The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation (ETAF) has announced NBA Hall of Fame legend, philanthropist and businessman Earvin "Magic" Johnson and philanthropist and entrepreneur Cookie Johnson will be honored with The Elizabeth Taylor Commitment to End AIDS Award at the fourth annual Elizabeth Taylor Ball to End AIDS on September 21, 2023 at The Beverly Hills Hotel.
The evening will be generously supported by Presenting Sponsor Gilead Sciences.
Co-Chairs for this year’s gala include musician, model, actor and ETAF Ambassador Paris Jackson as well as entrepreneur, producer, ETAF friend and longtime supporter Christine Chiu. The Elizabeth Taylor Ball to End AIDS will include a seated dinner for 270 guests, an exciting live auction in partnership with Christie’s featuring unique works of art and luxury experiences, a live performance, and an exclusive look at items from The Elizabeth Taylor Archive including highlights from Elizabeth Taylor’s personal life, film career, and philanthropy.
“We loved Elizabeth Taylor’s passion, activism, and the work we did together in the fight against HIV and AIDS,” said Earvin “Magic” and Cookie Johnson. “Since beginning this journey in the early 90’s, we’ve dedicated our lives to raising awareness and funding programs to stop the spread of HIV and AIDS. We would like to thank The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation for recognizing our commitment to an AIDS-free world by honoring us with The Elizabeth Taylor Commitment to End AIDS Award at this year’s gala. Although there is still work to be done, we appreciate the acknowledgement and look forward to continuing to advocate for those who need it most.”
Following Mr. Johnson’s announcement, the Magic Johnson Foundation (MJF) granted $2.3 million to HIV/AIDS organizations within the first two years. Today, more than $14 million has been given to more than 80 community organizations and the Foundation has reached millions of Americans through awareness and education campaigns.
Through their “I Stand with Magic” program, from 2006-2009, MJF provided free HIV/AIDS testing to nearly 80,000 Americans in 16 major cities. Additionally, the program educated more than 622,000 people about HIV, risk factors associated with the disease, and the importance of testing.
Earvin “Magic” Johnson currently serves as Chairman and CEO of Magic Johnson Enterprises (MJE), which provides high-quality products and services that focus primarily on ethnically diverse and underserved urban communities. Johnson made history in 2012 when he became co-owner of MLB’s Los Angeles Dodgers. He also co-owns the Los Angeles Sparks of the WNBA, Major League Soccer’s Los Angeles Football Club, and eSports franchise Team Liquid. He continues to expand his influence through his many businesses that include: EquiTrust Life Insurance Company, and SodexoMAGIC, a food service and facilities management company.
Through a joint-venture fund, JLC Infrastructure, Johnson is investing millions of dollars on infrastructure improvement across the United States. Johnson currently serves on the board of directors for Fanatics, a sports licensing company.
Cookie Johnson is a successful businesswoman, author and devoted philanthropist who uses her voice and platform to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS, women’s health, and advocate for the LGBTQIA+ community by speaking to women’s groups, community organizations, local schools, and churches. A businesswoman at heart, in 2009 Cookie launched her premium denim line, CJ by Cookie Johnson, which was an aspirational collection of premium denim that combined style AND comfort with a sophisticated edge.
After closing her premium denim company, Cookie ventured on to become a New York Times bestselling author, with her memoir Believing in Magic. Believing in Magic was released in September 2016 and is her story about love, overcoming adversity, and keeping God’s faith. She serves on the board of SodexoMAGIC, and she is proud to be a member of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture Council.
“The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation is grateful to Earvin “Magic” & Cookie Johnson for agreeing to be honored with The Elizabeth Taylor Commitment to End AIDS Award at this year’s gala. The courage, compassion, and empathy of the Johnsons over the last 30 years have resulted in a tremendous positive impact on people living with HIV and AIDS." said Catherine Brown, Executive Director, The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation.