Community Partners Celebrate A Night At The Circus
Community partnerships were front and center at Floyd Bennett Field on April 17th when the Watchful Eye, UniverSoul Circus, Love Alive International, Inc., Kan Cobra Martial Arts Academy, and Black Veterans for Social Justice came together for an evening of fun and entertainment for the entire family.
The organizations joined forces to promote HIV testing and awareness in Brooklyn which statistics show continues to have the highest incidences of HIV infection among New York’s five boroughs. The evening began with the Black Veterans for Social Justice’s Color Guard marching to the center ring in recognition of their 36th year of service to the community.
Love Alive International’s President, the Rev. Stacey Latimer, delivered the evening’s prayer which highlighted the impact HIV and AIDS has had on the African American community. In her presentation Dee urged the audience to know their HIV status and to seek testing if they were unsure.
The unique collaboration of community partners is part of an ongoing campaign to raise awareness about the impact HIV/AIDS continues to have on Brooklyn’s African American community. Statistics from the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene indicates that HIV diagnoses are 30% higher in the Brooklyn than the New York City overall rate, and the rate of people living with HIV/AIDS is 25% higher in Brooklyn than the rate in NYC.
The evening was also a celebration of 36 years since the Black Veterans for Social Justice was founded. The organization provides apartments for all veterans, female veterans with children, victims of domestic violence, market rate and low income families, and apartments with supportive services.
Data shows that East New York has one of the highest death rates in Brooklyn, New York. At 44.4 per 1000, the age-adjusted death rate in East New York is the second highest in New York City which averaged 29.8. Brooklyn has more people who have been diagnosed with AIDS than 18 states including Delaware and Hawaii.
The Watchful Eye’s collaboration with the UniverSoul Circus is a part of our Testing Outreach and Prevention initiative. We like to call our Circus experience “Edutainment” where the audience is educated about HIV and AIDS while being entertained at the same time.
National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day 2015
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contact: Elder Stacy Latimer 347.533.4300
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams to Serve as keynote Speaker at Clergy Leadership Breakfast to Address HIV/AIDS in the Community Wednesday, February 4, 2015 - On Friday, February 6, 2015 at 8:30am, The Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams will provide the keynote address at a gathering of over 100 clergy, elected officials, representatives from the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and other leaders who will take part in a unique HIV/AIDS forum at Antioch Baptist Church in Brooklyn. The event, a clergy leadership breakfast entitled - Changing the Course of HIV 1 Black Life at a Time, is a partnership between the AACEO (African American Clergy and Elected Officials) and local HIV leadership community based organization, Watchful Eye. The event, which will be held at Antioch Baptist Church located at 828 Greene Avenue, Brooklyn is being held in commemoration of this year’s National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (February 7th). Watchful Eye and Community Leaders will also unveil the Red Ribbon banner located on the corner of Lewis and Greene Avenues. (see attached)
The forum, co-sponsored by the African American Clergy and Elected Officials Coalition, is designed to re-energize the African American leadership in the fight against HIV and AIDS. Recent statistics from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate that African Americans continue to witness a disproportionate increase in the number of individuals who are diagnosed with new HIV infections. The statistics are similarly matched by the numbers of those with AIDS. Driven by this data, Watchful Eye, a Brooklyn based community based organization that works to mobilize local stakeholders and national leadership to ensure that HIV/AIDS remains a part of every community’s public health agenda, partnered with the African American Clergy and Elected Officials to bring together leadership from the identified high risk areas to re-engage their constituents on the importance of facing the epidemic head on.
Divinah (Dee) Bailey, Founder of Watchful Eye stated, Borough President Eric Adams has been a consistent supporter in our community’s fight against HIV/AIDS. We are grateful that he will be joining us to offer his insight, and to help remind our leadership that aside from the funding and other resources that are needed, the fact of the matter is that HIV infection is 100 percent preventable. We need them to re-engage their community and constituents, and to get the word out about this fact. No one from this moment on ever has to be infected with HIV. We believe that if individuals are aware of their HIV status, they can and will begin to affect the changes in behavior that will stem the spread of HIV in our communities.”
New York State Assemblyman Walter T. Mosely, who has been a fervent advocate in the fight for resources for those who are battling HIV infection, stated, “I strongly believe that through messages of community mobilization and awareness, we can reignite a conversation about self-love and preservation among our indigenous leadership and broader community, that’s why I plan to attend, to do my part in helping to save our community from this devastating epidemic.”
MEDIA IS ENCOURAGED TO ARRIVE AT 8:15AM
About NBHAAD National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day was founded by five national organizations in 1999 to provide capacity building assistance to Black communities and organizations. February 7, 2015 marks the 16th year for National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, a national HIV testing and treatment community mobilization Initiative targeted at Blacks in the United States and the Diaspora.
“Changing the Course of HIV/AIDS 1 Black Life at a Time”
For more information about the event, or the Watchful Eye and its partnership with the African American Clergy and Elected Officials, please call 347-533-4300 or visit the Watchful Eye’s website at www.ourwatchfuleye.org.