by Renisha James
When in search of an HIV/AIDS organization that was making a solid and meaningful impact in its community, I ran across one that stood out simply by its title: LIFEBeat: The Music Industry Fights AIDS. Being a music lover, I was intrigued.
Who Are They?
“LIFEBeat is the music industry’s charitable organization dedicated to reaching America’s youth with the message of HIV/AIDS prevention.”
Music is one of most influential forms of artistry, especially among the youth. It defies all cultural barriers and with the right message, music can be used effectively to reach this particular population. LIFEbeat recognizes that a strong sense of self-worth and self-respect is needed to help the youth resist negative influences that lead to risky behavior.
What Do They Do?
LIFEbeat, based in New York City, reaches the youth through their local and national Outreach program. Their local outreach distributes safer-sex materials and the message of prevention in concert and club venues throughout New York. In an average month their New York volunteers distribute more than 14,000 condoms and HIV/AIDS awareness literature to their young music fans.
On the national level, artists such as Dave Mathews Band, John Mayer, Outkast, Destiny’s Child, Jay-Z, Kid Cudi (to name only a few) have been invited to be a part of LIFEbeat’s tours. Some artists even donate a portion of their ticket sales to LIFEbeat which goes towards more prevention programs. In addition to their local and national outreach programs, LIFEbeat has a “Hearts and Voices” program that brings the gift of music to thousands of people living with AIDS in facilities throughout New York City, on a weekly basis.
LIFEbeat recognizes the need for education and prevention, especially among our youth, and has truly taken action against the spread of HIV/AIDS in a unique way. The Red Pump Project definitely supports this powerful and impactful organization. For more info on LIFEbeat, check out their website: www.lifebeat.org
They can also be contacted at:
630 9th Avenue
New York, NY 10036
Renisha James, a native of Chicago, was raised in Evanston, IL. She is a graduate of the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. She is also a personal trainer and founder of Renewed Fitness. Renisha serves as the HIV/AIDS Education Coordinator for The Red Pump Project. When asked why she “Rocks the Red Pump,” she replied: “I ‘Rock the Red Pump’ because HIV/AIDS has too much power in my community. Plus, red pumps are SO hot!”