Monday, December 5, 2011

World AIDS Day 2011

Well, this is a few days late....but this past Thursday, December 1st, was World AIDS Day.  This is always an important day for me both personally and professionally.  I hope everyone took the time on that day to commemorate the way that HIV & AIDS have changed and shaped the world in which we live-----to remember all those who have been lost, to honor those who are still a part of the struggle and to celebrate the future heroes who will hopefully be a part of one day creating a world without HIV & AIDS!

Here in Rochester, there were events all over the place....we had a luncheon at work and there was a large community reception and ceremony on Friday the 2nd at which one of my employees was honored with an award for HIV Prevention Educator of the year (an esteemed award named after a colleague of mine who passed away a few years ago....and an award of which I was the first ever recipient a few years back).

In addition there was a benefit concert with local musicians, singers, poets and dancers performing to commemorate the day and to raise money for a great program called "Safe Sex Inc." that is co-led by my organization and that empowers urban youth to educate and advocate around health and safety issues.  It's an annual benefit show, actually, that chooses a different youth-oriented program or agency to support every year.  I haven't been to the show in several years, but this year I was encouraged to attend by some friends and colleagues.  The event was a very nice evening out (Jason came with, of course---and we were able to connect with some of my coworkers there)....and it also included a surprise:  I was honored by the organizers. with the "Embrace Life" Award for excellence in the field of HIV prevention.  It was a really touching honor on a professionally & personally significant day!