DIVAS Simply Singing! Raising Health Awareness is the longest consecutive running musical Health Awareness benefit in the United States, now in its 32nd year of service to the community. The show was created by Tony Award nominee, Spirit Award winner, director, actor, honored AIDS activist, and The D.I.V.A Foundation Founding Director Sheryl Lee Ralph. Ralph wanted DIVAS Simply Singing! to serve as a living memorial to the many friends and colleagues she lost to HIV/AIDS during the AIDS crisis while she was an original company member of Dreamgirls on Broadway. DIVAS Simply Singing! was Sheryl’s way of bringing the industry’s brightest and beloved stars together to raise awareness and erase stigma. Women with big voices and equally large platforms, who simply dared to care. Every year, Sheryl curates a magical evening of song and entertainment with the mic, the light, and the DIVA…Simply Singing! DIVAS Simply Singing! began as a live theater fundraiser and is now a televised fundraiser executive produced by Ralph and her producing partners Stephanie Lilly Smith and Norman Lee Waddell. www.divassimplysinging.com
The D.I.V.A. Foundation is a nonprofit 501c (3) charitable organization founded by Sheryl Lee Ralph in 1990 as a memorial to the many friends she lost to HIV/AIDS while in the original Broadway company of Dreamgirls. The organization focuses on generating resources and coordinating activities to create awareness of and combat against HIV/AIDS and other life-threatening illnesses. The D.I.V.A. Foundation produces and utilizes televised and digital health awareness content (music, entertainment, panels, and discussions) as vehicles to inform, educate and erase the stigma still attached to this disease. In 2005, Sheryl Lee Ralph and The D.I.V.A. Foundation received the first Red Ribbon Leadership Award at the United Nations on World AIDS Day for the unique use of the arts in fighting HIV/AIDS.
Over the 30-year history of The D.I.V.A. Foundation, Sheryl Lee Ralph has had a long-standing commitment to raise awareness, work to erase stigma, and empower and support individuals in owning their health. The D.I.V.A. Foundation has provided over $3M dollars in support of organizations provide critical services to all members of the LGBTQ+ community, women and children, and are inclusive of persons of color.
Our beneficiaries have included:
- Project Angel Food
- Better Brothers Los Angeles
- Walkgood LA
- Baby Buddies/C.A.R.E. Program
- Rues House (Residential Home for Women and Children with AIDS)
- The Safe Place for Pediatric AIDS
- AIDS Project L.A.
- Minority AIDS Project
- Caring for Children & Families with AIDS
- Black AIDS Institute
- Women Alive Coalition
- The AIDS Quilt Memorial
- AIDS Healthcare Foundation (US, Jamaica, South Africa)
- Covenant House
- Wentworth Organization for Women (W.O.W.)
- Mpilonhe Project
- Bienestar Human Services