December 1st is World AIDS Day.
This year, Michigan-Unified/HARC sponsored an outstanding musical-theatrical program, thanks to Rev. Joe Summers for organizing and Rev. Deborah Dean-Ware for hosting. It included performances by Gospel Against AIDS, Threshold Choir, The Corner Health Center Theater Troupe, Rev. Roland Stringfellow, and more. I was honored to speak at this event.
In my talk, I remember my brother.
Remembering my brother, I commemorate ALL our brothers and sisters who died of AIDS. Telling my brother’s story, I support ALL our brothers and sisters living with HIV/AIDS.
Attending a World AIDS Day event, I unite with ALL caring members of our global family.
In my talk, I name my brother.
“Despite the virus only being identified in 1984, more than 35 million people have died of HIV or AIDS, making it one of the most destructive pandemics in history.”
Naming my brother reminds us that the 35 million who died from AIDS were real people. They had names. Numbers tell one story, names tell another.
There is more work to be done. There is more awareness to raise, more prejudice to fight, more prevention to teach, more funds to be raised, more cures to be discovered. So I am heartened by the words of President Obama on this day. He said “Together, we can do this, and long after I leave office, you’ll have a friend in me.” I am grateful.
Below is my short talk and a photo of me with the panel for the AIDS QUILT that I made in memory of Steven Michael Isenberg. I couldn’t part with it so it hangs on a wall in my home where I remember my brother — and yours — not once a year but every day.