News Briefs: AIDS grove releases short doc on Blacks and HIV

  • by Cynthia Laird, News Editor
  • Wednesday September 28, 2022
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Phill Wilson, founder of the Black AIDS Institute, appears in "The Black Community and AIDS," a mini-documentary from the National AIDS Memorial Grove. Photo: Screengrab
Phill Wilson, founder of the Black AIDS Institute, appears in "The Black Community and AIDS," a mini-documentary from the National AIDS Memorial Grove. Photo: Screengrab

The National AIDS Memorial Grove has released its latest mini-documentary, "The Black Community and AIDS," the seventh film in its oral history project. It chronicles the personal stories of nearly two-dozen survivors and advocates from across the U.S. who are thriving, and sharing their hopes and struggles about the HIV/AIDS epidemic and its disproportionate impact on the Black community, a news release stated.

The film opens with Phill Wilson, founder of the Black AIDS Institute. It also features advocate Tori Cooper; Dázon Dixon Diallo, founder and president of SisterLove, the first women's HIV sexual reproductive justice organization in the Southern U.S.; advocate Sharron Chatman; and others.

"This mini-documentary speaks to the work of the National AIDS Memorial in addressing the impact of HIV/AIDS in the Black community," stated John Cunningham, CEO of the AIDS grove. "We are so appreciative of the survivors and advocates featured in this film who shared their stories and whose work is helping make a difference in changing the statistics and helping to finally curb the disproportionate impact of this epidemic in the Black community."

The film was produced and directed by Jörg Fockele. The film was shown at Frameline, San Francisco's LGBTQ film festival, as well as festivals and HIV/AIDS events across the country, the release noted. It will also be shown as part of the AIDS grove's Change the Pattern initiative that started this week and is partnering with the Southern AIDS Coalition and Gilead Sciences Inc. to bring panels of the AIDS Memorial Quilt to the South as a teaching tool.

Previous films in this series include mini-documentaries on substance users, the transgender community, the Asian and Pacific Islander community, women, the national hemophilia community, and the leather community, the release stated.

The 17-minute film can be viewed on the AIDS grove's website and YouTube channel.

Horizons scholarship opportunity

Horizons Foundation has announced a new scholarship opportunity for LGBTQ individuals who are seeking support to further develop the skills necessary to find meaningful employment.

Funded by the Grass Roots Gay Rights Foundation, the We Rise LGBTQ Scholarship is a one-time award of $2,500 to support Bay Area LGBTQ students pursuing trade and technical degrees and certificates as well as associate and bachelor degrees, according to a news release. With a focus on students who share a commitment to advancing LGBTQ rights, the scholarship will make its first awards later this year, the release stated.

Applications for the scholarship are being accepted through October 26. For more information and to apply, click here.

In other Horizons news, its annual gala takes place Saturday, October 2, from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Fairmont Hotel, 950 Mason Street in San Francisco, as the Bay Area Reporter noted in a recent article about LGBTQ fall benefits. The event will be livestreamed for those joining from home. More information is available here.

EQCA, Uber to provide free rides for MPX shots

Equality California, the statewide LGBTQ rights organization, announced that it's partnering with Uber to provide free round-trip rides (up to $30 each way) to MPX vaccination sites throughout the state.

According to a news release, EQCA and Uber are working to ensure that LGBTQ+ community members and other eligible people have the opportunity to protect themselves and their loved ones from MPX. The outbreak began this spring and, in California, is primarily affecting men who have sex with men.

"As vaccines are becoming increasingly available across our state, it's critical to ensure transportation is not neglected," stated Tony Hoang, EQCA executive director. "We are immensely grateful for our long-standing partnership with Uber and its commitment to full lived equality for all LGBTQ+ people."

To claim a code for a ride and more information, click here.

SF nonprofits can reserve Castro window

It's that time of year again. San Francisco LGBTQ nonprofits can now reserve window space at the Castro Walgreens to promote their agencies in 2023.

Gary Poe of OurTownSF is now handling the reservations, which are free. Since 2001 the Walgreens at 18th and Castro streets has generously offered its window, which enjoys an abundance of foot traffic on Castro Street, for nonprofits to promote their organizations.

In the past, Poe wrote in a news release, displays with eye-catching artistic creativity attract the most attention of passersby. Groups can promote themselves, services they offer, and their upcoming major events.

Interested organizations should contact Poe at [email protected] to be notified of open reservation dates for next year. The reservation coordinator prioritizes reservations on a first come, first served basis.

OurTownSF is a reference guide to over 300 LGBTQ nonprofit service agencies, arts, and athletic groups.

SF police oversight agency releases complainant portal

The San Francisco Department of Police Accountability has released a case-tracking portal that allows complainants to independently look up their case status and submit documents for case reviews or investigative hearing requests online.

Paul Henderson, a gay man who is executive director of DPA, stated in a news release that the goal of the new portal is to increase transparency while ensuring confidentiality.

The new portal was made possible with the technological progress that DPA has had over the last few years, with the capability to integrate a new page for case tracking into its current Salesforce case management system, the release stated. That allows complainants to access information or upload documents in a more secure way.

The portal is accessible through DPA's website.

Senior agency to hold benefit

Little Brothers-Friends of the Elderly, an organization that helps isolated older adults, will hold an in-person fundraiser Saturday, October 15, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Little Marina Green, 5517 Yacht Road in San Francisco.

The San Francisco-based agency, also known as LBFE, will hold Paws for a Cause, a unique opportunity to celebrate coming together that focuses on humans and their canine friends, a news release stated. "It also reunites relationships between LBFE's older adults and our volunteers," stated Cathy Michalec, executive director.

One highlight of the day will be a Halloween costume contest, judged by gay state Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco), LBFE older adult Tom Schroeder, and dog behaviorist Beverly Ulbrich, owner of Pooch Coach Dog Training.

People do not have to have a dog to attend, organizers noted. There will be food, games, a photo booth, and much more, the release stated.

Tickets start at $20 and can be purchased here.

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