The 30th anniversary World AIDS Day will be observed in St. Louis with two events on Friday, Nov. 30th. World AIDS Day is held on December 1st each year and is an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV/AIDS.


World AIDS Day 2018, a night of Remembrance and Hope for those who lost their lives to HIV/AIDS and for those who continue to fight, will be held at the Metropolitan Community Church of Greater St. Louis (1920 S. 7th St. 63104) from 5:30-7 p.m. Congratulations to James Lesch who will be presented with the Red Ribbon Award for Community Engagement. Refreshments and light appetizers will be provided and the first 100 guests will receive a commemorative scarf. Head on over to Nadine's with your World AIDS Day program for 15% off food and drinks afterwards.


Also on Friday, at 7 p.m., The Griot Museum of Black History (2505 St. Louis Ave. 63106) will launch its "Impact HIV/AIDS" Initiative with the St. Louis screening of “Alternate Endings, Activist Risings,” a film by Visual AIDS. Erise Williams, Jr., Inc., Opal M. Jones, and De Nichols will discuss the film and the intersection of art HIV/AIDS and activism.


“Alternate Endings” highlights the impact of art in HIV/AIDS activism and advocacy today by commissioning compelling short videos from six community organizations and collectives—ACT UP NY, Positive Women’s Network, Sero Project, The SPOT, Tacoma Action Collective, and VOCAL NY. It represents a variety of organizational strategies, from direct action to grassroots service providers to nation-wide movement building, while considering the role of creative practices in activists’ responses to the ongoing AIDS crisis.


The Griot’s “Impact HIV/AIDS,” is a community awareness arts and culture initiative that will use exhibition, storytelling, visual art, mapping, oral interviews and other forms of expression to explore the ongoing relationship between HIV/AIDS and the St. Louis Region’s African-American community. The initiative will examine the myths and stereotypes of HIV/AIDS and give witness to the truths of those impacted by the disease.


"Impact's" goal is to create a powerful and empowering catalyst for change. Areas of discussion will include homelessness, stigma, criminalization, and insurance. Programs will explore the value and significance of knowing one’s status and emphasize the importance of taking preventative measures. It will celebrate people living with HIV/AIDS, remember those who have died, and recognize service providers and care givers.


Members of the “Impact HIV/AIDS” planning team include representatives of Empower Missouri; the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis; Washington University Libraries; Washington University Center for the Humanities; Washington University Department of Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies; CHIPS; Department of Health, City of St. Louis; Civil Rights Enforcement Agency, City of St. Louis; Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri; BodyMindSpiritConnect; University of Kansas; Project ARK; What Would an HIV Doula Do?; Erise Williams & Associates; and the St. Louis LGBT History Project.


Additional public events are planned for February 2019 for National Black AIDS/HIV Day and May 2019 to commemorate the life of St. Louisan Robert Rayford, an African American teenager, who was one of the earliest known victims of AIDS in the United States. The 2019 Initiative will culminate with an exhibition of historical art posters and other memorabilia collected from the community.


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