Doug Wirth With C. Virgina Fields And Orbit Clanton

NEW YORK – Gospel Extravaganza 2018, presented by the National Black Leadership Commission on AIDS (NBLCA), was a stellar celebration of life and a culmination of the organization’s 30 years of service to educating, mobilizing and empowering Black leaders to address and proactively fight the HIV/AIDS epidemic and other health disparities facing African Americans. The benefit concert was attended by more than 200 Gospel enthusiasts and community leaders who gathered for an evening of triumph and recognition. Hosted by Liz Black, of 107.5 WBLS NY, 1190 WLIB NY, WMCA 590 and NBLCA’s president and CEO C. Virginia Fields, the evening featured live performances by two of the biggest names in Gospel music today: Richard Smallwood and JJ Hairston and Youthful Praise. Smallwood and Hairston each performed a variety of selections from their respective repertoires, and each accompanying band and choir drew the guests to their feet in a stirring and moving display of praise.

In addition to the live performances, Gospel Extravaganza 2018 also featured NBLCA’s “Choose Life” Awards. The Awards were bestowed this year on Amida Care and Convent Avenue Baptist Church - Healing Hope Ministry.

Accepting the award for Amida Care was president and CEO Doug Wirth. Orbit Clanton, president of the Convent Avenue Baptist Church - Healing Hope Ministry accepted the award on behalf of the Church. 

In commenting on the occasion, C. Virginia Fields stated, “This special evening of celebration and praise is NBLCA’s way of sharing our gratitude to all of you. Your support allows NBLCA to deepen and broaden its fight against public health inequities as we transform the lives of those living with, and affected by, HIV/AIDS and other health disparities.”

Ms. Fields added, “I am pleased to report that NBLCA is in a strong position to respond to the shifting funding priorities, program and service needs of the populations that we serve. We will ring in our next 30 years and beyond with enhanced and increased services and a renewed commitment to our mission.”

NBLCA’s leadership role in the public discourse on HIV/AIDS and health disparities was reinforced by messages of consideration and praise from a variety of notable civic leaders, including Congresswoman Barbara Lee of California, New York State Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, NYC Public Advocate Letitia James, New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer and Corey Johnson, Speaker, New York City Council.

Platinum and Gold Sponsors for the evening include: Gilead Sciences, Artimus, Amida Care, BET Networks, Desire & Company, and World Conference of Mayors.


Founded in 1987, the National Black Leadership Commission on AIDS, Inc. is the oldest and largest non-profit organization of its kind in the United States. Since its inception, NBCLA has served thousands of organizations and institutions through community development, technical assistance and formulation of new policy.

Photo Courtesy Of: Finn Partners