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National Gay and Lesbian Task Force at the International AIDS Conference

July 20, 2012

The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is participating in the International AIDS Conference in Washington, D.C., this week. From faith to advocacy to public rallies to concerts, the Task Force will be there.

Leading up to the conference, which begins Sunday, the Task Force-convened National Religious Leadership Roundtable (NRLR) is meeting with the Council of Elders and Bishops to reiterate the support of pro-LGBT faith leaders in the struggle against HIV/AIDS. Task Force Faith Work Director Rev. Rebecca Voelkel wrote about LGBT People of Faith at the International AIDS Conference on Huffington Post. Read more here.

As part of the NRLR meeting, participants and the public at large will gather at the Cramton Auditorium at Howard University on Friday, July 20, at 7:30 p.m., to be part of a panel discussion on how faith informs the intersection of sexuality, justice and HIV/AIDS. Bishop Yvette Flunder will facilitate “Sexuality, Justice and HIV/AIDS: A faith roundtable.” Participants will be able to hear stories of struggle and healing from those with different experiences with HIV/AIDS, different sexual orientations and gender identities, speaking from distant corners of the globe. More info here.

The interfaith pre-conference, titled “Taking Action for Health, Dignity, and Justice,” will take place July 20-21 at Howard University. It has been organized by the Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance, an advocacy network of churches and Christian organizations. The pre-conference will have three plenary sessions and numerous workshops on how faith communities can help address HIV and promote social justice. More info here.

On Saturday, July 21 at 7 p.m., participants of the faith pre-conference will gather at the National Cathedral for an interfaith service in remembrance of those we have lost and those who continue in the struggle to live with dignity and worth in the face of HIV and AIDS.

On Sunday, July 22, NRLR members will join other faith leaders at “Turning the Tide Together in the U.S.: a National Faith Response,” a faith kick-off, workshop and rally for AIDS 2012 at the Mt Vernon Place United Methodist Church. It is organized by the National Faith in Action HIV & AIDS Coalition. More info here.

The AIDS Memorial Quilt will be displayed in nearly 60 locations in and around Washington, D.C., throughout the month of July. Now more than 48,000 panels, it’s no longer possible to display the entire Quilt in any one place. On Monday, July 23, a team from the Task Force will be volunteering at the display on the National Mall from 8th to 14th Street. We’ll be assisting in unfolding the panels, monitoring the Quilt throughout the day, answering questions about the Quilt and folding it up at the end of the day. For more about the Quilt in the Capital, go to http://quilt2012.org/

Also on Monday night, at 6 p.m., people are invited to One Voice: Gospel Artists Responds to AIDS,” at the Mt. Vernon Place United Methodist Church. Bishop Yvette Flunder will host the event and will feature more than a dozen of Gospel artists and choirs. More info here.

On Tuesday, July 24 at 7 p.m., the Task Force is pleased to join Whitman-Walker Health and over 50 community organizations to present “Return to Lisner: A forum on the state of HIV/AIDS,” Tuesday, July 24, 6:30 pm at Lisner Auditorium on the campus of George Washington University.  This event will feature a panel of experts discussing the past, present and future of HIV/AIDS as well as a keynote presentation by Jeanne White-Ginder, (mother of Ryan White) who has been on the front lines of the struggle since almost the beginning. Tom Sherwood of NBC 4 will moderate this historic event. Advance registration is required. There are a limited number of seats, so please register online: www.whitman-walker.org/returntolisner.

On Wednesday, July 25 at 6:30 p.m., the Task Force will join a reception in partnership with Us Helping Us -a reception for African, African-American and African-Caribbean Men and their friends. The reception will be held at Us Helping Us building, 3636 Georgia Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20010. (Open to the Public and refreshments will be served.)

Also, from July 22 to July 27, throughout the conference, there will be Task Force materials featured at the National Association for People with AIDS info table in the Global Village section.

For more information on the International AIDS Conference, visit www.aids2012.org.

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