New York, NY (April 12, 2017) – ACRIA, a New York City-based national organization renowned for its research, education and advocacy programs and expertise on HIV and aging, announced today that it is the recipient of a five-year grant, totaling $500,000, from the Keith Haring Foundation to support its sexual health education and leadership development programs benefitting youth in New York City. The grant, which will provide funding through 2021, allows ACRIA to enhance its HIV and teen pregnancy prevention programs offered to youth, their parents, and other youth allies in schools and community settings located in neighborhoods heavily impacted by HIV across the New York City metropolitan area.
“We are honored to once again partner with the Keith Haring Foundation to further our shared goal of addressing the critical need for comprehensive, age appropriate, and culturally competent sexual health education for young people across the five boroughs,” said Benjamin Bashein, Executive Director of ACRIA. “For nearly a decade, the Foundation has played a major role in strengthening ACRIA’s life-saving AIDS research and education programs. On behalf of our board of directors, I thank them. We are enormously grateful to be taking this next step forward with their support.”
"Chief among Keith Haring's stated goals in establishing his foundation was providing financial support to the HIV/AIDS community. We are privileged to work with ACRIA, an organization profoundly committed to improving the lives of those affected by AIDS and HIV. It is our honor to help sustain and expand their long-standing youth education and leadership development programs,” said Julia Gruen, Executive Director of the Keith Haring Foundation.
New York City’s HIV epidemic continues to take a heavy toll on young people. Compared to their peers, Black and Hispanic youth continue to experience disproportionately high rates of HIV infections. In April 2015, the New York State Department of Health released data indicating that together, Black and Hispanic youth in New York City, ages 12 to 24, account for 85% of new HIV diagnoses and 91% of new AIDS diagnoses.
ACRIA’s targeted work in communities of color across the five boroughs, along with its strategic partnerships with the NYC Department of Health, the NYC Department of Education, and over 700 schools and community groups, has given the organization unique insight into the sexual and reproductive health and HIV prevention needs of underserved and under-resourced communities, especially among their youth. Through the organization’s Love Heals Youth Education Program, well over 700,000 youth and thousands of their parents, teachers, community leaders, and other youth allies have been reached through expert facilitated trainings and presentations.
About the Keith Haring Foundation
Established in 1989 by the late artist Keith Haring (1958-1990), the Keith Haring Foundation supports US-based non-profit organizations that provide educational opportunities to underserved youth as well as to organizations that engage in education, prevention and care related to AIDS and HIV. Haring additionally charged his Foundation with maintaining and protecting his artistic legacy. The Foundation maintains a large collection of his art, along with archives that facilitate historical research about the artist and the times and places in which he lived and worked. The Foundation supports arts and educational institutions by funding programs and publications that serve to contextualize and illuminate the artist’s work and philosophy. During the last years of his life, Haring often enlisted his imagery to speak about his own illness and to generate activism and awareness about AIDS. To date, his Foundation has given over $15 million in grants.
For further information about Haring and the Keith Haring Foundation, visit www.haring.com