Reflections: 2017 Barbara Vick Impact Awards
Presented by the Community Liaison Council of the Emory Center for AIDS Research
"In 1985 when I first became conscious of AIDS in the world the only thing that I knew was that I had to do something.
When I graduated from high school in 1995, and walked into the Chester AIDS Coalition to volunteer, Theron handed me a box of condom packets and said that I'd be riding with Sharon. So I proceed to ride through my neighborhood and talk to people who'd known me since I was born about sex. To say that it changed me would be an understatement.
As I was preparing for a presentation last week I stumbled on a statement that explains why I do this. “The report does not mention the race of the five men. “The first five patients were white,” remembered Gottlieb. “The next two were black. The sixth patient was a Haitian man. The 7th patient was a gay African-American man, here in Los Angeles. Most of those first patients died within months. We had no information and no treatment.” … so I do this because even at the very beginning Black men we were already almost 30% of the number.
While I get the honor of being considered an unsung hero, the work that I do is for all of those who came before me, and all of those unable to still speak for themselves today.
Thanks so much to Charles Stephens, my friend and brother, for trusting me to execute his vision for the Counter Narrative Project. Thank you to the Emory Center for AIDS Research and the Community Liaison Council for thinking of us.
Thanks to my amazing brothers here supporting me and my wonderful patient partner Adrian. Thanks."
(Images courtesy of Emory University)