L.A.’s BLACK AIDS Monument (BAM) to Be Unveiled on Nat’l HIV Testing Day

Timed to the 40th anniversary of the CDC’s first Morbidity and Mortality Report (MMWR) citation of a ‘strange new immunodeficiency disease’ which would become known as AIDS, advocates from In The Meantime Men’s Group and other key stakeholders will unveil the ‘Black AIDS Monument’ at Carl Bean House in West Adams on Sunday, June 27, National HIV Testing Day

An estimated 1.2 million people worldwide are currently living with HIV/AIDS, with over 33 million cumulative deaths and more than 76 million infections 40 years into the AIDS pandemic

LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–In The Meantime Men’s Group, Inc. (ITMT) and key community members and advocates of the HIV/AIDS community will host an unveiling of the “Black AIDS Monument” (BAM) on Sunday, June 27th in the West Adams District in South Los Angeles. The event will include a gong sound bath, poem selections, and a performance by the Inner City Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles, String Quartet to honor and celebrate the lives of those lost to AIDS and to serve as a reminder that the fight to eradicate this disease is far from over. The event is closed to the general public due to COVID restrictions, limited seating, and social distance requirements. However, the event can be viewed live on Facebook via the In Mean Time Men’s Group Inc.’s website. http://www.inthemeantimemen.org

WHAT: Unveiling of the Black AIDS Monument (BAM)

WHEN: Sunday, June 27, 2021 – 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

WHO: Speakers:

  • Jeffrey King, Executive Director, In The Meantime Men’s Group, Inc.
  • Pastor Kelvin Sauls, Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) Commissioner
  • Pastor Curt D. Thomas, Renewed Church Los Angeles
  • Cynthia Davis, MPH, DHL, Assistant Professor, College of Medicine, Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science; Board Vice Chair, AHF
  • Michael Weinstein, President, AIDS Healthcare Foundation
  • Love Ta’Shia Asanti, Poet

WHERE: Carl Bean House, 2146 W. Adams Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90018

B-ROLL: Formal unveiling of the Black AIDS Monument; young musicians with the Inner City Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles, String Quartet playing

WHY: Commemorate the 40th anniversary of AIDS being recognized in the U.S; celebrate the thousands of African American/Black lives who have died due to HIV/AIDS; in addition to recognizing the many African American/Black HIV/AIDS community advocates who have worked tirelessly to ensure the African American community obtained their fair share of public and private sector resources to support People Living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHAs) in order to save lives.

The Black AIDS Monument (BAM) is represented by a “tiered” Water Fountain and a Tekhenu with a Sankofa Bird at the apex of the Tekhenu. The inscription on the monument reads: “Pouring Into Each Other”, which has major significance for those who have survived the 40-year HIV/AIDS pandemic. This powerful community has “Poured into Each Other” to establish that as a people, their voices would be heard, and to invariably work to eliminate the ever-present HIV/AIDS-related homophobia, stigma, and racism which has led to the disproportionate number of African Americans/Blacks dying of HIV/AIDS that we are still seeing today.

“Those of us who have worked in the community since the inception of the AIDS pandemic are raising our voices today to honor the memory of the thousands of African Americans/Blacks who have died due to HIV/AIDS-related complications in the past forty years in Los Angeles County,” said Jeffrey King, Executive Director, In The Meantime Men’s Group Inc. “We are also gathering for this special occasion to honor and acknowledge the thousands of community activists, advocates, policy-makers and public health professionals who have dedicated their time and life to protecting the needs of African American/Black HIV/AIDS- affected individuals. As well as, creating opportunities for people living with HIV/AIDS to speak out, whether in the Board Room at the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Office; the Los Angeles County HIV/AIDS Commission meetings or “behind closed doors.”

“This beautiful Black AIDS Monument stands tall to represent the constant uphill battle, not only to end HIV/AIDS in our lifetime, but also to acknowledge those brave pioneers who accomplished myriad milestones of care and service to the community over the past four decades,” said Cynthia Davis, MPH, Domestic Vice Chair, AHF Board of Directors. “These milestones include first and foremost saving lives, impacting public policy, obtaining public and private sector funding, supporting individuals and families affected by HIV/AIDS, and continuing to build public service-minded coalitions whose missions were, and still remain, to move communities beyond a ‘what is in it for me” mentality’ We are humbled by the work of our forebears and honor both their memories and their accomplishments with this monument.”

Contacts

Lauren Hogan, Communications Manager, +1.310.940.0802 cell [email protected]
Jeffrey King, Executive Director, In The Meantime Men’s Group, Inc. +1.323.251.7392 [email protected]

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