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Shefik applies a holistic approach to code theory, practice, and appreciation. Through this, he is well-rounded in a variety of facets pertaining to web development. Not only from an engineering perspective, but from a business perspective.

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Ruth's Story: The Cemetery Angel, Ruth Coker Burks

Broadway Sings for Pride

Ruth Coker Burks, also known as the Cemetery Angel, is a former caregiver of AIDS crisis victims and an AIDS awareness advocate based in Arkansas. During the AIDS epidemic in the late 1980s, she used her salary as a real estate agent to care for AIDS patients whose families and communities had abandoned them. Due to the stigma surrounding the disease at the time, she was often the patients' only caregiver until they eventually died. She is additionally recognized for burying a number of AIDS victims in Hot Springs, Arkansas.

On June 20, 2016, Broadway Sings for Pride premiered its 6th anniversary benefit concert "Ovation" in New York City, at Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan. This milestone event was filled with singing (from pop to Broadway), stories, special celebrity guests, and more. Broadway Sings for Pride is a multiple award-winning, non-for-profit organization that brings together Broadway talent, activists, and celebrities, to educate the public, raise awareness of the needs of LGBTQ+ youth, and support these young people, so that they may reach their full potential.

In 2016, for the first time ever, Broadway Sings for Pride wanted to honor someone special. They flew AIDS/LGBTQ+ activist Burks for their 6th annual pride event in New York City. Burks had no idea that during the event her story would be told, along with a special heartfelt performance dedicated to her.

With permission from David Koon of "Arkansas Times", Burks' story was retold from Koon's article published on January 8, 2015, via a performance by Eden Espinosa (Broadway's "Wicked" and "Rent"), Brock Ciarlelli (ABC's "The Middle"), Daniel Quadrino (Broadway's "Newsies" and "Wicked"), Cody Scott Lancaster (Broadway's "Rock of Ages"), and Tym Moss ("Girl, a Lopsided Tree Won't Ruin Christmas").

Videographer: Shefik

Last Updated: July 26, 2022

About Shefik

Celebrating over 25 years in the entertainment industry, Shefik has held senior-level positions at many Fortune 500 companies and celebrated brands, including IBM, NBCUniversal, and MTV World. He currently serves as a Technical Lead at NBCUniversal. His work has been featured in television broadcasts and video productions for TIME, The Washington Center, "Unsung" (TV One), and Broadway World. He is currently the Executive Producer and Host of the nationally syndicated radio show "Shefik presents Invocation", which is broadcast on 23 terrestrial radio stations and frequencies throughout the United States, as well as the internationally syndicated video series of the same name via Amazon and other notable outlets.