Tony Wafford’s “I Choose Life” Campaign

 

     I  Chose  Life      

 Tony R. Wafford delivers health-related information and education to urban communities.  His tactics are town hall meetings and other culturally appropriate, grassroot approaches with demonstrated effectiveness for motivating the African American community leaders, medical professionals, service providers and people living with HIV/AIDS to become more informed and proactive in the fight against the spread of HIV/AIDS.

 Tony established Wafford Consulting, LLC in 1985, after working closely with Terrie Williams, a New York-based public relations guru. Tony worked with such entertainment greats as Eddie Murphy, Miles Davis, Russell Simmons, Sean Combs, Al Haymon, Anita Baker, Johnnie Cochran, Rev. Al Sharpton and others.

 As a community volunteer, Tony started “Takin’ It to the Street,” a grassroots movement to distribute condoms and information concerning HIV/AIDS to barber shops, beauty salons and shoe repair shops with Congresswoman Maxine Waters. For the past ten years, Wafford has also worked closely with congressional leaders to coordinate one of the most well-attended and important meetings at the Congressional Black Caucus, known as “Young, Gifted and Black”.  Participants have included Russell Simmons, Chris Rock, Jada Pinkett Smith, Chris Tucker and Cedric the Entertainer. With this caliber of participation, Tony has been able to keep the focus of education and information of HIV/AIDS in the forefront.

 He has served as Co-Chair of the HIV Prevention Trials Network (HPTN), Americas Community Working Group. His work includes a history of successful collaboration. Some of which are Pfizer, OraSure, Abbott, Giliad and GSK. Tony has worked in partnership with Pfizer to create and produce an award winning video titled, “Women Like You” to heighten the awareness of HIV/AIDS among African American women.

 Also through the partnership with Pfizer, Tony created a nationwide HIV/AIDS campaign called “Fighting HIV Through R&B”.  During the campaign, more than 30,000 African American men and women were tested for HIV/AIDS within 32 months.  This campaign was launch inLos Angeles,CAand travel to over 23 states and 66 cities throughout the country.  The campaign offered free concert tickets to individuals who participated by testing and returning for their results.

 This campaign was truly a success!!  During the campaign run, Wafford tested over 30,000 individuals and distributed over $2.2 million dollars in concert tickets! In 2004, Wafford convened the largest summit addressing HIV/AIDS in Black America.  This summit was titled “The Cost and Casualties of Silence”.  The summit was held on the campus of the University of Southern California (USC) and was broadcast live on C-SPAN and moderated by political commentator, author, and talk show host Mr. Tavis Smiley.  The panelist included Wilber Jordan, MD, Benny Prim, MD, Gail Wyatt, PhD, Nina Harawa, PhD, Congresswoman Maxine Waters, Maulana Karenga, PhD, Reverend Clyde Oden, Iyanla Vanzant and many others.

 In 2006, Wafford convened the largest delegation of African Americans to attend the International AIDS Conference inToronto,Canadato address the HIV/AIDS pandemic among African Americans in theUnited States.  Participants included, NAACP Board Chair Julian Bond, Donna Christianson, Representative, US Virgin Islands, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (CA), Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA), Senator Vincent Hughes (PA), Actress/Advocate Sheryl Lee Ralph and Danny Bakewell, Editor and Publisher of the Los Angeles Sentinel, the largest African American newspaper in California and this is simply to name a few.

 Imitation is the greatest form of flattery!  In 2007, Wafford launch a campaign called “Test One Million”.  Through this campaign, he has successfully begun recruiting social, civic, corporate and community organizations to educate, promote and test one million African Americans for HIV/AIDS.  Since launching this movement, several organizations and AIDS service providers has created their own version of test one million. 

 Wafford’s latest venture in the fight against the spread of HIV/AIDS is a movement called “I Choose Life”.  Wafford has partnered with The National Urban League, NAACP, SCLC, National Action Network and a host of other social and civic organizations to target five Southern states with the highest prevalence of HIV/AIDS infection.

 Please visit http://www.ichoose-life.com for more detailed information.

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