Chicago, IL — April 21, 2017 —. : South Side Help Center, Affinity Community Services and Coalition for Justice & Respect collaborated to host an event to commemorate April 18, National Transgender HIV Testing Day, by honoring individuals who have advocated for the well-being of those in the transgender community. The program included presenting them with customized awards and an evening of food, fun and fashion.
Nominations were made by community and organization leaders and activists including, Cosette Hampton, Organizing Co-Chair, BYP-100; Imani Rupert-Gordon, Executive Director, Affinity Community Services and Jolie Holliman, AIDS Healthcare Foundation. Presentation of awards were made by Rupert-Gordon and lead sponsors Vanessa Smith, Executive Director, South Side Help Center and Marc Loveless, Founder, Coalition for Justice & Respect. Caprice Carthans, served as MC and fashion model. The event concept was created and implemented by Creola A. Hampton, President, GreaterWorks! Inc.
Awardees in attendance included:
-Reyna Ortiz, Chicago House
-Beverly Ross, Facilitator, Project Elevate, AIDS Foundation of Chicago.
-JT Johnson Action Chair, Organization of Black Students, University of Chicago
-Channyn Lynne Parker, TransHealth's Care Coordinator, Chicago House ; speaker, February , "Chicago Women's March"
-Tanvi Sheth: Project Attorney and Board Member, Transformative Justice Law Project of Illinois.
-Kim Hunt, Executive Director, Pride Action Tank
-Ms. Afrika Lockett, Black and Pink, LGBTQ prison abolition organization
-Caprice Carthans, Co-Chair, Chicago's Integrated Community Advisory
-Owen Daniel-McCarter Esq., Executive Director, Illinois Safe Schools Alliance
Those who were unable to attend, but acknowledged the awards included:
-Xavier D. Maatra, Chicago Black Trans GNC Collective
-L'lerrét Jazelle Ailith , Communications Manager, BYP100
-Precious Brady Davis: Columbia University, Diversity & Inclusion
-LaSaia Wade, Activist, Director, Brave Space Alliance.
-Charlene A. Carruthers , National Director, Black Youth Project ( BYP ) 100
About National Transgender HIV Testing Day
The community lead for National Transgender HIV Testing Day, The Center for Excellence in Transgender Health, established April 18 as a day to recognize the importance of routine HIV testing, status awareness and continued focus on HIV prevention and treatment efforts among transgender and gender non-binary people. The initiative encourages community-based organizations, health jurisdictions and HIV prevention programs to host local transgender HIV testing community events and/or develop trans-specific HIV testing.
About South Side Help Center
For nearly 30 years, South Side Help Center has provided critical services for HIV-positive individuals. Initially founded in 1987 with the goal of educating the African-American religious community so it could be sensitive to the needs of people dying from HIV/AIDS, SSHC's services have evolved beyond HIV prevention to include direct care services and a comprehensive range of Youth and Capacity Building programs that serve minorities at greatest risk across in the area. In March, 2016, SSHC became an affiliate of AIDS Healthcare Foundation.