Jason Howard Green

Jason Howard Green

Friday, March 6, 2009

Black Life Is Worth Saving

Held at the Hilton Resort Phoenix, this National Black AIDS Awareness Day program was off da chain. Brilliantly organized and executed it was one of the best AIDS Awareness programs I've attended. The MC for the event was Phoenix's very own Dr. Ade Banjoko and the keynote speaker for the event was Dr. Robert Scott from Oakland, California.

There were speakers that addressed HIV among men, HIV among women and HIV among youth. The person addressing HIV among men was from behavioral health facilty and HIV testing group, Ebony House (sorry, I can't remember his name). He was not embarrased to tell the crowd that he has done some time in prison and is aware of how disease is affecting our black men (not only same gender loving black men - all of our black men).

We also had Ms. Teen Black Arizona, Ms. Rozan Latham, address the crowd concerning HIV and youth. Let's not get it twisted - grown folks aren't the only ones getting infected. We need to be spreading the message about HIV prevention to everyone that may be at risk. We need to stop pretending like teen-agers are not having sex or experimenting with drugs. It's a reality we all must deal with. If we continue to be silent our young will continue to die.

And addressing the issue of HIV among women was one of my very favorite people from the city of Phoenix, Miasia Pasha. Miasia has been living with the virus for over almost a decade and she has refused to be a victim of it. She is an advocate for the HIV community as she volunteers her time on the Ryan White Planning Council and on the board of AAHHERC (African-American Hispanic Health Resource Center). She is present at any platform she is given to address this problem and I love her for that. Her visibility and her endurance are inspiring.

There were several awards given out during the night honoring those are taking exceptional steps in helping in this fight against HIV. I also had the opportunity that night to meet the current reigning Ms. Black Arizona, Brittanae' Perkins (she's my new BFF).

The night was FABULOUS! FABULOUS! FABULOUS! (Okay I may be a bit biased because I was part of the organizing committee). But it was still an exceptional evening.

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