Charlize Theron and Sheryl Lee Ralph will receive the Elizabeth Taylor Commitment to End AIDS Award for their commitment to raising awareness of HIV at the Elizabeth Taylor Ball to End AIDS fundraising gala on Sept. 15 in West Hollywood Park in Los Angeles.
“The fight against HIV/AIDS has always been close to my heart from my childhood in South Africa to my advocacy for African youth today,” Theron said in a statement. “Witnessing the gravity of the HIV/AIDS epidemic first-hand fueled my commitment to raise awareness and funding for the cause and start my organization, the Charlize Theron Africa Outreach Project, which focuses on the health, education, and safety of youth living in Southern Africa. I’m incredibly grateful to The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation for recognizing my work by honoring me with The Elizabeth Taylor Commitment to End AIDS Award at this year’s gala.”
Ralph, who stars on the hit ABC comedy “Abbott Elementary,” added, “As I stepped into the bright lights of Broadway as an original company member of ‘Dreamgirls,’ AIDS made an entrance that would be devastating up and down Broadway blowing out the flame of life like candles on a birthday cake! As a young person, I was forever changed standing witness to such an ugly time in America. Seeing how marginalized people were left out of the AIDS conversation.”
She continued, “And so, in a commitment to raise awareness I created the divinely inspired, victoriously aware DIVA Foundation as a living memorial to the many friends I lost to the disease. I thank The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation for shining a light on my efforts to continue raising awareness by honoring me with The Elizabeth Taylor Commitment to End AIDS Award at the 2022 gala.”
The gala for 350 guests includes a seated dinner, in addition to featuring a live auction in partnership with Christie’s that will offer art and luxury experiences, and a live performance. Exclusive items from the Elizabeth Taylor Archive will be on display featuring items from her personal life, Hollywood career and humanitarian legacy. Sponsoring the evening are Gilead Sciences and American Airlines.