One in a continuing series on the stars with a cause who come to Washington. Monday’s visitor: Alicia Keys.
Venue: Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation offices in downtown D.C.
Event: Launch of “Empowered,” a public information campaign to raise awareness of HIV and AIDS among women, especially in disproportionately-hit minority communities.
Bona fides: Fourteen Grammys, 30 million albums sold, founder of a charity that provides AIDS treatment to children in Africa and India.
Backup: Valerie Jarrett, Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), foundation executives.
What she wants: To encourage open conversation among women about health and sexuality. “We’re taught to keep our business at home, don’t take your business into the street,” said Keys, who played the Verizon Center Sunday. But where are we going to get that support and information?”
How she looked: Casual Friday Luxury-Class — slicked back hair, diamond stud earrings, faun-colored leather jacket, maroon skinny jeans, bulky but expensive looking athletic shoes.
How she sounded: Warm, engaged, fluent with the stats. “One in 32 [black women] will be diagnosed with HIV at some point. Where’s that headline?”
Soundbite: “We just have to move on [past homophobia], you know what I mean? Every person is a beautiful human being with the right to love who they want.”
Humor: After stumbling over the word, “disproportionately,” joked that “it should be a hard word. . . It’s a bad thing!”
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