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NYC memorial event to honor journalists who died of AIDS or covered the epidemic
From a press release
2017-06-06

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NEW YORK CITY — A commemoration of journalists who died of AIDS, and others who covered the epidemic, highlighted by a keynote speech from a journalist from The New York Times, will take place on Friday, June 23.

"Bodies on the Line: A Memorial to Honor AIDS Journalists" will take place on Friday, June 23, from 12:00 until 2:00pm at the LGBT Community Center, 208 West 13th Street in the 2nd floor auditorium. The event's lead organizer is Anne-christine d'Adesky, an award-winning AIDS journalist, veteran social justice activist and author of the new hybrid memoir,The Pox Lover: An Activist's Decade in New York and Paris ( University of Wisconsin Press ), which looks back at the early days of AIDS journalism and activism.

This lunchtime celebration takes place amid anniversary events marking 30 years of AIDS activism by ACT UP and Pride weekend in New York City. The event is designed to bring fresh attention to the lives and legacy of pioneering journalists who died of AIDS and those who have made an important contribution to coverage of the epidemic in different media. Admission to this public event is free. Advance reservations required by emailingtalktothefuture@gmail.com .

All journalists are welcome to attend, especially those covering HIV/AIDS and health.

Keynote speaker Samuel G. Freedman, a reporter and columnist for The New York Times, as well as a professor at Columbia School of Journalism, will discuss the current state of AIDS journalism and how coverage could be improved. Freedman was a friend of Timesreporter Jeffrey Schmalz, a veteran reporter and gay man who began covering the AIDS beat after an HIV-related seizure in the newsroom outed his condition to peers and management. Freedman wrote about this in his 2015 book, Dying Words: The AIDS Reporting of Jeffrey Schmalz ( CUNY Journalism Press ).

The highlight of this event is the announcement of the establishment of an inaugural scholarship for a reporter focused on HIV coverage. The HIV Reporting Scholarship will be known as The Kiki, named after Curtis "Kiki" Mason, a brash POZ columnist who helped pioneer HIV cancer trials and died of AIDS in 1996. The Kiki will be sponsored and administered annually by NLGJA-The Association of LGBTQ Journalists.

"Bodies on the Line: A Memorial to Honor AIDS Journalists" will offer discussions, as well as a slide show to commemorate the editors and reporters who committed their careers to chronicling the AIDS epidemic, especially those who succumbed to the disease.

This event is co-sponsored by the NLGJA, HIVandHepatitis.com, PLUS, Positive Living,POZ, PrideLife, and TheBody.com . With support from the Elton John AIDS Foundation ( EJAF ).

In her new book, The Pox Lover: An Activist's Decade in New York and Paris, author d'Adesky takes us on a tour of 1990s Manhattan, and its once-funky East Village: through squatter clashes with police to all-night drag parties. She relives the joyous anarchy of the Lesbian Avengers and ACT UP's public funerals. She also predicts the rise of populism and extreme nationalism now sweeping the globe. Traveling as a journalist to Paris, an insomniac d'Adesky trolls the Seine, encountering waves of exiles fleeing violence in the Balkans, Haiti, and Rwanda. The author implicates her own bloodline in this history, mercilessly digging into her aristocratic family's roots in Vichy France and colonial Haiti.

Samuel G. FreedmanSamuel G. Freedman is an award-winning author, columnist, and tenured professor at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. A columnist for The New York Times and a professor at Columbia University, he is the author of seven acclaimed books, most recently Breaking the Line: The Season in Black College Football That Transformed the Game and Changed the Course of Civil Rights ( 2013 ). His previous books are Small Victories: The Real World of a Teacher, Her Students and Their High School ( 1990 ); Upon This Rock: The Miracles of a Black Church ( 1993 ); The Inheritance: How Three Families and America Moved from Roosevelt to Reagan and Beyond ( 1996 ); Jew vs. Jew: The Struggle for the Soul of American Jewry ( 2000 ); Who She Was: My Search for My Mother's Life ( 2005 ); and Letters to a Young Journalist ( 2006 ). Freedman was a staff reporter for The New York Times from 1981 through 1987 and currently writes the column "On Religion." From 2004-2008, he wrote the "On Education" column. He was a columnist for the Jerusalem Post from 2005-2009. He has contributed to The New Yorker, Daily Beast, New York, Rolling Stone, USA Today, Salon and Tablet.

Anne-christine d'Adesky HeadshotAnne-christine d'Adesky is an award-winning investigative journalist and documentary filmmaker who reported on the global AIDS epidemic for New York Native, Out, The Nation, and The Village Voice. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Visual Arts and Writing from Barnard College in 1979, and her Master's Degree from Columbia Journalism Graduate School in 1982. She was an early member of ACT UP and cofounder of the Lesbian Avengers. Her books include Beyond Shock: Charting the Landscape of Sexual Violence in Post-Quake Haiti ( UCSB 2014 ); Moving Mountains: The Race to Treat Global AIDS ( Verso, 2004 ), and a novel set in post-Duvalier Haiti, Under the Bone ( FSG, 1994 ). She received the inaugural Award of Courage from amfAR, the Foundation for AIDS Research and the SF Community 'AIDS Hero' Award. Ms. d'Adesky lives in Oakland, California, with three daughters and pets.


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