Advocacy training slated

Updated March 28, 2018

RALEIGH, N.C. — The NC AIDS Action Network has announced that it will conduct regional advocacy trainings across North Carolina during the spring.

The sessions will help community members learn about the current state of HIV and viral hepatitis policy, as well as best practices on how to have an effective meeting with a decision maker around policies that impact the public. This warm up will be preparation for the statewide HIV advocacy day, HIV Speaks on Jones Street, on June 12 where advocates will visit state legislators and educate them about policies that improve the lives of individuals living with HIV and AIDS across the state.

Trainings will be held from 5:30-7:30 p.m. with participants being served dinner.

On the calendar are: Asheville, April 16, Kenilworth Center, 4 Chiles Ave.,; Charlotte, April 17, Packard Place, 222 S. Church St.,; Greensboro, April 19, Higher Ground, 210 E. Bessemer Ave.,; Fayetteville, April 24, Community Health Interventions and Sickle Cell Agency, 2409 Murchison Rd.,; and Durham, April 25, Durham Technical Community College, 1637 E. Lawson St.,

Sessions in Wilmington and Greenville will be announced at a later date.

HIV Speaks on Jones Street begins early in the morning on June 12 and runs until both chambers of the North Carolina General Assembly (House and Senate) go into session at 3 p.m. Registration begins at 8 a.m. and is required and free. (Even though there is no charge to register, organizers will appreciate contributions of $10 or $25 to help defray costs.) Advocacy and issue training follows from 8:45-10 a.m. at the North Carolina Museum of History, 5 E. Edenton St. Breakfast is provided.

After the initiative, NC AIDS Action Network will host its annual Advocacy After Hours at 5 p.m. at The District, 317 W. Morgan St. #117.

A block of rooms is being offered at a negotiated rate of $109 per night at the Holiday Inn Express, 320 Hillsborough St. Rooms must be booked by May 11 to guarantee the rate. Call the hotel at 919-832-0501 for reservations or visit to register online.

HIV Speaks on Jones Street is presented by the Crape Myrtle Festival.


ACLU annual meeting upcoming

RALEIGH, N.C. — ACLU of North Carolina will hold its annual meeting on May 20, 2 p.m., at The McKimmon Conference & Training Center, 1101 Gorman St.

The organization has invited the community to the event where they can enjoy light refreshments while mingling with fellow supporters from 2-2:30 p.m. and vote for new members of the board of directors.

Featured at this year’s annual meeting will be a panel discussion from 2:30-4 p.m. on the state’s “shameful system of cash bail and how it has created a two-tiered system of justice” across the state, the organization shared. Attendees will learn how to get involved with the ACLU’s new Campaign for Smart Justice.

Karen Anderson, executive director of ACLU of North Carolina will serve as speaker during the meeting.

The event is free and open to everyone. One does not have to be an ACLU member to attend. RSVP are requested by visiting


Pride mermaid fest delights

SAVANNAH, Ga. — Savannah Pride will hold its inaugural Mermaid Fest from March 23-24 on Tybee Island, Ga.

The two-day celebration includes music, parties, club crawls, beach games, mermaids and mermen. Highlighting the event will be an appearance by Blixunami, the gay Geechie Merman, a national, popular mermen.

“Savannah Pride attracts people from all over the world for our annual Pride Festival during the Halloween weekend,” said Rich Walczak, one of the organizers. “Mermaid Fest is a chance to show that Savannah is a year-round LGBTQ destination, where five miles of beaches are only 20 minutes away from a historic downtown.”

More information is available online.


NCAAN nets Taylor grant

LOS ANGELES, Calif. — The North Carolina AIDS Action Network (NCAAN) has been awarded a grant for $3,000 from The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation (ETAF) in partnership with Macy’s.

The grant will be used toward public education and implementation efforts following North Carolina’s recent updates to its HIV control measures. This will be a vehicle used to reject stigma and the misconceptions surrounding HIV transmission while significantly improving the overall public health of the state.

“The work that the North Carolina AIDS Action Network does to help people affected by HIV & AIDS is impressive, and very much aligned with Elizabeth Taylor’s passionate commitment to the cause,” said Joel Goldman, managing director of The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation. “ETAF and our partners at Macy’s are thrilled to present the North Carolina AIDS Action Network with these funds to help further our shared mission.”

“Elizabeth Taylor was one of the earliest leaders or celebrities to speak out about the importance of HIV treatment and prevention,” said Lee Storrow, NCAAN’s executive director. “We’re incredibly honored for the recognition of our work in North Carolina and the support from her foundation.”


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Lainey Millen

Lainey Millen was formerly QNotes' associate editor, special assignments writer, N.C. and U.S./World News Notes columnist and production director from 2001-2019 when she retired.