HIV Speaks on Jones Street advocate participants

Advocates descend on capitol

RALEIGH, N.C. — Patients, healthcare providers, community leaders and advocates gathered on June 12 for HIV Speaks on Jones Street 2018, the annual statewide HIV and AIDS advocacy day, to raise awareness and educate North Carolina legislators about policies that improve the lives of people living with HIV and AIDS.

“HIV Speaks on Jones Street is one of my favorite days of the year,” said Lee Storrow, executive director of NC AIDS Action Network. “It’s vital that legislators hear directly from residents living with HIV in our state so that they understand the value of the public health programs that serve our community.”

Advocates gathered in the morning at the North Carolina History Museum for a briefing and training on various issues impacting people living with HIV and AIDS. The Alliance of AIDS Services- Carolinas provided free HIV and Hepatitis C testing in the lobby of the museum during the legislative briefing and training. Then advocates spent the day at the North Carolina General Assembly meeting with legislators. During the legislative meetings, advocates urged their legislators to support HIV-related legislative priorities for the year.

“I was really glad to see the high turnout for HIV Speaks on Jones Street 2018 this year,” said Roberto Olmo-Bermudez, data and quality specialist and PrEP counselor at RAIN in Charlotte, N.C. “The progression and advancements in HIV research, care and treatment are all due to the time and sacrifices made by advocates. It gives me a sense of relief to see that we have a growing support network that cares for individuals living with and affected by HIV.”


Faith summit unites community

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Equality North Carolina (ENC) has announced that Bree Newsome has accepted the invitation to be the keynote speaker at the NC Faith Forward “Uniting For Our Future” summit on July 14 at The Enterprise Center located at 1922 S. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr.

Newsome’s activism has been considered a symbol of resistance and empowerment for women. Her story serves as inspiration across social justice movements in North Carolina and nationwide, ENC Director of Outreach Brent Childers said.

Bree Newsome. Photo Credit: Facebook

She is an artist and activist who drew national attention in 2015 when she climbed the flagpole in front of the South Carolina Capitol building and lowered the Confederate battle flag. Her action followed the massacre of nine black parishioners by a white supremacist at Emanuel AME Zion Church in Charleston which reignited controversy over South Carolina’s display of the flag.

Newsome’s roots as an artist and activist were planted early. Her father is a nationally-recognized scholar of African-American religious history and how it has impacted social justice movements. Her mother spent her career as an educator addressing the achievement gap and disparities in education.

Much of Newsome’s activism has focused on incidents of young black individuals being unjustly killed and issues related to structural racism. Her activism has included protests and demonstrations against the killings of Trayvon Martin in Florida; John Crawford in Ohio; Michael Brown in Missouri; and Keith Scott in North Carolina.

Registration is still open for the summit online at Cost is $0-$100 and helps to defray the costs of putting on the event. Full scholarships are available and no one will be turned away.

NC Faith Forward consists of seven organizations: Believe Out Loud, Equality North Carolina, Faith in Public Life, The Freedom Center for Social Justice, Many Voices: A Black Church Movement for Gay and Transgender Justice, More Light Presbyterians and the National LGBTQ Task Force.

In other news, ENC has announced that the 2018 Carolina Conference on Queer Youth will be held on Oct. 19 at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte’s Student Union. It is being held in partnership with Time Out Youth Center and the university. More details will be shared with qnotes’ readers as they are made available.

Then on Oct. 20, the community will gather for ENC’s 2018 Equality Gala at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. More information will be provided at a later date on the event, costs, speakers and more.


Aging online training opens

NEVADA CITY, Calif. — Charles Durrett of McCamant & Durrett Architects, Village Hearth Cohousing (Durham, N.C.) architect and pioneer of senior cohousing in North America, will host Study Group 1 Aging Successfully (SG1) Online Facilitator Training on the Internet this fall from Oct. 10-Dec. 12.

The training is in response to the failure of aging services (especially in housing) to respond effectively to a growing trend in older adults. This population desires more independence and control of their senior years, organizers shared. However, too many capable seniors move to assisted living before their time simply because they lack access to services. The SG1 Facilitator Training is for anyone motivated to be part of a solution in the current senior housing crisis in the U.S. and around the world.

The SG1 Facilitator Training offers experiential learning on aging issues and demonstrates the logistics of creating a supportive housing community. Limited to 20 people, the course allows for one-on-one dialogue and small group exercises, given at a pace tailored to every participant. Trainees will learn how to organize and motivate senior groups to take an active role in their housing choices.

“I was very fortunate to participate in Study Group 1…and feel well equipped to train others in my area. [The] program impacted me personally by helping me qualify what will work for me in my retirement and to be proactive in pursuing great options for healthy and productive senior years.” said Sue Smith, an SG1 facilitator.

This training will run for 10 weeks, with weekly check-ins every Wednesday, 9:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m., PST. Participants will obtain coaching from Durrett on how to organize senior groups and gain essential tools to launch senior cohousing in their area. No prior knowledge of cohousing is required.

The cost is $600 before Sept. 1 and $700 afterwards. Registration is available online.

Call Lindy Sexton at 530-265-9980 or email for more information or to schedule an interview with Durrett.


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Does your organization or special interest group have events or great information to share with our readers? If so, be sure to send in your information to In the upcoming months, we’ll feature one of you in our news notes section in each issue. Are you a part of a Meetup, Yahoo or Google group and do you do something that’s really newsworthy? Do you provide a service for the community or hold fundraisers for worthy causes? Do you educate the public about LGBTQ issues or concerns? Of course, this is only a sampling of things we are interested in. It’s the aim of these pieces to inform, enlighten and educate our readers about what we’re doing here in the Carolinas to champion LGBTQ rights, as well as offer resources for those who may be interested in what your group is doing.

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.