Al Sura, Inc. brings Hip-Hop Love Story back to DC
Friday, October 25, 2013
The Board of Directors of Al Sura Inc. presents “B-Boy Blues: The Play” at the Burke Theater (701 Pennsylvania N.W.) Friday night at 7 p.m. Adapted from James Earl Hardy’s novel, the play has been praised as the first gay hip-hop love story. Directed by Stanley Bennett Clay, the play won New York’s Downtown Urban Festival’s Audience Award. A special presentation of the play was performed as part of the D.C. Black Theatre Festival in June where it sold out.
Al Sura, Inc. Names 4 Mini-Grant Awardees
Tuesday, May 7, 2013
By Herndon L. Davis
Spring-Summer Application Cycle Begins
The Board of Directors of Al Sura Inc. is pleased to announce the awardees of its Fall-Winter Mini-Grant program cycle. The selected Washington, DC based organizations have excelled in their community service, youth mentoring, health and/or social justice advocacy, all cornerstones of the Al Sura's
organization, mission and goals.
The Awardees are:
The Black Men's XChange (BMX) - DC
Covenant Full Potential Development Center
Project Healthy Living/ManDate - DC
The Al Sura Mini Grant program accepts applicants twice a year. The Spring/Summer Mini-Grant grant cycle is now open and all Washington, DC based non-profit organizations are encouraged to apply. Application submission deadline is Monday, July 1, 2013.
Awarded funds can be applied towards additional capacity initiatives, the organization of a progressive response to an unexpected crisis , an opportunity for organizing travel (to events or conferences), or for a special project not able to be funded by other sources
To apply for an Al Sura Spring-Summer Mini-Grant please visit Al Sura, Inc. online and click on the Mini-Grant Program button on the right side of the Homepage. There you will find an applications and instructions on how to apply.
Should you have questions concerning Al Sura's Mini-Grant program or process
Please e-mail Darryl! Moch, Executive Board Vice-President by clicking on link below:
Al Sura In Black - "Let Freedom Ring"
Featured in The Washington Blade
By W. Badmin on February 21, 2013
The non-profit organization Al Sura celebrates its annual black attire party “Al Sura In Black: Let Freedom Ring” Saturday night at 8 at L’Enfant Plaza Hotel (480 L’Enfant Plaza, SW). Al Sura’s mission is to train a new generation of HIV/AIDS activists to become advocates within their community. The group also supports and publishes research papers on HIV/AIDS, seeks to increase funding for HIV research and tries to unite ethnic/racial minority groups with allies to end HIV/AIDS.
Al Sura, Inc. Recognizes
National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day
February 7, 2013
HIV touches the lives of all Americans, but Black Americans are particularly hard-hit. According to a Kaiser Family Foundation survey, three out of five Black Americans (57 percent) knows someone living with HIV or who has died of AIDS. For many, they are family members or close friends. Do your part by spreading the word at your National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day events:
Click On Image Above To View Educational Video
National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day is a national HIV testing and treatment community mobilization initiative that target Black communities, domestically and internationally. The initiative was founded in 2000 by five national organizations funded by The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 1999 to provide capacity building assistance to Black communities and organizations.
Al Sura Remembers World AIDS Day 2012
Saturday, December 1, 2012
By Herndon L. Davis
Annually on December 1st, the world stops to acknowledge both the struggles and the personal and global challenges of scores of individuals impacted by HIV/AIDS. This day is also an opportunity to highlight the enduring dedication of advocates, researchers, policy makers and volunteers alike all seeking to eradicate HIV/AIDS from this planet.
Al Sura , Inc., a Washington, DC based public charity purposed to erasing health dipartites among Black and People-of-Color communities with a special emphasis on HIV/AIDS acknowledges World AIDS Day 2012. We remember and honor family and friends who are still with us and impacted by HIV/AIDS and those who have passed on.
Throughout our existence Al Sura has sought to bring attention to the HIV/AIDS pandemic raging across the District of Columbia through our socially driven and non-judgmental sponsored events. Proceeds raised from our annual ‘Al Sura In Black,’ “White Attire Affair” and our multiple Fundraising Receptions throughout the year are funded back to the community through the Al Sura Mini-Grant program.
Twice a year we provide Washington, DC based organizations with mini-grants to assist them in their HIV/AIDS and social justice related missions. Applications for the Winter Cycle of Al Sura’s Mini-Grant program will be accepted starting today, Saturday, December. 1, 2012.
Al Sura Fall Fundraiser Reception
Saturday, October 20, 2012
By Herndon L. Davis
(Click image below to view Promotional Video)
Official Video for the Al Sura organization, a Washington, DC based public charity foundation that coordinates and hosts social events in order to promote grassroots communication. Focus is on health disparities including HIV/AIDS among African Americans and People-of-Color DC communities.
Abdur-Rahim Briggs is the founder and president of Al Sura, Inc. (alsura.org), a social marketing and fundraising non-profit that provides mini grants and leadership training to individuals and organizations providing health care and HIV/AIDS support to people of color.
On Saturday, the organization has its Homecoming Fall Fundraiser Reception for Howard University alumni and any former D.C. resident. It runs from 7 to 11 p.m. For location and other details, RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org. A $10 door donation is requested that will go to the organization to help it in its mission of erasing health disparities among people of color in the District. Organizers also hope to sign up people for volunteer opportunities with youth mentoring, voter registration and the Whitman-Walker AIDS Walk events (the AIDS Walk is Oct. 27).
Briggs, a 44-year-old Los Angeles native, came to Washington in 1994 and continued his community involvement work. He credits the late Roy Roberts, former executive director of the Watts/Willowbrook Boys & Girls Club, with inspiring his work.
He has won several awards for his work, including being honored at a recent Alston House benefit and reception last month.
Briggs lives in Congress Heights in Southeast Washington. He’s single and enjoys weight training, reading, meditating and socializing. He also likes movies, watching HGTV and listening to smooth jazz. Washington Blade: 20 Queery Questions
Al Sura, Inc. participates in 2012 XIX International AIDS Conference
By: Herndon L. Davis
July 18, 2012
Al Sura Inc., is proud to announce its participation in the 2012 International AIDS Conference to be held in Washington, DC, July 22-27, 2012. Al Sura hosts annually the "White Attire Affair" which will be held this coming Saturday July 21, 2012 from 8pm - 1am. The event is listed as part of the overall International AIDS Conference program and proceeds from the event will be awarded via mini-grants to Washington, DC based non profits dedicated in part to removing stigma and increasing HIV/AIDS awareness in African American communities.
About The 2012 XIX International AIDS Conference
The International AIDS Conference is the premier gathering for those working in the field of HIV, as well as policy makers, persons living with HIV and other individuals committed to ending the pandemic. It is a chance to assess where we are, evaluate recent scientific developments and lessons learnt, and collectively chart a course forward.
FINDING ME: TRUTH
Just in time for the Memorial Day Weekend
Roger S. Omeus, Jr.'s,
Romantic Drama is comes to DC
By: Herndon L. Davis
May 2, 2012
Washington, DC. - May 2, 2012 - OmeProductions LLC Films announces that Al Sura Inc. will present "FINDING ME: TRUTH" in Washington, DC, May 26, 2012, 5:00p.m. at the Naval Heritage Center. The romantic drama, directed by Roger S. Omeus, Jr., centers around a group of love-and-sex-obsessed friends navigating the joys, and pratfalls, of relationships. The film is the exciting follow-up to the crowd pleaser, "FINDING ME." Both films are excitingly rare yet essential entertainment focusing on the queer, African-American experience.
"I'm really excited about bringing my film to DC, " says Roger S. Omeus, Jr., writer-director-producer of "Finding Me: Truth" and "Finding Me." "Black Pride is a great event to showcase my romantic comedy, and I can't wait to see the audience reaction to the story. Also, after the screening there will be sneak peek clip to the upcoming Finding Me The Series. "Al Sura is proud to present this important self-affirming event. It is crucial that young black LGBT are able to self-identify and see images of themselves on the large and small screens of cinema and television" states Rahim Briggs, Al Sura President.
In the tradition of "Punks" and Logo TV's "Noah Arc" "FINDING ME: TRUTH" turns its fresh, playful lens on the loves, losses, fights and jealousies of a group of close-knit friends in Jersey City. Faybien (RayMartell Moore), who is sweet, bright-eyed and emotionally vulnerable, is comfortable with his "gayness" but is wrestling with some self-esteem issues. His love life is put into an emotional spin when his ex-boyfriend, Lonnie (Derrick L. Briggs), returns wanting to reignite their relationship. Faybien's friends, who regularly are supportive, are dealing with their own dramas including Reggie (Eric Joppy), who is in love with a non-committal bisexual, high-strung "queen bee" Amera (J'Nara Corbin) is certain that her boyfriend is cheating on her. And muscular, sexy Jaylen (Maurice Murell) is too busy confronting his rough trade boyfriend's girlfriend. The film is edited, written and directed by Roger S. Omeus, Jr., who also produced with Sontaia Briggs ("Finding Me").
"FINDING ME: TRUTH" had its New York theatrical premiere at the Cinema Village, September 2011, has played to enthusiastic audiences in multiple cities (Houston, Atlanta and Boston) and won the Centerpiece selection at the 4th Annual Queer Black Cinema Film Festival in Brooklyn.
Washington, DC - March 14, 2012 - Join Washington, DC based Al Sura, Inc. and Sugar and Spice Travel as we co-host a Synergy Happy Hour on Friday March 30, 2012, 7:00 p.m. -10:00 p.m. at Smith Commons, located at 1245 H Street NW, Washington, DC. We invite the greater DC area to meet the directors and staff of both organizations.
Guests will have an opportunity to learn firsthand of the work of Al Sura, Inc., a community driven non-profit with future activities including the 2012 White Attire Affair. In addition guests will also learn more about Sugar and Spice Travel as they gear up for their 5th annual cruise leaving from Baltimore to Bermuda October 26 - November 1st, 2012.
Al Sura, Inc. promotes grassroots communication, education and awareness in the fight against HIV/AIDS plus advocacy and empowerment within the African-American community. Sugar and Spice Travel was founded in November 2007 and hosts Annual Cruises with over 300-500 travelers as it partners with the nation's largest cruise lines each October.
"We're honored to have Sugar and Spice Travel partner with Al Sura, Inc. for this wonderful synergy happy hour. Their partnership with our organization will continue to strengthen our outreach efforts among District residents who are the most at risk for HIV/AIDS infection" explained Rahim Briggs, Al Sura, Inc. President.
Sugar & Spice Travel President Veronica Fountain added, "Our partnership with Al Sura, for the synergy happy hour is a natural fit. Their community outreach and the work they do is amazing. We're more than happy to partner with Al Sura to continue to build community awareness while at the same time enhance both our organization's brands."
"With Sugar and Spice Travel's partnership, Al Sura will enhance our programs and events so that both of our signature events the 'Al Sura In Black' and the 'White Attire Affair' along with our community work will reach new levels of engagement" stated Al Sura, Inc. Vice President, Darryl L.C. Moch.
Al Sura In Black - A Phenomenal Success!
By: Herndon L. Davis
March 1, 2012
The Al Sura, Inc. Board would like to thank our sponsors, patrons, and friends for supporting and attending the Al Sura In Black event on Saturday, February 25, 2012. It was a phenomenal event ending our Black History month and bringing the community together on an entertaining and festive note. Al Sura In Black is one of two annual events we’ve created to highlight the successes of our community and to also support our work contributing to its empowerment. But most importantly some proceeds collected from our event will directly fund mini-grants and other community focused initiatives addressing health disparities and awareness across the District of Columbia.
The Al Sura Board would like to give special thanks and recognition to our corporate sponsor Optimization Consulting Inc. (OCI), Richard Holmes, Catt Buko and the entire OCI team. We also appreciate and thank our vendors who brought so much to the event making it a well rounded community gathering and empowerment event. (In Alphabetical order) ARBONNE, A2Zee Productions, B.O.I. Marketing, Oracle Oils, Sugar and Spice Travel, and The Pampered Chef.
We would like to thank The L'Enfant Plaza Hotel for being such a great host venue for our event and for treating our guests and Al Sura, Inc. board with amazing service. Finally we thank our volunteers, supporters and anyone else who helped to assist Al Sura Inc. with this effort.
Al Sura Inc. is dedicated to enhancing the lives of citizens of Washington, DC. This is achieved in major part through your year-round financial support. If you
would like to continue to make a difference across our community, please consider becoming a monthly sustaining member of Al Sura for as little as $5/per month or volunteer your time and talents to Al Sura Inc., please visit us! We would love to add you to our growing team!
Again we love you and appreciate all of you for your support over the years as we continue to grow and make a difference in the lives of people in our community.
Optimization Cosulting, Inc. , Pledges Major Sponsorhip of 'Al Sura In Black'
By: Herndon L. Davis
December 6, 2011
WASHINGTON, DC - Non-profit organization Al Sura, Inc. is pleased to announce that Optimization Consulting, Inc. (OCI) has become an official sponsor of the annual 'Al Sura In Black' fundraising event to be held on Saturday, February 25, 2012. Based in the District of Columbia, Al Sura, Inc. focuses on promoting advocacy, empowerment, and HIV/AIDS prevention within the Black community.
The annual 'Al Sura In Black' is a large social gathering where proceeds are distributed by Al Sura, Inc. to the community in the forms of mini-grants, neighborhood events, and organizational support to enhance and optimize HIV/AIDS awareness, advocacy, and empowerment within the Black community and their allies. "We're honored to have OCI join us in planning this event. Their investment in the 'Al Sura In Back' will yield significant dividends among District residents who are the most at risk for HIV/AIDS infection" explained Rahim Briggs, Al Sura, Inc. President.
OCI's COO, Richard Holmes added that "Our sponsorship of Al Sura, the 'Black Party,' and its community work is just a microcosm of the type of grassroots efforts needing to be implemented on a much greater scale in order to end the spread of HIV/AIDS. We're more than happy to provide assistance in order to make this valued event happen."
"In addition to the 'Al Sura In Black' event, we at Al Sura are really excited to have OCI as a long-term committed sponsor of the organization. With OCI's support, Al Sura will enhance our programs and events so that both of our signature events the 'Al Sura In Black' and the 'White Attire Affair' along with our community work will reach new levels of engagement," stated Al Sura, Inc. Vice President, Darryl! L.C. Moch. "We are growing and improving and OCI as a sponsor marks a major turning point for Al Sura" he added.
Stay tuned for details on ticket online sales, hotel reservations, updates and additional information
About Optimization Consulting, Inc.
Optimization Consulting, Inc. is a consulting company and trusted advisor focused on optimizing our client's business processes, maximizing the growth of their organization, and generating the greatest amount of value possible. We obtain the most highly trained personnel, provide the most cutting edge ideas, and utilize our state-of-the-art technology to create the perfect solution for you!
Lifebeat's Hearts & Voices Returns To DC
Lifebeat's Hearts & Voices
The Program's 4th Performance
Healing Through Music
By: Erika Banks
September 23, 2011
Washington, DC – On September 25th, Lifebeat’s Hearts & Voices Program in partnership with Al Sura, Inc., will hold it’s fourth performance in Washington, D.C. for the clients of the Whitman Walker Clinic. Lifebeat’s Hearts & Voices Program has been providing the healing power of music to the HIV/AIDS community in the Greater NYC area for over 18 years and is excited in continuing to bring healing through music to the Metro DC area. The September 23rd concert will be the fourth of quarterly music events for people living with HIV/AIDS produced by Hearts & Voices and Al Sura, Inc.
Alison Carney is a jack of all trades. A singer, songwriter, fashion designer, and an educator, Alison uses everything she does creatively to continuously foster her artistic growth. She is an experienced vocalist whose natural born ability to create sound, is a gift to us all. Born and raised in Washington DC, her sound transcends any categorization of how music is defined. Her live performance can be described as pleasantly energetic and astonishingly chill. With a firm understanding of how sound effects emotion, the structure around her songwriting is structureless. Thus, she presents herself to all in natural form, the result is honest music.
August 3, 2011
New HIV Incidence Estimates Confirm Urgency To Address Crisis
Among Gay Men Of All Races & Ethnicities
National Alliance of State & Territorial AIDS Directors
Washington, DC - New HIV surveillance data released today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicates that while the overall number of new HIV infections has remained fairly stable from 2006-2009, there continues to be cause for great concern about increasing numbers of new infections among gay men.
While the new HIV incidence estimates, published in the Public Library of Science Medicine, show that prevention activities in the United States have successfully held the number of new infections steady, the National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD)and National Coalition of STD Directors (NCSD)ii, remain alarmed about the continued disproportionate impact of HIV and sexually transmitted disease (STD) infections among gay and bisexual men of all races and ethnicities in this country. New estimates indicate that the top most impacted populations include white gay men, Black gay men and Latino gay men, followed closely by Black women.
An unacceptable increase of HIV incidence among gay men, particularly young Black gay men ages 13-29, requires an honest and critical examination of our prior efforts and a sharpening of our prevention-focused activities among gay men," remarked Julie Scofield, NASTAD's Executive Director. "We need to strengthen our communities by breaking down the silos across program and sector and by investing in targeted and innovative programming that promotes the health equity of gay and bisexual men of all races and ethnicities," she added.
"Increasing HIV rates, coupled with increasing incidence of syphilis and a frequent neglect of rectal STD infections, underscore that we are not doing enough to prevent all STD infections and reduce their role in HIV acquisition," said William Smith, NCSD's Executive Director. "NASTAD and NCSD will continue to work with state and local health departments and other partners to develop and implement effective tools and initiatives to address all STDs among all gay and bisexual men," he continued.
In this peer-reviewed article, the CDC estimates 48,100 new infections occurred in the U.S. in 2009, with gay and bisexual men remaining the population most severely impacted by HIV and the only population in which new HIV infections have been increasing steadily since the 1990s. New infections among gay men of all races and ethnicities continue to increase as a proportion of all new infections, with those among young Black gay men ages 13-29 increasing by 48 percent since 2006. This new HIV surveillance data closely follows data released by CDC last month that showed a growing resistance of gonorrhea to antimicrobials, particularly in men who have sex with men (MSM). Gonorrhea is an STD that can facilitate HIV transmission.
In June 2010, NASTAD and NCSD released a Statement of Urgency expressing concern regarding the HIV and STD crises among gay men and other MSM of all races and ethnicities in the United States. Pursuant to the recommendations made in the National HIV/AIDS Strategy (the Strategy), the joint statement calls for greater investment (financial and human) and leadership to address the epidemic among gay men. Given CDC's decision to cut $20 million from core HIV prevention funding, our federal partners must continue to work with state and local health departments to ensure that all existing resources are leveraged to improve HIV prevention and care and treatment.
NASTAD and NCSD, with support from MAC AIDS Fund, will soon launch a series of targeted activities within HIV and STD programs that will examine and address stigma in public health practice. These efforts will aim to increase comprehensive and appropriate access to prevention, care and supportive services for young Black and Latino gay men, particularly those at-risk for STD transmission. Additionally, these efforts will target social and sexual networks to promote positive sexual health messages and reduce stigma. NASTAD and NCSD will work with their respective members to establish and promote evidence-based practices and tools to educate state and local health departments, service providers and other key community stakeholders about the sexual health of gay men.
July 21, 2011 - Washington, DC - Join Washington, DC based Al Sura, Inc. and Benevole, Inc. as both organizations host Synergy Happy Hour on Wednesday July 27, 2011 from 4:30 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. at the Doubletree Hotel, located at 1515 Rhode Island Ave, NW, Washington, DC. Both organizations invite the greater DC area to meet the directors and staff of both organizations and to learn firsthand of the works each non-profit has accomplished in our nation's capital. Al Sura, Inc. which promotes grassroots communication, education and awareness in the fight against HIV/AIDS within the African-American community, is a natural partner for Benevole, Inc., whose vision is to remove all health barriers so every individual may receive adequate care. Donations will be taken at this event to benefit the works of both organizations.
June 8, 2011 – Washington, DC. DC’s MOST FABULOUS Magazine & Al Sura, Inc. are pleased to announce their partnership in Al Sura, Inc.’s latest campaign combating HIV/AIDS while also spreading education & awareness for this disease that’s touched so many lives. On July 16, 2011, Al Sura, Inc. will hold its 12th Annual White Attire Affair, titled Oasis! Pure Love…Pure Joy…Pure Life…at the Doubletree, located at 1515 Rhode Island Avenue, NW, Washington, DC, 20005.
In 1999, the 1st Annual White Attire Affair brought together 151 men and women for a back yard barbeque. All attendees wore white to symbolize unity to raise awareness and funds to help fight HIV/AIDS. Today the event is known as the White Attire Affair, one of the largest of its kind in the United States. Every July, thousands of men, women and youth travel to Washington, DC for an evening of live entertainment, eclectic food and HIV/AIDS awareness.
In 2008, the Annual White Attire Affair went on hiatus and re-emerged as a copyrighted event owned and managed under new leadership. Al Sura, Inc. is now the owner as well as the planning, organizing and hosting entities of the Annual White Attire Affair and The Black Party. The Foundation was created and is enthusiastically led by Al Sura, Inc. Board Chairman, Abdur-Rahim Briggs.
Al Sura, Inc. was formed September 18, 2008 for the purpose of addressing the HIV/AIDS epidemic here in the Washington, DC Metropolitan Area. With the downturn in the economy and the decrease in prevention funding, the Board of Al Sura began to raise funds and awareness to address the need for prevention measures especially in the African American Community, where the prevalence of HIV/AIDS is the highest.
June 5, 2011, marks the 30th anniversary of the Center for Disease Control's first report on what would come to be known as HIV/AIDS. It was a small report, but it was the first hint of the catastrophe to come. For over 10 years, Al Sura, Inc.’s Management has been fighting to eradicate HIV/AIDS by raising funds, spreading awareness & education urging the public to get tested and “know your status”.
About DC’s MOST FABULOUS Magazine:
A subsidiary of DRAWOH LLEWMORC Ominimedia, DC’s MOST FABULOUS Magazine is a daring and trendsetting publication dedicated to the professional city dweller which was launched in 4/2008.
Each month DC’s MOST FABULOUS Magazine puts more than 139,000 unique visitors in touch with DC’s latest trends merging charity, philanthropy, community service & going green with fashion & style, nightlife & entertainment, restaurants & dining, arts & culture and people & personalities.
We believe that being FABULOUS is less about wealth, celebrity or social status and more about utilizing these attributes to give back to the community as a whole. For more information on DC’s MOST FABULOUS Magazine, please visit www.dcsmostfabulous.com
Lifebeat's Hearts & Voices Returns To DC
Lifebeat's Hearts & Voices Partners With 695 Entertainment
The Program's 2nd Performance
Healing Through Music
By: Erika Banks
March 25, 2011
Washington, DC – On March 25th, Lifebeat’s Hearts & Voices Program in partnership with Al Sura, Inc and 695 Entertainment., will hold it’s second performance in Washington, D.C. for the clients of the Whitman Walker Clinic. Lifebeat’s Hearts & Voices Program has been providing the healing power of music to the HIV/AIDS community in the Greater NYC area for over 18 years and is excited in continuing to bring healing through music to the Metro DC area. The March 25th concert will be the third of quarterly music events for people living with HIV/AIDS produced by Hearts & Voices and Al Sura, Inc. Future dates in 2011 are tentatively scheduled for Friday, September 23rd and December 16th.
The June 17th performance will feature local Hip-Hop artist, D. Reign, a talented Baltimore, MD--based Hip-Hop artist that promises to bring a energized performance for the clients of Whitman-Walker Clinic. D. Reign and 695 Entertainment looks forward in this partnership to bring healing through music.
Click On Image Below To View Hearts & Voices Performance
"Confessions" Comes To Chocolate City!
Play Makes Its D.C. Premiere At Lace on the Avenue
Johnathan Cedano in
James Earl Hardy's
Confessions Of A Homo Thug Porn Star
Based on the life of adult film star Tiger Tyson
By: James Earl Hardy
April 5, 2011
Washington, DC - April 5, 2011 - The wait is over: B-Boy Blues series author James Earl Hardy's play, 'Confessions of a Homo Thug Porn Star', is finally coming to DC! Based on the life of adult film actor Tiger Tyson, the award-winning one-man show will be performed on May 1st (5:30 pm) at the B Spot (1123 Pennsylvania Ave., SE). Al Sura, Inc., a local HIV/AIDS awareness group, is hosting the event, and Hardy couldn't be more pleased. "We've partnered with one of the District's most revered non-profits, presenting a very hot show for a very worthy cause," explains Hardy.
'Confessions' is Hardy's first professionally-produced dramatic work as a playwright. The idea for the play came to him as he was interviewing Tyson. "I kept thinking: 'This material would be so ripe for the stage'. We've heard the basics of Tiger's life in many stories before--boy from the hood, raised by a single mother, high school dropout, drug dealer, jail bird. But he parlayed that thug life past into a unique, marketable image and created his own multi-million dollar studio [Pitbull Productions]. That's a classic rags-to-riches tale, the American Dream come true."
With Tyson's permission, Hardy drafted a script in late 2009 and the play made its debut in front of a sold-out crowd during New York's Downtown Urban Theater Festival last April, earning their coveted Best Short Prize. Because of the buzz created, it returned for two more sold-out shows at Whyte Hall on Fire Island in August, and just wrapped up a successful, two-week run at the Roy Arias Theater in New York.
As to why the play has been so popular, Hardy observes: "No question, Tiger has a lot of fans. And there is still an air of mystery that surrounds him; folks really don't know much about the man behind the persona. Quite a few surprises about him are revealed [in the play]".
But, Hardy adds, the star attraction is the actor portraying Tyson, Johnathan Cedano. After auditioning dozens of young men ("Several thought they'd actually be appearing in a film with Tiger!" laughs Hardy), Cedano was offered the part with Tyson's blessing. Born in the Dominican Republic and currently residing in the Bronx, Cedano has received unanimous praise for the role, including a very enthusiastic rave from DC's own African-American Collective Theater (ACT) Director Alan Sharpe: "From the moment [the] talented [Johnathan] Cedano made his entrance--wearing only a baseball cap, a pair of Timbs and a small white towel that left absolutely nothing to the imagination--he had the audience in the palm of his hand...and most of us wishing it was vice versa."
Hardy agrees with Sharpe: "Johnathan brilliantly channels Tiger without imitating him. And because he [Tiger] is such a larger-than-life figure, that's not an easy thing to pull off."
Cedano views stepping into Tyson's Timbs as an opportunity of a lifetime. "There aren't many leading roles out there for men of color, especially one with such dimension. And it's pretty intimidating seeing the person you're playing out in the audience! I'm just glad Tiger feels I am doing him justice."
Tyson himself will be attending the performance and has agreed to sign autographs after a question-and-answer session with Hardy and Cedano.
Tickets are $20 at the door, and a portion of sales will be donated to Al Sura, Inc. After the performance, a lucky raffle winner will receive the latest title by Hardy, Visible Lives: Three Stories in Tribute to E. Lynn Harris. The bestselling collection features the seventh installment in Hardy's B-Boy Blues series, "Is It Still Jood To Ya?", which brings his beloved couple, Raheim "Pooquie" Rivers and Mitchell "Little Bit" Crawford, into the 21st century.
Lifebeat's Hearts & Voices Returns To DC
Lifebeat's Hearts & Voices Partners 1207Music, Inc.
The Programs's 3rd Performance
Healing Through Music
By: Erika Banks
June 10, 2011
Washington, DC – On June 17th, Lifebeat’s Hearts & Voices Program in partnership with Al Sura, Inc and 1207Music, Inc , will hold it’s third performance for the clients of the Whitman Walker Clinic. Lifebeat’s Hearts & Voices Program has been providing the healing power of music to the HIV/AIDS community in the Greater NYC area for over 18 years and is excited in continuing to bring healing through music to the Metro DC area. The June 10th concert will be the third of quarterly music events for people living with HIV/AIDS produced by Hearts & Voices and Al Sura, Inc. Future dates in 2011 are tentatively scheduled for Friday, September 23rd and December 16th.
The June 10th performance will feature local R&B/Soul artist, Darren "The Soul Entertainer", a talented Washington, DC--based R&B artist that promises to bring a soulful performance for the clients of Whitman-Walker Clinic. Darren is an artist that knows that sheer talent is only a third of what makes an icon. His talent was discovered at a young age and later developed through hard work and the will to be heard. He credits the diverse DC/MD/VA area known as the “DMV” with showing him experiences, good and bad, that helped him create his lyrics. Darren is like nothing that you have ever heard. Defining his style of soul that constantly evolves – taking pop, blues, funk with no restraints.
Al Sura, Inc. Recognizes
National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day
Message From The President
By: Darrell Jackson, Jr
February 7, 2011
Washington, DC - On February 7th, 2011. Today is Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. HIV/AIDS is the number one killer of black women ages 24-35. Black men who have sex with men (MSM) have the highest HIV rate among all racial groups of MSM. Overall, while African Americans make up a mere 14 percent of the overall U.S. population, they account for more than half of all new HIV infections that are diagnosed each year. African Americans are more likely to be diagnosed with HIV and AIDS at the same time than any other racial group.
These statistics are alarming and that's why it's important that we come together as community to address these problems head. We must educate each other and bring awareness to this preventable epidemic. That's why we started Al Sura, our mission is to educate and bring awareness in the fight against HIV/AIDS within the African-American community. Our goal is to create awareness on the need for prevention measures, provide leadership training on this issue and to provoke action around this epidemic.
On this day I encourage all to do your part. Go get tested and know your status. That's the only way we can prevent HIV/AIDS from affecting future generations.
Lifebeat's Hearts & Voices Program Debuts in DC!
Al Sura Partners With Lifebeat To Expand Hearts & Voices Program To Washington, DC
By: Erika Banks
December 8, 2010
New York, NY – On December 10th, Lifebeat’s Hearts & Voices Program in partnership with Al Sura, Inc., will hold it’s first ever performance in Washington, D.C. for the clients of the Whitman Walker Clinic. Lifebeat’s Hearts & Voices Program has been providing the healing power of music to the HIV/AIDS community in the Greater NYC area for over 18 years and is excited to begin expanding to the Metro DC area. The December 10th concert will be the first of quarterly music events for people living with HIV/AIDS produced by Hearts & Voices and Al Sura, Inc.. Future dates in 2011 are tentatively scheduled for Friday, March 25th, Friday, June 10th & Friday, September 23rd.
The December 10th performance will feature singer/songwriter , Reina Williams, a talented D.C.--based artist who has been writing songs since she was in the 5th grade. William’s songs have been featured on MTV, NBC, and Cinemax.
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Al Sura Lends Its Support To The Capital Queer Prom
Supporting Local LGBT Youth
By: Ebone F. Bell
November 19, 2010
Washington, DC - On Sunday, December 19, Roadside CAFÉ will open its doors to over fifty gay & lesbian customers for a very special Holiday Brunch hosted by Al Sura and the Capital Queer Prom. Roadside CAFÉ is located in a hip new area at 2101 Benning Road in NE Washington, DC.
Al Sura, Inc is most well-known for its annual White Attire Affair that raises money for local HIV/AIDS organizations. Al Sura, Inc. was formed September 18, 2008 for the purpose of addressing the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the Washington, DC Metropolitan Area.
“We jumped at the opportunity to host this Holiday Brunch,” says Abdur-Rahim Briggs, President of Al Sura, Inc. “Al Sura wants to make an impact throughout the year in all facets of the community and we think the Capital Queer Prom is an important annual event that deserves our support.”
For just $25, brunch goers will enjoy a Caribbean style all-you-can-eat buffet with a complimentary mimosa. The organizers will be donating 40% of each plate purchased to the Youth Pride Alliance, celebrating the Capital Queer Prom. Guests will not only enjoy many flavors of the Caribbean provided by chef and director Andrew Harris, but they can enter for a chance to win two tickets to the 5th Anniversary of the Capital Queer Prom scheduled for Saturday, March 19, 2011. For those who don’t win the raffle, they can still purchase early bird tickets for their holiday stocking stuffers.
“The Queer Prom committee is thrilled to partner up with Al Sura for such a tasty fundraiser,” says Capital Queer Prom founder and B.O.I. Marketing & Promotions President Eboné F. Bell. “It’s a great way to meet people and get into the holiday spirit – all for a great cause.”
Al Sura Comes Together To Show Awareness Through Music
Al Sura, Inc. will partner with businesses and nightlife partners to host its 2nd Annual World AIDS Day Concert featuring live entertainment
By: Darrell Jackson, Jr.
November 9, 2010
WASHINGTON, DC - On Saturday, December 4th Roadside Café will host local DC artists to help build awareness about HIV/AIDS and to celebrate World AIDS Day. Artist from Mr. Briggs Management will come together with a powerful calibration of classical, pop, adult contemporary and jazz genres that will inspire patrons to make a difference in hopes to motivate them to take a stand.
One in 20 people in the District of Columbia are HIV positive, one in 50 have AIDS, putting it on par with some African countries. African-American men comprise approximately 30 percent of all new HIV/AIDS cases in the District, while African-American women account for 94 percent of newly reported HIV/AIDS cases in the area and are infected with HIV/AIDS at a rate of 61 percent versus men at a rate of 25 percent. It's time for us to take a stand.
"It's important to that we get the message out about this epidemic in our community. HIV/AIDS is a preventable and treatable disease," said Rahim Briggs, president and founder of Al Sura, Inc.
"That's why it's important that we come together as community to address these problems head on and what better way to get our message across than through music."
The AIDS Day concert seeks to bring the community together to invoke a discussion on HIV/AIDS and develop innovative solutions to overcome this health crisis. Admission for the event is $20 and online pre ticket sales begins Friday November 12, 2010 and can be purchased at www.alsura.org. As part of Al Sura organization's mission, portions of proceeds from this event will benefit both Inner Light and Damien Ministries.
Al Sura, Inc. Showcases the Acclaimed Film “The Epidemic Chronicles: No One Is Exempt”
The D.C. Film Debut That Takes a Critical Look into the HIV/AIDS Pandemic
By: Darrell Jackson, Jr.
September 13, 2010
WASHINGTON, DC – As a partnership with Forever Standing Entertainment, Al Sura, Inc. will host a variety of film screenings of writer, director and producer Lance Forrest’s “The Epidemic Chronicles: No One Is Exempt.”
Al Sura, Inc is a Washington based non-profit whose mission is to improve communications, education and promote awareness in the fight against HIV/AIDS within the African-American community. Forrest’s film takes a jarring look into the lives of six African American men and chronicles their discovery and journey with HIV/AIDS. This controversial film takes viewers through a range of emotions as it addresses issues of social stereotypes, sexuality, deception and promiscuity.
“The Epidemic Chronicles: No One Is Exempt” first of 12 screenings will premier on Friday, September 24th at Roadside Café located at 2101 Benning Road Nort heast Washington, DC at 9:00 p.m. Each screening will include a four-course meal with an admission price of $35 per person. Additional screening will be held at Roadside Café throughout the year.
Forrest’s explains his motivation for the film is based on health statistic reports that African Americans represent nearly 13 percent of the U.S. population, yet account for approximately half the nations’ AIDS cases (46% including children).
“I feel an urgency to tell this story to raise awareness about this epidemic and to use the film as a tool to tell the truth behind the statistics,” said Forrest. “I want to bring a multitude of communities together at the grassroots level to collaborate and develop innovative solutions to overcome this health crisis.”
The objective is to use the film as a tool to tell the truth behind the statistics, bring the community together to invoke discussion HIV/AIDS and develop innovative solutions to overcome this health crisis.
About Lance Forester/Forever Standing Entertainment:
Lance Forrest was born in Camden, New Jersey and now is a proud resident of Atlanta, GA. Forrest heighten awareness in creativity led him to a thrust for acting, that has turned into a passion for over 10 years. This creative mind has fuel Forrest natural talent for producing and directing. In 1999 Forrest wrote his first screen play called “Righteous Justice” – a filming dealing with alcoholism and the affect it has on the family unit. Forrest believes that we only have one life to live so why not spend it doing what you are passionate about.
The Forever Standing Entertainment was founded with the belief that individuals should never let their dreams and passion die. Therefore, this organization was created as a vehicle that will allow people to create, develop and present new original and inspiring projects to a diverse audience. Forever Standing Entertainment hopes that through movies, plays, books and fitness videos they will be able to reach a broader audience and educate, inspire and motivate to pursue their dreams.
EMBRACE TV Named Official Media Sponsor - 2010 White Attire Affair
By: Justin B. Smith
June 04, 2010
As EMBRACE Media Networks prepares for the national launch of EMBRACE TV on October 10, 2010, they have committed themselves to covering events of epic purpose for the LGBTQQI community and it's allies.
EMBRACE TV is happy to announced it will become an official media sponsor of the White Attire Affair on July 17th, 2010. Seanmichael Rodgers, Entertainment Producer and Community Activist states, "We highly encourage each & every person in the community to embrace this marvelous annual event. It has become one of the great cornerstones of HIV/AIDS Awareness in Washington, DC". POZ POWER co-host Dy'Ari will cover the entire event and present exclusive interviews with the Executive Director, performers, and participants in the thematic setting entitled, "ENVY ME".
EMBRACE Media Networks is based in New York and was established in the fall of 2009. At the forefront of this effort is EMBRACE TV- a new cable television network with 24 hours of original programming catered to the LGBTQQI community of color, launching fall 2010.
White Attire Affair Remerges on July 18, 2009
By: Herndon L. Davis
You can call it a comeback, a new era or simply a rebirth but either way you describe it the annual White Attire Affair proudly returns on Saturday July 18, 2009. It is the largest HIV/AIDS prevention social marketing event in America targeted towards African Americans. This lavish and festive event is now organized, owned and hosted by the Al Sura Foundation which is headed by Rahim Briggs and supported by several dozen advocates, corporate and non-profit executives who have come together to finally end the struggle against HIV/AIDS in Washington, DC and throughout Black America.
The White Attire Affair's Rich History
For nine consecutive years, the White Attire Affair, a nationally heralded event attended by thousands of mostly African Americans raised thousands of dollars to assist HIV/AIDS providers in Washington, DC and in surrounding areas.
But in 2008, the event went on a brief hiatus in order re-organize. This July the Al Sura Foundation takes control of the event and promises to provide year-round HIV/AIDS prevention leadership, training, and advocacy to Black communities.
"The White Attire Affair will be just one of several planned social marketing events across the mid-Atlantic region" explains Briggs who originated the fundraiser in his backyard 12 years ago.
The12th Annual White Attire Affair is scheduled for Saturday, July 16, 2011 featuring live entertainment and food. The 2011 theme will be revealed Saturday April 29, 2011."