SAN FRANCISCO, September 4, 2018—Tony and Grammy Award-winning actor Billy Porter will be honored with the Cleve Jones Award at Tribute Celebration, the annual San Francisco AIDS Foundation gala, on Saturday, September 8 at Pier 27. Bank of America and Michael Siever, PhD, founder of the Stonewall Project, will also be honored.
"Billy Porter reminds us all that art on the stage and on the screen is a form of activism, and in today's world, giving voice to stories that inspire compassion, acceptance and action is vital," said Joe Hollendoner, San Francisco AIDS Foundation CEO. "We are thrilled to honor Billy and his work creating visibility for the resiliency of our community."
Billy Porter is an award-winning actor, singer, director, composer and playwright from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Porter appeared in The Broken Hearts Club: A Romantic Comedy, and in the 2010 off-Broadway production of Angels in America as Belize. In 2013, he won the Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical for the role of Lola in Kinky Boots. He won a Grammy Award for Best Musical Theatre Album the following year. This year, Porter starred in the FX show Pose which depicts the ballroom culture world of late 1980s New York City. Through his character Pray Tell, Porter illustrated the realities of the pre-treatment AIDS epidemic, the trauma of loss and the value of chosen family.
The Cleve Jones Award is named in honor of Cleve Jones, human rights activist and San Francisco AIDS Foundation co-founder. One of the first to recognize the threat of HIV/AIDS in 1981, Jones was also a creator of the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt. His activism spans four decades and will impact the fight against HIV transmission for generations to come. Previous leadership award honorees include Congresswoman Barbara Lee, Dr. Grant Colfax, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, Dr. Anthony Fauci, Cecilia Chung, Congresswoman Jackie Speier, State Senator Mark Leno, Diane Jones and Roma Guy.
On Saturday, San Francisco AIDS Foundation will present its Corporate Pillar Award to Bank of America in recognition for 35 years of leadership locally and around the world. In 1983, San Francisco-based Bank of America established one of the earliest known workplace HIV/AIDS policies after its first employee contracted the virus. The policy would later serve as a model for Clinton administration policies for federal employees. The bank expanded workplace education initiatives by co-founding The Business Leadership Task Force in 1985 with notable Bay Area companies such as Levi Strauss, which then organized the first-ever national conference on AIDS in the Workplace in 1986. Bank of America employees first joined the San Francisco AIDS Foundation board of directors in 1991, and have been active in raising awareness and funding for AIDS-related causes ever since, from unveiling an employee-made BofA AIDS Memorial Quilt panel in 1994, to employee cyclists raising more than $1 million through AIDS/LifeCycle in just three years. Globally, Bank of America has committed $20 million to the Global Fund through (RED).
"Bank of America is the quintessential partner," said Hollendoner. "Through board service, financial support, engagement in AIDS/LifeCycle and other employee volunteer activities, Bank of America enables us to actively pursue the end of the AIDS epidemic and has for much of our 36 years of service."
This year, San Francisco AIDS Foundation will also honor well-known harm reductionist Michael Siever, Ph.D., with the Community Excellence Award. Siever is a licensed psychologist, psychotherapist, community organizer and consultant who founded the Stonewall Project in 1998. His vision of a supportive place where gay and bi men seeking substance use treatment can be loved and accepted for who they are continues today: Celebrating its 20th anniversary, the Stonewall Project has been a program of San Francisco AIDS Foundation since 2007. Siever serves on the boards of directors of the San Francisco Drug Users Union and of the San Francisco Safety and Wellness Coalition. He is also one of the founders of Let’s Kick A.S.S. (AIDS Survivor Syndrome), an organization of long-term survivors of the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
"Michael Siever is a hero to the community for his decades of activism," said Hollendoner. "The compassionate model of care he pioneered has changed the lives of countless men."
Tribute Celebration is supported by prevention sponsor, Gilead; education sponsors Bank of America, Chevron, Google, Kaiser Permanente and Morrison & Forester; and care sponsors Coca-Cola, J.P. Morgan and Wells Fargo. The official ride partner of Tribute Celebration is Uber, and the official spirit partner is Skyy Vodka. More information about Tribute Celebration is available at http://tribute.sfaf.org.
About San Francisco AIDS Foundation
San Francisco AIDS Foundation works to eliminate new HIV transmissions and extend the longevity of people living with HIV through a network of direct programs and supportive services. Each year, more than 25,000 people look to San Francisco AIDS Foundation for access to sexual health services, substance use & behavioral health services, health navigation services, and community engagement programs. Policy and public education initiatives are a critical part of supporting community health and wellness, and San Francisco AIDS Foundation advocates at all levels of government.