Our Stories, Our Freedom: Black Voices

artistLong-term HIV Survivors Open Pride Weekend 2015 and Share Their Storieslocation998 Market Street San Francisco, CAopening6, 27, 2015

OSOF_SaveThe Date_Palmcard_Final_1 OSOF_SaveThe Date_Palmcard_Final_2Our Stories, Our Freedom: Black Voices Transforming Shame & Stigma

Long-term HIV Survivors Open Pride Weekend 2015 and Share Their Stories

WHAT: Three men who have lived through the early days of the HIV epidemic share their stories of redemption, survival and hope, as Black Brothers Esteem and San Francisco AIDS Foundation celebrate San Francisco Pride Weekend 2015.

“The process of writing and performing has been very healing for these men,” said Shawn Demmons, Black Brothers Esteem Community Engagement and Mobilization Manager. “It has been inspiring to witness their transformation as they reflect on their own life experiences.”

Presenters worked with performance artist Anthony Julius Williams, artistic director of the Iruke Project, during a six-week workshop. The project uses personal storytelling as a way to explore factors contributing to disparities in health and wellness, such as shame, stigma, isolation, internalized homophobia, racism and transphobia.

African-American gay men and men who have sex with men (MSM) are disproportionally affected by HIV: Black MSM make up 12% of San Francisco’s HIV-positive population, while African-Americans are only 6% of the population. Black Brothers Esteem is a program of San Francisco AIDS Foundation focused on supporting African-American gay, bisexual and same gender-loving men living in the Tenderloin/Polk Gulch and Sixth Street Corridor neighborhoods of San Francisco.

WHEN: Saturday, June 27, 2015

4:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

WHERE: The Luggage Store Gallery, 998 Market Street, San Francisco

WHO: William Dean marks the 25th anniversary of his HIV diagnosis by acknowledging the gifts left behind by his now-deceased friends which have enabled him to survive. Raephel Rogers talks about overcoming the guilt and shame of being molested as a child. Stanley Allison confronts deep-seeded issues as an HIV-negative elder gay black man.

The Luggage Store Gallery proudly donated the use of their space for this event.
To learn more about Black Brothers Esteem, visit http://sfaf.org/client-services/black-brothers-esteem/.

About San Francisco AIDS Foundation

No city experienced epidemic levels of HIV faster than San Francisco. At San Francisco AIDS Foundation, we work to end the epidemic where it first took hold, and eventually everywhere. Established in 1982, our mission is the radical reduction of new infections in San Francisco. Through education, advocacy, and direct services for prevention and care, we are confronting HIV in communities most vulnerable to the disease. More information about the foundation is available at http://www.sfaf.org.

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