Written by | Ray Cornelius

Monday, December 1 was recognized around the globe as World AIDS Day. From candle light vigils to marches to intimate social gatherings, people from all walks of life took yesterday to remember those we have lost and those who are still in the fight. I had the opportunity to attend two special events here in the Atlanta that were both entertaining and educational.

inside photoWilliam Brawner/Photo Credit: TheRoot.com

The first event was a screening of the award-winning documentary, “25 To Life,” which took place on the campus of Clark Atlanta University and was presented by ARRAY/AFFRM. The film chronicles the story of William Brawner, a young man who kept his HIV positive status a secret for over twenty-five years. In the documentary, Brawner seeks redemption from his promiscuous past as he embarks on a new phase of his life with his wife, who is HIV negative. The Bronze Lens Film Festival (BLFF) served as the Atlanta host of the film that was also screened in New York, L.A., Miami, Birmingham, Philadelphia and Washington D.C.  BLFF’s Kathleen Bertrand and Deidra McDonald welcomed the audience along with AID Atlanta Board member Dr. Collette M. Hopkins. There was a 6 p.m. screening followed by a Q&A presented by AID Atlanta and then second screening at 8 p.m.

Dr. Edith Biggers

Dr. Edith Biggers, Lead Physician Fulton County Health Department

My second event took place in Buckhead at the super popular Maggiano’s Restaurant. It was a special dinner hosted by The Vision Cathedral of Atlanta and Vision Community Foundation. Led by Bishop OC Allen, the “chat and chew” style evening was an opportunity for the church to have an open dialogue with its parishioners about HIV-AIDS awareness and prevention in a non-judgmental setting. The event featured a special presentation from Rashad Burgess of Gilead Sciences and Dr. Edith Biggers, Lead Physician for Fulton County Health Department. There was also a soul-stirring call-to-action tribute delivered by CAU professor and book author, Dr. Daniel Omotosho Black, titled, “Ain’t It a Damn Shame.” Following the dessert, Bishop Allen asked all of the attendees to make a strong commitment to help in the fight against HIV-AIDS by getting tested, learning more about the disease or volunteering with local organizations.

Check out a few more photos below from both events:

Kathleen Bertrand

BronzeLens Film Festival Executive Director Kathleen Bertrand

Diedra McDonald

BronzeLens Film Festival Artistic Director Deidra McDonald

Dr. Collette Hopkins

Dr. Collette M. Hopkins, AID Atlanta Board Member

Dr. Daniel Black

Dr. Daniel Omotosho Black, CAU Professor and Book Author

Joshua King

Fly Publicity’s Joshua King listening to presentation and wearing his red ribbon

Group Photo

SHEEN Magazine’s Sammie Haynes with Derek Burnett and friends

Special Guest

Bishop OC Allen, Dr. Edith Biggers, Avian Watson and Rashad Burgess

Photo Credits: RayCornelius.com