“I did it because it needed to be done.” –Colevia Carter, former member of the DC Human Rights Commission and the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Commission.
HIV/AIDS hit Washington, D.C. hard. Beginning in the early 1980s, the epidemic spread with deadly speed throughout the region, devastating the gay and black communities in particular. Women, especially those of the lesbian community, quickly emerged at the forefront of the fight against the disease. They armed themselves with information and went out into the community to help. They founded organizations to provide services and support to people with HIV/AIDS. They developed education and prevention programs within established institutions like the Whitman-Walker Clinic. They raised awareness in any way they could.
The Rainbow History Project (RHP) is dedicated to collecting, preserving, and promoting the history of sexually diverse communities in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. To highlight the contributions of women activists in the fight against HIV/AIDS in D.C., RHP is hosting a public panel on May 9 at 7:30 p.m. at the Shaw (Watha T. Daniel) Library in Washington, D.C. Distinguished panelists will include Colevia Carter, Valerie Papaya Mann, Patricia Nalls, and Dr. Patricia Hawkins. Their achievements represent a cross-section of the female-led response to the HIV/AIDS crisis. Read More at Tagg Magazine
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