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Artists Band with Leading Figures for 'ONE Campaign'

Banding together to fight the AIDS Crisis and World Poverty with DATA
( [email protected] ) May 18, 2004 10:57 AM EDT

Leading figures within the Christian community as well as government leaders gather together to form a strong bond to fight AIDS last week. Grammy Award-winning artists such as Michael W. Smith and Jars of Clay band together with activists including Dikembe Mutombo of the New York Knicks and representing the NBA, religious leaders and rock star Bono to form a rally in front of Independence Hall this past Sunday. In this event, the "ONE" campaign was launched to begin a new effort to encourage Americans and political leaders to fight global AIDS crises and extreme poverty.

Artists such as Michael W. Smith and Jars back the campaign in leading the youth generation to help in this philanthropic event. Meanwhile, in DC politicians are already cutting back on economic plans to help fund for the One Campaign.

“I’m here drawing attention to the incredible movement of Americans who want to win the fight against global AIDS and extreme poverty. Politicians on both sides need to spot what’s happening here in Philly and across America - and get ahead of it – or they’ll be left behind. I’m just one noisy rock star, but with one big powerful movement in America for global justice and compassion we can get much more effective assistance to the places that need it and save millions of lives. One by one, building a movement, Americans can achieve this,” said Bono, lead singer of U2 and co-founder of DATA.

Americans are called to sign this petition on the website, TheONECampaign.org, and furthermore to make ONE call upon the elected leaders regarding their plans of resolution for the global issues.

A diverse coalition of faith-based and antipoverty groups will support the ONE campaign along with partnerships with AOL, House of Blues, the NBA and other celebrities.

“I’m here drawing attention to the incredible movement of Americans who want to win the fight against global AIDS and extreme poverty. Politicians on both sides need to spot what’s happening here in Philly and across America - and get ahead of it – or they’ll be left behind. I’m just one noisy rock star, but with one big powerful movement in America for global justice and compassion we can get much more effective assistance to the places that need it and save millions of lives. One by one, building a movement, Americans can achieve this,” said Bono, lead singer of U2 and co-founder of DATA.

“Each day, more than 8,000 people die of AIDS and another 14,000 are infected. AIDS has created more than 14 million orphans worldwide," said World Vision President Rich Stearns. "Now is the time for all of us to join together as one and call on Congress and the administration to do more to turn the tide on AIDS and global poverty. That's why World Vision is pleased to support the Better Safer World and the ONE campaign -- we all need to do more to make a “better, more secure world."

“It is time for each of us to be ONE,” said Rev. David Beckmann, President of Bread for the World. “I enthusiastically support the ONE campaign because working together, we can be the generation that stands up and says no more shall children in God's world die from hunger; no more will people’s lives be shortened by the AIDS pandemic; No more!”

Michael W. Smith came to represent as a DATA artist that is committed to fight AIDS globally. “It is so easy to become distracted and lose sight of really important things. We can't lose focus on the incredible AIDS tragedy in Africa. I'm pleased to be in Philly doing whatever I can to help the ONE campaign draw awareness. One by one, we can all make a difference. ” Smith said.

Mutombo, an activist born in the Democratic Republic of Congo, is aspiring to build the first new hospital for the past 40 years. “Building a health care center in Africa is one way to make a difference, but it's not the only way. I support the ONE campaign because all change starts with the power of one, and step one is to sign the petition. All of these individual efforts will build a movement of Americans to fight global AIDS and poverty," Mr. Mutombo said.

ONE campaign is the start of a tremendous effort to fight global hazards such as AIDS and poverty uniting all Americans from churches, community centers, concerts, college campuses, etc. This movement will utilize American budget for philanthropic purposes and serve the rest of the world.