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Jason Scott Lee joins Asian & Pacific Islander Wellness Center in commemorating National Asian & Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, on Friday, May 19 and celebrates its 20th Year of Community Leadership

May 5, 2006

San Francisco, CA – Major motion picture actor Jason Scott Lee joins Asian & Pacific Islander (A&PI) Wellness Center in hosting the 2nd annual National Asian & Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day on May 19, 2006, at AT&T Park – “Home of the Giants” – at Third & King Streets, San Francisco, CA.

In commemoration of this Day, from 5:00-6:30 pm, A&PI Wellness Center is curating an Awareness Art Show – free and open to the public – a showcase of powerful visual and performance art addressing HIV-related stigma in A&PI communities. Hollywood actor Jason Scott Lee, who has starred in unforgettable films including Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story, The Jungle Book, and Lilo & Stitch, will be in attendance to highlight the critical role that A&PI mainstream celebrities can play in fighting discrimination. A brief program will be emceed by Honey Labrador, actress, producer, and host of Q Television’s ”Xcess/Access” and “Brunch.” It will feature youth hip-hop group Mini Shock, the Caroline Chung Trio, and writer/performance artist Justin Chin, author of Attack of the Man-Eating Lotus Blossoms.

Immediately following from 6:30-9:30 pm is MIX ’06, a very special fundraising event to launch A&PI Wellness Center's 20th Year of service. Community Awards will be presented to Cable Positive, PlanetOut Inc. and long-time activist Steve Lew. “This year we are thrilled to name our first Public Policy Award after Steve Lew to publicly recognize the tremendous impact his advocacy has had on HIV/AIDS in communities of color. Both Cable Positive and PlanetOut Inc. have demonstrated unprecedented leadership nationally in promoting A&PI visibility and fighting HIV-related stigma.” said John Manzon-Santos, A&PI Wellness Center executive director. MIX ’06 will be emceed by community icon Tita Aida and feature the best of ballpark fare, tantalizing liquor tastings, a silent auction, and phenomenal entertainment.

The National Asian & Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, officially recognized by the federal government and a part of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, grew out of the Banyan Tree Project. The Banyan Tree Project, funded through the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention is a national effort spearheaded by A&PI Wellness Center with regional partners from Honolulu to Boston. The project fights HIV/AIDS-related stigma and discrimination in A&PI communities.

The theme of the Banyan Tree Project in 2006 is “I Am Still Me.” This theme sends the dual message that anyone can become infected, and that A&PIs and our families are living with HIV/AIDS. This Awareness Day emphasizes that we all must learn more about HIV among A&PIs, and educate and support each other. Concurrent commemorative events will be held in over 15 cities across the U.S. including Chicago, Los Angeles, Washington DC, Honolulu, New York, Seattle, and Boston.

A Banyan Tree Project public service announcement dramatizing the issue of HIV-related stigma in A&PI communities will air throughout May and June to reach millions of households across the U.S. via Comcast and other broadband and broadcast audiences. The five-point Banyan Tree Pledge encourages individuals of all backgrounds to stand up against stigma and discrimination. Early signatories include U.S. Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, actor Russell Wong, and Olympic gold medalist Greg Louganis.

A&PI Wellness Center’s mission is to educate, support, empower and advocate for A&PI communities, particularly A&PIs living with, or at risk for, HIV/AIDS. A&PI Wellness center is the oldest and largest nonprofit in North America focusing on sexual health and HIV/AIDS in A&PI communities. With three sites in the San Francisco Bay Area and a staff fluent in 20 languages, A&PI Wellness Center delivers programs regionally, statewide, and nationally, and collaborates with community-based organizations throughout the Asia Pacific Region.

National Asian & Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day media sponsors include CBS5/UPN, Comcast, and Cable Positive.

For more information about the 2nd annual National Asian & Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, call 1-866-5BANYAN. For additional press materials contact Juan Acosta at (415) 292-3420 ext 327. To purchase tickets online for MIX ’06, go to www.apiwellness.org or call Teevan Productions at (415) 731-5539.

Contact:

Juan Acosta
A&PI Wellness Center
Tel (415) 292-3420 ext 327
TTY (415) 292-3410
Fax (415) 292-3404
info@banyantreeproject.org

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The Banyan Tree Project is a program of Asian & Pacific Islander Wellness Center

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