-based programs. He has served the residents of Dallas County as a group worker, education specialist, project director, HIV program monitor and deputy director. He is a licensed chemical dependency counselor (LCDC).

Rev. Joseph Collins is the Minister Co-author of HIV Ministry Transitions: Steps to Develop an HIV-Compassionate Church, a comprehensive curriculum for training pastors, ministers and congregations on issues relating to HIV prevention and the elimination of religious-based stigma. He is an Associate Minister at Freedom Home Baptist Church in Austin, Texas and a frequent speaker at churches and conferences on faith, health disparities, mental illness and substance abuse.

Helen Turner Goldenberg – Chair Ryan White Consumer Council Committee; Co-Founder, Christians Joined at the Heart Against AIDS (GGMBC Ministry); Licensed Diabetes Educator/Certified HIV Peer Educator – Navigator, Consumer Advocate; Sister Love’s 2020 2012 Leading Women’s Society Inductee; Certified Public Speaker/Certified Community Health Worker/Member TX HIV Syndicate-Statewide HIV Prevention and Care Planning, TEXAS Dept. of State Health Services.

Tynetta Runnels is currently the Lead Facilitator/Coordinator for the Urban League of Greater Dallas’ CDC funded Programs, Urban Brothas and SISTA’s and has been a part of the Urban League since 2007. Ms. Runnels has served as the Community Health Educator, for Dallas’ City Wide Youth Program (13-19), facilitating HIV/STD presentations throughout the City of Dallas. Ms. Runnels has previously served on the Board of Directors for Legal Hospice of Texas, formerly known as Dallas Legal Hospice, giving free legal advice on civil matters to low-income individuals with any terminal illness, which includes HIV/AIDS. Ms. Runnels is a PROUD 15 year Disabled Army Veteran and when she isn’t serving her community, she continues to follow her passion of serving her fellow Veterans in various capacities.

Bret Camp has worked with the HIV community since the beginning of the epidemic in the 80’s. He has over 25 years of HIV healthcare administration experience and expertise. He has worked extensively in the delivery of care and prevention services. Bret has been a member of the AIDS Treatment Activists Coalition specializing in drug development, and an FDA Patient Representative. He has served as the Chair of the Ryan White Planning Council of Dallas, and is a founding member of the Texas HIV/AIDS Coalition. Currently Bret is the Texas Regional Director for AIDS Healthcare Foundation and oversees the AHF’s activities and services in Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Arkansas.

Jessica Chester is a fourth generation teen mother who beat the odds. She graduated in the top 1% of her high school class, which resulted in a full tuition scholarship to The University of Texas at Dallas. There, she earned a double degree in molecular biology and business administration, while also serving the illustrious sisterhood of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated. Jessica serves as the HIV Program and Communications Coordinator, for the Women & Infants’ Specialty Health department, at Parkland Health & Hospital System.

Amber, a 20 year-old African American woman living with HIV

M.C. Maurice Murray, Disease Intervention Specialist, Dallas County Department of Health & Human Services

Hon. Dwaine R. Caraway, Dallas City Councilmember (introduces Revered Sharpton)

Youth Praise and Worship – Sons of the KING from OCBF Church
Yarbrough & Peoples (will sing 2 newly recorded gospel songs)


Ed Jones, AHF Mobilizer AKA ‘Mr. Prevention’ (972) 246-7130 or 214-859-0061,

Currently African Americans account for 44% of all people with HIV/AIDS in the United States, yet only account for 12% of the population. Latinos account for 21% of all new HIV infections nationwide, yet only represent 16% of the U.S. population.

Disproportionately high numbers of HIV/AIDS cases among communities of color may be caused by several factors, including:

  • Lack of access to clinics for care and HIV testing.
  • High levels of stigma surrounding HIV/AIDS in these communities prevent people from learning their HIV status, or from seeking care and speaking honestly with their partners if they know they are positive.
  • Both society and the healthcare industry have marginalized members of these communities both on account of sexual orientation and race, blocking essential treatment, care, and education for those who need it.

“Our ‘AIDS is a Civil Rights Issue’ public awareness campaign is intended to open dialogue with stakeholders in the community, the public health arena, and faith-based groups as well as public officials about health disparities and the importance of universal access to HIV prevention and care and treatment,” said Michael Weinstein, President of AIDS Healthcare Foundation. “We are honored to have Reverend Sharpton and our esteemed partners in Texas lend their voices to this important cause and discussion.”

“For there will never cease to be poor in the land. Therefore I command you, ‘You shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor, in your land.’ (DEU 15:11) Stewardship and alignment with God absolutely requires the faith based community and leaders of all communities to care about the civility of all people. When we examine the statistics of the amount of individuals living with HIV/AIDS, it is imperative that we join in the fight for the resources to neutralize this epidemic in our communities. Statistics prove that 6 out 10 individuals are living in active care of HIV/AIDS. The power of a community united in an effort to raise awareness to the Civil Rights issue of HIV/AIDS will impact the world, save lives, and educate generations to come on prevention,” said Sir Ed Miles III and endorsed by Pastor Sean King.

AHF’s ‘AIDS is a Civil Rights Issue’ Billboard Campaign Running Now in Atlanta; Washington, DC; Columbus, OH; Baton Rouge, LA; Jackson, MS; South Florida; and Los Angeles

Over the Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday weekend in January, AHF launched its innovative national ‘AIDS is a Civil Rights Issue’ billboard campaign. AHF’s billboards

are intended to serve as a reminder of the fact that African American and Latino communities continue to be disproportionately impacted by HIV/AIDS compared with their respective percentages of the overall population. The campaign also hopes to send the message that access to HIV prevention and care and treatment for HIV/AIDS should be a universal human right. The billboard campaign is running now in Atlanta; Washington, DC; Columbus, Ohio; Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Jackson, Mississippi; South Florida; and in Los Angeles. In most of the cities, the campaign will also be posted as transit shelter ads.

AHF Healthcare Centers in Texas

To address some of the health disparities highlighted in the ‘AIDS is a Civil Right Issue’ campaign and town hall forum, AIDS Healthcare Foundation recently opened two AHF Healthcare Centers in Texas. One is in Dallas—the AHF Healthcare Center/Dallas at Medical City Hospital, 7777 Forrest Lane, Suite B-122, Dallas, TX 75230, +1 (972) 383-1060; the other, in Ft. Worth—AHF Healthcare Center/Ft. Worth, 400 N. Beach St., Suite 104, Ft. Worth, TX 70808, +1 (817) 831-1750.

AIDS Is A Civil Rights Issue!

Please join us and a multitude of faith-based communities in the South in illuminating and fighting the persisting bias against communities of color as we collectively strive to lower the incidence of HIV/AIDS, and together we can ensure all communities have equal access to the tools we need in this fight.

About AIDS Healthcare Foundation

AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global AIDS organization, currently provides medical care and/or services to more than 282,000 individuals in 32 countries worldwide in the US, Africa, Latin America/Caribbean, the Asia/Pacific Region and Eastern Europe. To learn more about AHF, please visit our website:, find us on Facebook: and follow us on Twitter: @aidshealthcare.