GMAD Participates in Local AIDS Funding Rally

The LGBT organisation Gay Men of African Descent (GMAD) gathered with thousands of advocates, entertainers and local leaders at the “Keep the Promise” event which took place in downtown Brooklyn.

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It consisted of a march and rally that sent a strong message to local officials regarding recent funding cuts to New York City public health services.

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The curtailing of funding has led to the results of 68,000 fewer HIV tests happening in the city. Interim Executive Director Vaughn Taylor-Akutagawa spoke at the rally with a message of change and much needed response about the issue.

“We have to let public officials know that any decrease in funding will greatly impact the success we have had in HIV prevention efforts especially in communities of color.” Mr. Taylor-Akutagawa continued by calling on the crowd to a call of action, “Get the facts, know the facts, use the facts and share with elected officials your concerns.’

Another known figure in attendance was Reverend Al Sharpton, offering his support for the cause, also gave an influential speech in front of everyone.

“I think anybody that is for human rights must stand today with those that demand more resources and keep the commitment of HIV/AIDS research,” said Al Sharpton. “If we don’t fight for civil rights for everybody then we don’t fight for civil rights for anybody. There’s one standard, one world, one promise.”

“Keep The Promise” was the third in a series calling on elected officials to do more to fight HIV/AIDS. Another “Keep the Promise” rally is scheduled to happen later this year in Ohio.

Gay Men of African Descent (GMAD)

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