LOS ANGELES - The 10th annual Black AIDS Institute "Heroes in the Struggle" Gala reception, silent auction and awards ceremony takes place tonight at the Avalon Hollywood. The event commemorates World AIDS Day and honors Americans who have made heroic contributions to the fight against HIV/AIDS.
Sponsored by The Black AIDS Institute and the Magic Johnson Foundation it is Co-chaired by Earvin "Magic" Johnson and his wife Cookie Johnson. Black AIDS Institute President and CEO Phill Wilson will speak . Co-hosts are Roland S. Martin and Sinbad. Celebrity presenters and performers include Loretta Devine, Tasha Smith, Hill Harper, Lamman Rucker, Marc Brown, Michaela Perreira, Bobbe' J. Thompson, Tatyana Ali, Tessa Thompson, Omari Hardwick, Kenny Latimore, Deniece Williams, Mikki Howard, Vesta and more.
The 2010 honorees are: President Bill Clinton, Founder of the William J. Clinton Foundation and 42nd President of the United States; Blair Underwood, Award-winning actor, "The Event"; Lee L. Daniels, Academy Award-nominated producer and director, "Precious"; Sheila C. Johnson, Businesswoman and Philanthropist, Executive Producer of "The Other City;" Marvelyn Brown, AIDS Activist; Frank J. Oldham, Jr, President, National Association of People with AIDS; Willis Edwards, Civil Rights Icon, Board Member of the NAACP; Robi Reed, Award-winning producer and casting director, "For Colored Girls;" National Basketball Association, Corporate Hero.
Phill Wilson is President and CEO of the Black AIDS Institute and is the foremost expert and speaker on the AIDS crisis in Black America. Wilson was recently named to POZmagazine's 2010 List of 100 important people in the fight against HIV/AIDS. He was named to Ebony magazine's Power 150 in 2009 and named one of Essence magazine's top 25 most influential African Americans in 2008.