January 9, 2009
We want to tell you the wonderful news: Archbishop Desmond Tutu has nominated Artists for a New South Africa (ANSA) for the prestigious 2009 Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize, in recognition of the unique and vital impact of our work. This is an acknowledgment not only of ANSA but also of you and all our friends who make ANSA’s work possible.
With your support, ANSA has been able to continue effective efforts to combat HIV/AIDS, assist children orphaned by the disease, advance human and civil rights, and educate and empower youth. Your donations have made a very real difference on many fronts, including helping ANSA provide over 3,500 AIDS orphans with ongoing comprehensive care and services.
Each year a significant portion of ANSA’s budget is raised through our unique annual events. We were in the middle of planning an exciting December concert when the U.S. stock market took a nose-dive. We decided that, under the circumstances, it was not prudent to spend the money necessary to produce a successful event. Instead, we are reaching out directly to our most committed and generous donors to ask for your support at this crucial time. Writing a check is not quite as celebratory as going to an event, but it has added benefits! Every dollar you donate will go straight to ANSA’s programs and your gift will be 100% tax-deductible.
Despite the global economic crisis, these are exciting times, with a world of new possibilities on the horizon. On November 4, millions of Americans stood in line for hours to cast their ballots. As the results came in, people on every continent danced joyously in the streets. Your support helped ANSA’s 2008 Election Protection media campaign reach millions of African Americans and Latinos across the U.S. with vital information about voting and a toll-free number to call for free legal assistance if anyone tried to turn them away from the polls. We were reminded of another historic election that took place halfway around the world in 1994. “America’s Mandela Moment,” is how our South African friends are referring to this new political era. Archbishop Tutu said, “What hope you all have aroused in the rest of the world…that change is possible!”
This triumph comes shortly after a significant victory in South Africa: ANSA’s Amandla AIDS Fund Advisor Barbara Hogan has been appointed the new Minister of Health! A person of great ability and integrity, Minister Hogan has finally laid to rest the South African government’s mind-boggling debates over the causes and treatments of AIDS and has set a bold course of positive action. As our longtime friend, she knows she can continue to rely on ANSA.
For eight long years, ANSA and our allies have battled against harmful domestic and international government AIDS policies born out of extreme ideology. We’ve advocated for good programs to be unyoked from destructive requirements and for effective responses not to be bogged down by political indifference. With your support, we’ve played a critical role in bringing significant policy changes to the U.S. and South Africa. We’re overjoyed by the outstanding Obama/Biden HIV/AIDS platform, which is comprehensive, based on science, and designed for the greatest public good. ANSA stands ready to help in its implementation.
These improved policies will save millions of lives and make the future of our world much brighter. But policies can’t bring back the parents of orphaned children nor can they engage America’s inner-city youth in frank conversations about preventing HIV infection. The need for ANSA’s programs that address these critical problems is as urgent as ever. Please help us continue our programs and grants that prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS, provide care for AIDS orphans, assist hard-hit communities, and educate and empower at-risk youth.
We recognize these are challenging times that require difficult and wise choices. Donating to ANSA is a sound investment because we are able to achieve so much for so little. Of course no gift is too small. Every dollar you give goes to ANSA’s work and is fully deductible. Perhaps you would like to make a contribution as a meaningful gift in honor of family, friends, and colleagues.
2009 marks ANSA’s 20th anniversary and the 15th anniversary of free elections in South Africa. It is because of committed friends like you that ANSA continues to have an ever-increasing impact. Thank you again for your support over the years and for your kind consideration of this request.
LaTanya Richardson Jackson
Yvonne E. White