Nov 30, 2018
The event raised nearly $600,000 towards the fight against HIV.
AIDS remains the second leading cause of death for young people worldwide—a fight that’s far from over.
That’s exactly why Viacom remains committed to the fight against this epidemic, and has for decades. On Tuesday, Grammy award-winning artist and AIDS activist Alicia Keys presented an award to Viacom President and CEO Bob Bakish for the company’s founding and longstanding support of the MTV Staying Alive Foundation on its 20th anniversary.
“Viacom has fundamentally redefined the role of the media in the fight against AIDS,” said Keys. “Oftentimes, we talk the good talk but need to walk the good walk, and so it’s a beautiful thing to see the social responsibility, the education, the activating, the inspiring of creativity in the workforce and its audience bringing everyone together in their fight against this disease.”
The anniversary gala raised more than $570,000 toward the global fight to end HIV/AIDS, shattering the foundation’s $100,000 goal for the evening.
"Despite the incredible progress and prevention efforts and advance in drug treatments the impact of the disease continues to outpace the response."
The funds will go toward the foundation’s efforts in continuing to empower young people in the global fight to end HIV like past MTV Staying Alive Foundation grant recipients Shirley Sabrina Oruko and Tyler Spencer.
The evening was a moment of reflection, but also a reminder that the HIV/AIDS epidemic continues, and so does the need for enthusiasm, compassion, and activism in the fight against it. Georgia Arnold, co-founder and executive director of MTV Staying Alive, emphasized that there’s still a strong need to empower youth in the HIV/AIDS response.
The MTV Staying Alive Foundation promotes sexual and reproductive health and rights globally, by funding innovative youth-led programs and producing ground-breaking content, including the multi-award winning MTV Shuga. The foundation has reached more than 3.2 million adolescents directly through their grant-giving program, tested nearly 300,000 young people for HIV, and awarded more than $6 million in grant funding to youth-led programs across 73 countries.
Phony Ppl perform onstage during the MTV Staying Alive Foundation 20th Anniversary Gala, (Getty Images for MTV)
Georgia Arnold speaks onstage at MTV Staying Alive Foundation 20th Anniversary Gala. (Getty Images for MTV)
Bob Bakish and Sean Moran attend MTV Staying Alive Foundation 20th Anniversary Gala. (Getty Images for MTV)
Sizwe Dhlomo speaks onstage at MTV Staying Alive Foundation 20th Anniversary Gala. (Getty Images for MTV)
From the left, Marva Smalls, Swati Dlamini-Mandela, and Georgia Arnold. (Getty Images for MTV)
Shirley Sabrina Oruko speaks onstage during the MTV Staying Alive Foundation. (Getty Images for MTV)
Matt "Maffyuu" Byas, Elbee Thrie, Elijah Rawk, Aja Grant, and Bari Bass (Center) (AKA Phony Ppl). (Getty Images for MTV)
From the left, Tyler Spencer, Shirley Sabrina Oruko, Alicia Keys, Bob Bakish, Georgia Arnold, and Henry Luyombya pose onstage. (Getty Images for MTV)
Harry Santa-Olalla speaks onstage during MTV Staying Alive Foundation 20th Anniversary Gala. (Getty Images for MTV)
Georgia Arnold, Alicia Keys, and Bob Bakish. (Getty Images for MTV)