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Learn English with Alicia Keys. In this powerful speech at the Black Ball event, Alicia Keys, founder of Keep a Child Alive and celebrated artist, shares her heartfelt gratitude and vision for a world free of AIDS. Addressing the attendees, Alicia emphasizes the vital role of philanthropy in business, the impact of community support, and the importance of commitment to the cause. Through her journey and the stories of those affected, she highlights the urgent need for action and generosity. Join Alicia as she inspires us all to contribute to a brighter future, where the fight against AIDS is one we can win together.

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Alicia Keys: Believe in the power of words. What you say is what you get.

Believe in the power of words. What you say is what you get.

Alicia Keys


Just so grateful to be here with you tonight. Thank you so much to everybody who’s in this room, who everybody has been on this journey with us. Your support of our mission, you know, it just fills me with hope to see all of you, and I’m so grateful that you are here with us and that you continuously are here with us. Every time I walk in, I see my friends and I see my family, and I consider you all my friends and family and the family of Keep a Child Alive. So you keep us motivated, you keep us going, and your commitment to this is really astonishing and astounding and very important. So just by being here tonight, you’ve done such an incredible thing, and I wanna also give some special thanks in the room.

I wanna give a special thanks to our incredible Black Ball sponsors, to Microsoft for giving us the voice to do the work that we do in Upgrade Your World campaign. We very much appreciate that. Honestly, businesses, business and philanthropy belongs together. It has to be this way. And so this is very important what you’re doing. To Givenchy Parfum, my family, absolutely. Such a fantastic partner, your support of the Black Ball and the special edition fragrance that you made specifically for Keep a Child Alive for this year is beyond amazing. Thank you so much. To Sherry Lehman, thank you as well. So excited to see the TNO Black Ball Champagne being enjoyed around the room. Seriously, there is a Black Ball Champagne that you are drinking right now. And it is also another powerful tool that we’re able to give to people, to do good while we’re giving to people. So during the holidays, definitely use your Black Ball Keep a Child Alive editions to give to your friends and family. They will really love it.

And to my family, the Genwell Charitable Foundation for your belief in our cause, my brother Zen, for your commitment to our work. That’s three years and counting. I thank you so, so much. I thank you so much. I also want to give love to all the people that was my team and our Keep a Child Alive team in the marathon. So I think I’ll get back to you ’cause I wanna give y’all special love. We fought through together. It deserves some recognition. It’s been a long road since my first trip to Africa, the trip that totally changed my life. The direction of my life. And I was young and unsure of what I’d find, but I went there with a desire to learn and to understand. And I’ll never forget the children there. I’ll never forget the way that their mothers looked at me for answers. Really, it burns an impression in my soul. They knew that I could help them and they expected me to. And at that point, I knew that I had to.

So I’ll never forget the time that I spent talking with teenagers in Soweto, just gathered around all of us chilling about their lives and the futures that they dared to dream of in spite of the fact that they were AIDS orphans and that they didn’t know where their paths would lead. I mean, it was so deep to see their determination and they were so full of just showing the world who they are going to be and who they have become and the love for each other. So that spirit of Soweto shown through the tragedy. You know, you don’t just shake it off. And I definitely couldn’t. So when I think about Africa today, I think about its vibrant youth. I think about the fast growing economies. I think about the rich culture and the talent and creativity. But there’s something that’s not right in this picture. It’s not right that the same people that first inspired me to join this movement and to join the fight against AIDS are still disproportionately affected and impacted by it. And it’s not right that so many children do not have access to treatment. That’s seven out of 10. You know, my sons could be one of those children. It’s not right that AIDS is the number one killer of adolescents in Sub-Saharan Africa. And it’s definitely not right that girls are infected eight more times often than boys.

So for Africa to really have a chance to continue what it started, the futuristic Africa that we all hope for, we have to get HIV out of the way. And so 12 years on, and our work in Africa continues, bringing us together in this room right now with all a mission, with all a purpose, and all full of intention. And so please, enjoy the evening and the music and the company of so many incredible people. And please, be as generous as you can, because the funds that are raised tonight are so critical in the work that we do, and so critical to getting us closer to the end. The two people who exemplify commitment, generosity, and that amazing spirit of Soweto. I apologize, I just, I really gotta do this. It’s in my soul, and I, can my eight or nine partners who ran the marathon with me just stand up for a second? I need y’all to stand up for one second. This is serious. This is serious. This is, yes. This is 26.2 miles, by the way, through all five boroughs. This is a major accomplishment, and one of the most important things to me, I’m so blessed to have run with all of you, and for Keep a Child Alive, but the reason why this is so important is ’cause you don’t have to give $100,000. Now, those who have it have to give it. Because it’s important, and it’s important for us to give back. But there’s also those of us that may have, have our time to give, our effort to give. We may ask our friends and our family to support us, and it is that action that also makes Keep a Child Alive what it is, because all of us together, collectively, raised $40,000 for Keep a Child Alive. And we ran for that. So it’s important to know that there’s also the little things we do add up into very big things, and to not forget how important that is, too.

So now, thank you for, I needed that. Two people who exemplify commitment, generosity, and that amazing spirit of Soweto are Patrice Mosepe and Dr. Precious Maloy Mosepe. Give some love. Patrice worked his way up from watching his father, who owned a spaza shop in Soweto, to being founder and executive chairman of African Rainbow Minerals, and South African’s first billionaire. So that is how you can do it. As a former medical doctor and now chair of African Fashion International, Precious is able to shine a light on the needs of the most marginalized in African society, while also celebrating and showcasing Africa’s brightest creative talents. And together, through the inspiring work of the Mosepe Foundation, they are transforming African communities by addressing issues of social and economic inequality, envisioning a future where all Africans can realize their full potential. They were the first African family to join the Giving Pledge in 2013, committing half the proceeds of the family’s wealth to the Mosepe Foundation for charitable causes. And they have, over the years, initiated and supported many HIV and AIDS projects, understanding that we can’t aspire to a world of equality and justice for all until this epidemic is brought to an end. Thank you so much. Thank you so much.