Jun 29, 2016 04:35 pm
Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) civil rights organization, released a special tribute to the 49 victims of the Orlando shooting at Pulse nightclub on Latin night.
The 18-minute tribute – directed by Emmy Award-winning Ryan Murphy and Ned Martel, with the support of their colleagues at Ryan Murphy Television – features a diverse cast of 49 actors, directors and other entertainment leaders recounting individual stories of the people killed in our nation’s deadliest mass shooting. Viewers are asked to visit stopthehate.hrc.org and take action by supporting victims’ families and survivors through healorlando.org, as well as contacting legislators to demand passage of LGBTQ protections and common-sense gun violence prevention measures.
The attack on Pulse nightclub has tragically become a symbol of how deadly anti-LGBTQ hate can become when it is combined with easy access to military-style assault weapons. In the wake of the attack in Orlando, HRC has been joined by a wide range of civil rights leaders in speaking out against laws and politicians who foment hate against LGBTQ people. HRC has also called on Congress to establish protections for LGBTQ people in all fifty states through the Equality Act and officially adopted a resolution in support of common-sense gun violence prevention legislation that will help ensure LGBTQ people and all Americans are safe and equal in every community.
“The 49 heroes who lost their lives on June 12 were brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, friends and neighbors, boyfriends and girlfriends, husbands and wives. They were mostly young and mostly Latinx. But above all, they were human beings who were loved, and who had hopes and dreams for long, full lives,” said HRCPresident Chad Griffin. “It has been only a few short weeks since we lost 49 people to a deadly act of hatred. It is our responsibility to keep their memories alive and honor their legacies by ensuring our nation acts to end anti-LGBTQ hate and gun violence. We are incredibly grateful to Ryan Murphy, Ned Martel and the 49 artists who came together to create this beautiful and lasting tribute.”
In the aftermath of the Orlando tragedy, Murphy asked how he could help drive awareness about the dual epidemics of anti-LGBTQ hate violence and gun violence that, together, claimed so many lives at Pulse nightclub. The result was this moving tribute, filmed over the course of three days, at FOX Studios in Los Angeles.
“The hate that stole these 49 individuals from all those who loved them has been allowed to flourish in our country for too long,” said Ryan Murphy, Emmy Award-winning screenwriter, director and producer. “No person is born hating another, and we have an obligation as Americans to stand up against prejudice and bigotry that would incite violence against someone simply for who they are. I am proud to have joined with Ned Martel, my talented colleagues, and the Human Rights Campaign to honor these 49 heroes and stop the hate.”
Brief vignettes recounted by leading performers and entertainment leaders tell the stories of all 49 victims (in order of appearance): Jean Carlos Nieves Rodriguez, 27; Stanley Almodovar III, 23; Deonka Deidra Drayton, 32; Luis Daniel Conde, 39; Juan Pablo Rivera Velazquez, 37; Javier Jorge-Reyes, 40; Shane Evan Tomlinson, 33; Luis Daniel Wilson-Leon, 37; Jean Carlos Mendez Perez, 35; Alejandro Barrios Martinez, 21; Brenda Lee Marquez McCool, 49; Christopher Joseph Sanfeliz, 24; Franky Jimmy De Jesús Velazquez, 50; Juan Chavez-Martinez, 25; Jerald Arthur Wright, 31; Antonio Davon Brown, 29; Miguel Angel Honorato, 30; Anthony Luis Laureano Disla, 25; ‘K.J.’ Morris, 37; Edward Sotomayor Jr., 34; Frankie Hernandez, 27; Akyra Monet Murray, 18; Joel Rayon Paniagua, 31; Jonathan Antonio Camuy Vega, 24; Yilmary Rodriguez Sulivan, 24; Geraldo A. Ortiz-Jimenez, 25; Gilberto Ramon Silva Menendez, 25; Mercedez Marisol Flores, 26; Peter O. Gonzalez-Cruz, 22; Rodolfo Ayala-Ayala, 33; Paul Terrell Henry, 41; Xavier Emmanuel Serrano Rosado, 35; Tevin Eugene Crosby, 25; Amanda Alvear, 25; Eddie Jamoldroy Justice, 30; Angel Luis Candelario-Padro, 28; Simon Adrian Carrillo Fernandez, 31; Oscar A. Aracena-Montero, 26; Jason Benjamin Josaphat, 19; Leroy Valentin Fernandez, 25; Enrique L. Rios Jr., 25; Darryl Roman Burt II, 29; Cory James Connell, 21; Martin Benitez Torres, 33; Luis S. Vielma, 22; Luis Omar Ocasio-Capo, 20; Eric Ivan Ortiz-Rivera, 36; Juan Ramon Guerrero, 22; and Christopher Andrew Leinonen, 32.
Their stories are told by (in order of appearance): Lady Gaga, Chris Pine, Cuba Gooding Jr., Connie Britton, Matt Bomer, Sarah Paulson, Angela Bassett, Lea Michele, Colton Haynes, Sophia Bush, Jane Fonda, Harry Shum Jr., Denis O’Hare, Rob Reiner, Melissa Benoist, Caitlyn Jenner, Edgar Ramirez, Max Greenfield, Chaz Bono, Cheyenne Jackson, Emma Roberts, Kerry Washington, George Lopez, Evan Rachel Wood, Sofia Vergara, Diego Boneta, Nina Jacobson, Demi Lovato, Tyler Oakley, Yeardley Smith, Kid Cudi, Kaitlin Olson, Kevin McHale, Jamie Lee Curtis, Lee Daniels,Chace Crawford, Evan Peters, Gerard Butler, Katey Sagal, John Stamos, Laverne Cox, Jordana Brewster, Wes Bentley, Finn Wittrock, Darren Criss, Kathy Bates, Anna Paquin, Guillermo Díaz and Joe Mantello.
In the wake of the Orlando tragedy, HRC installed images of all 49 victims of in the front windows of its building in Washington, D.C., creating an 8-story composite image that also beared the message, “We Are Orlando.” The video tribute launched today – and featured on HRC’s new microsite, stopthehate.hrc.org/ – will be a lasting, living memorial to remember the victims of the attack. The site will also be home to news and resources about stemming the tide of hate violence against the LGBTQ community.
The Human Rights Campaign is the United States’ largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people.HRC envisions a world where LGBTQ people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.
Jun 29, 2016 01:45 pm
Prince Harry will begin a new series of engagements and meetings designed to shine a spotlight on the ongoing need for action in the fight against HIV/AIDS.
Building on his decade of experience in supporting young people with HIV in Lesotho through his charity Sentebale, The Prince is now determined to help his generation understand that the battle against the disease has not yet been won and still needs fighting. He hopes to convene leading figures in this sector and support their vital work in ensuring that everyone – and young people in particular – get the help they deserve to lead healthy and successful lives.
In the UK more people are living with HIV than ever before with thousands of new people being diagnosed with the virus every year. In places like Southern Africa, HIV is the biggest killer of adolescents and represents a very real threat to the success of an entire generation. His Royal Highness wants to expand his own knowledge of the challenges and opportunities in the fight against the virus around the world. This will see him tackling topics including testing, treatment, and prevention as well as anti-stigma efforts that were famously championed by his mother Diana, Princess of Wales. Prince Harry believes that greater public awareness of the innovations in both testing and treatment for HIV can help save lives and he wants to do his part.
Next month, he will meet with doctors and nurses who are caring for patients in South London which is home to one of the highest concentrations of HIV-positive people in Europe. He will also visit an innovative sexual health service that encourages regular testing for HIV and outreach to the partners of newly diagnosed patients.
Later in July, Prince Harry will travel as Sentebale Patron to Durban, South Africa for the 2016 International AIDS Conference to meet leaders in the field and to speak to the assembled delegates.
Details of these engagements will be announced in due course.
Jun 29, 2016 12:15 pm
Following historic flooding that hit West Virginia last Thursday and Friday, Save the Children is helping families and communities assess damages and meet immediate needs.
The organization has been working in the state for decades and runs programs to help children in three of the flood-affected counties, including Roane County, Calhoun County and Nicholas County.
Save the Children has been reaching out to the families of the hundreds of children who participate in its programs in West Virginia, but telephone and power outages has made it difficult. “We are very concerned that we still have only made contact with about half of the families in our programs,” said Save the Children’s West Virginia Director, Anna Hardway. Families have lost homes, vehicles and belongings in the devastating floods that have spread across 44 counties throughout the state. “Parents are telling us their children have lost their shoes and are walking barefoot in contaminated waters, and traveling in vehicles without car seats, because their own cars were washed away,” said Hardway.
Actor Jennifer Garner, a Save the Children Trustee and a native of West Virginia, is calling for support: “My heart is breaking for beautiful West Virginia — more than a quarter of children there already face the challenges that come with living in poverty,” said Garner. “The people of my home state are the most resilient you will find, but the damage caused by the storm and deadly floods has been catastrophic for these families and communities. I am relieved to know that Save the Children will continue to be on the ground in West Virginia throughout the cleanup and recovery, to make sure basic needs are met and services that families depend on most, including schools and afterschool programs, are restored. Let’s help Save the Children do what it does best.”
Save the Children serves families in five West Virginia counties through health, early education programs and afterschool programs. “We’ve worked in these communities for years, and this level of damage and loss is unprecedented,” said Carolyn Miles, Save the Children President and CEO.
The organization currently partners with local schools to help nearly 2,000 children in the state. Programs support mothers during pregnancy, provide home visits to families of infants and toddlers, help young children get ready for school, stay healthy and succeed in school and beyond.
To donate to Save the Children’s West Virginia flood response, visit:SavetheChildren.org/WestVirginia
Jun 29, 2016 10:45 am
British tennis ace and WWF global ambassador Andy Murray has teamed up with actor and tennis fan Kevin Spacey to inspire the world to get behind an ambitious plan to double the number of tigers in the wild by the year 2022.
Heading into the tennis championship — Wimbledon 2016 — Murray is joined by Spacey on the All England Club’s Centre Court to champion the plight of tigers and inspire millions to get involved in a global campaign to protect them.
“It’s shocking to think that there are fewer than 4,000 tigers left in the wild,” Spacey said. “That’s less than a third of the number of seats at Centre Court. But whilst their situation is precarious, I have learnt from Andy that there is hope. We really can help tiger numbers recover. It’s a challenge that I’m proud to be part of drawing attention to.”
This year could be pivotal for tiger conservation: after a century of decline, global tiger numbers are on the rise. At least 3,890 tigers remain in the wild, but much more work is needed to protect this species that’s still vulnerable to extinction. WWF is working to help double the number of wild tigers by 2022 in the most ambitious tiger conservation goal ever set.