Whitworth Communications

For Immediate Release

November 3, 2003

Grammy-Winning Band Jars of Clay to Discuss AIDS Crisis before Whitworth Concert

Prior to its Tuesday-evening concert at Whitworth College, Grammy-winning band Jars of Clay will lead a symposium on the AIDS crisis in Africa. The quartet, which has achieved multiplatinum success, is using its celebrity to raise college students' and the general public's awareness of and response to Africa's AIDS crisis. The symposium, which is free and open to the public, will take place on Tuesday, Nov. 4, from 4:30-6:30 p.m. in Seeley Mudd Chapel at Whitworth.

The members of Jars of Clay are founders of Blood:Water Mission, a non-profit organization that works to educate and empower people to become involved in the HIV/AIDS crisis in third-world countries. In 2003, Blood: Water Mission launched a series of symposia to promote an understanding of the AIDS crisis and to provide the opportunity for people to take immediate action through partnerships with organizations including Student Global Aids Campaign, African Leadership, and the Hope Child Initiative. For more information about Blood:Water Mission, visit www.bloodwatermission.org.

While at Whitworth, Jars of Clay band members will also meet with six students who have organized a Whitworth chapter of the Student Global AIDS Campaign; that meeting will take place at 3 p.m. on Tuesday in the Hixson Union Building catering rooms. The Whitworth chapter is part of a student-led network of more than 188 colleges and high schools in the United States that are lobbying Congress to pass the $15-billion plan to help fight the AIDS pandemic in Africa that President Bush pledged in his State of the Union address last spring.

This fall, the six Whitworth students took part in Student Global AIDS Campaign training session in Boston, where they learned how to organize a chapter at Whitworth and conduct lobbying efforts. Since then, the students have circulated petitions on campus, which were sent to Washington-state senators and representatives to let them know Whitworth students want Congress and President Bush to keep his promise to Africa, and Whitworth's student government unanimously passed a resolution urging Congress and President Bush to pass the full $15-billion funding.

In a September address to Whitworth students, political theorist Ashley Woodiwiss of Wheaton College said 7,000 people die from AIDS every day, there are 12-million orphans as a result of the AIDS pandemic, and almost 10,000 people are daily infected with AIDS.

Last year Woodiwiss hosted at Wheaton College the Heart of America Tour led by Bono, lead singer of the rock band U2. During his visit, Bono encouraged Wheaton students to join in his fight against the AIDS pandemic in Africa. Following Bono's campus appearance, Woodiwiss assisted in establishing the Wheaton College Student AIDS Action Network, one of the largest and most active chapters of the Student Global AIDS Alliance in the country.

Woodiwiss discussed student activism with Whitworth students, and encouraged them to take immediate and substantive political action that will have a real-world impact; Whitworth students organized and formed the Student Global AIDS Campaign chapter shortly after Woodiwiss' campus visit.

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private, liberal arts college affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA). The college enrolls 2,200 students in more than 50 undergraduate and graduate programs.

Contacts:

Julia Stronks, professor of politics & history, Whitworth College, (509) 325-4786 or jstronks@whitworth.edu.

Julie Riddle, public information specialist, Whitworth College, (509) 777-3729 or jriddle@whitworth.edu.

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