The Black AIDS Institute’s Heroes in the Struggle Gala and Award Celebration honors, in a star-studded event and photographic tribute, individuals who, over the past year, have made a heroic contribution to the fight against HIV/AIDS.
He is the Academy Award winning filmmaker of films like PRECIOUS: BASED ON THE NOVEL PUSH BY SAPPHIRE, THE PAPERBOY, LEE DANIELS’ THE BUTLER and MONSTER’S BALL, and the producer of the hit television series EMPIRE and the soon to be released STAR on Fox, but since the earliest days of the epidemic writer/director/producer Lee Daniels has also been an HIV/AIDS activist.
“People know me as Lee Daniels the filmmaker. But they don’t really know of my early beginnings when I had a nursing agency prior to that, as I was directing theater,” says Daniels, 56. “I had the first nursing agency under contract with AIDS Project Los Angeles over 30 years ago. I had people taking care of people with HIV, because people didn’t want to touch them. So I lived on the front line. That’s a whole different life and something I’m really proud of.”