I volunteer with the Spiritual Outreach Services (SOS) program. I love to see how the quarterly community forum includes all kinds of diverse individuals by age, race, gender, sexual orientation religious and non religious.
As an active member of the LGBT Faith Leaders of African Descent and 28 year asymptomatic AIDS life, the work and support that Conscious Contact provides to me and others is invaluable.
The technical assistance provided by Conscious Contact of New York is paramount to the explosive success of the annual Christmas In July Gospel Event For HIV & AIDS Awareness held annually at The Riverside Church of Harlem. This event draws hundreds from the NY Metro Area and is highlighted with presentations from choirs, celebrity singers, praise & worship teams, mimes, health screenings, and a “Wearing Your Crown” contest. Intelligent Faith & Bold, Persistent Action are the themes emphasized to all who attend.
What I love about Conscious Contact is the willingness to embrace unconventional ways to educate others about HIV prevention. I am a citizen-artist who wrote a play about family, church, sex and HIV called "What Would Jesus Do?". Initially my efforts to use theatre as a tool in the fight against the spread HIV were regarded with suspicion. Someone wanting to write a play on this subject matter was almost unheard of in my community. Barriers went up. Oliver Martin, the founder of Conscious Contact, saw a blessing and potential in what I was trying to do as a theatre artist. Even though, at that time, my efforts were largely unwelcome by others in the HIV community, Conscious Contact welcomed me. They supported and encouraged me; inviting me to share a monologue or a scene from the play at different events. Conscious Contact helped to provide a "seat at the table for me" as an artist in the conversation about prevention and education. It was a great resource to me in understanding the politics of, what I perceived to be, a very tight-knit and closed HIV community . Oliver Martin, is open to assist/enlist newcomers in this fight, especially those individuals who may approaching the fight in a whole new way. When the award-winning production of "What Would Jesus Do?" was done in New York, Mr. Martin came and spoke to my cast, educating them about the faith-based movement and telling them about the importance of the work we were all doing in the fight for prevention and education. After his visit, we all clearly understood the play to be, without a doubt, a "theatre ministry." We were humbled and empowered to lend our talents to do the HIV prevention and education work that needed to be done in our community, in the way that God had uniquely equipped us as artists to do it.
I am honored to be associated with and a Board Member of Conscious Contact of New York. As a person living with HIV for 25 years I have been personally impacted by the great work that Conscious Contact of New York has done for the PLWHA community in the City of New York. Conscious Contact of New York has been the clue that has been such an important part of holding and bringing the PLWHA community together. The community forums and the sharing of critical information ( Treatment information and various activities in NYC) that directly impacts the lives of the PLWHA community has been great. Conscious Contact of New York has also been a leader with bringing non profits together to better provide services to the PLWHA community in a way that I have not seen an y where else. As a result the lives of all those PLWHA's in NYC have been improved. Conscious Contact of New York is a true champion for the PLWHA Community as well as all the providers in New York City!
Our group is grateful to the support and technical assistance provided from Conscious Contact NY. The organizations along with the Peer Leaders have spent numerous hours with our staff preparing us to be the best HIV and AIDS support service group we could be. They continue to check in on our progress and consult with us as we move into the conversations of Comprehensive Sexuality Education.