Julian Wooten, Red Ribbon for Courage executive director

University launches HIV/AIDS initiative

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — Red Ribbon for Courage, a social media initiative designed to end HIV-associated stigma and promote the Cure HIV collaboration, has been launched by the Community Outreach, Dissemination, and Education (CODE) Office within the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Center for AIDS Research (CfAR).

Red Ribbon for Courage seeks to eradicate stigma and promote work toward the HIV Cure through the use of multimedia on social media, organizers said.

“With 75 million HIV positive people worldwide, and an estimated 1 in 5 that don’t know they are positive, this is a very relevant initiative,” Red Ribbon campaign Director Julian Wooten says. “Using social media to introduce the issue and reach more people will help to make a true difference in the fight against the infection.”

The initiative’s goal is to create a network of individuals and organizations united to achieve an HIV/AIDS-free world as a goal. The Red Ribbon team has filmed HIV positive individuals who have volunteered to share their story, as well as innovators in the HIV/AIDS field that have pioneered discovers ranging from introducing the first HIV therapeutics to now leading the Cure HIV effort.

The initiative will also release a full-length documentary, “Tested,” in January 2016. It chronicles for the first time the development of the HIV cure and the lives of three HIV positive individuals struggling to cope with the daily challenges of the virus. The film also highlights famous figures impacted by HIV, including Charlie Sheen, who recently announced that he was HIV positive.

“I’m hoping the film shows that people from all walks of life are still suffering from the pandemic but there is new hope for a cure,” Wooten added.

More information is available online.

info: cfar-code.unc.edu/red-ribbon-for-courage.

Center welcomes holiday visitors

RALEIGH, N.C. — The LGBT Center of Raleigh’s Affirming Faith Forum, 324 S. Harrington St., will host a winter holiday open house on Dec. 25 from 12-5 p.m.

Attendees will be able to enjoy a light meal, homemade sweets and family favorites throughout the event.

Drop by to celebrate with friends in between other festivities for a bit of respite, organizers said. Bring a homemade treat or dish to share.

Donations of baked goods are encouraged and can be dropped off prior to the open house.

info: lgbtcenterofraleigh.com.

Holiday fundraising begins

DURHAM, N.C. — The LGBTQ Center of Durham, 114 Hunt St., has begun a holiday fundraising effort using AmazonSmile and will continue to use this method throughout the year.

Those who purchase from the online megastore will see that .5 percent of purchases will go to support the center.

To join in, visit smile.amazon.com/ch/27-1277498 and sign up.

Also, the center is selling T-shirts, hoodies, polo shirts, hats, onesies, aprons and more from their Swag Shop. Visit lgbtqcenterofdurham.org/swag-shop.html.

info: lgbgtqcenterofdurham.org.

RALEIGH, N.C. — The Crape Myrtle Festival has extended its thanks to the community for its support over the past 35 years and is asking that it be considered as one’s holiday contributions recipients.

It is working with smile.amazon.com to obtain the .5 percent of purchase price from the online retailer toward its efforts. Contributions can also be made directly online on Crape Myrtle’s website.

The organization also encourages the community to attend one of its monthly events. On Dec. 20, 11 a.m., it will celebrate the sixth anniversary of Drag Brunch at Babylon, 309 N. Dawson St.

info: crapemyrtlefest.org. smile.amazon.com.

NDC schedules planning session

RALEIGH, N.C. — The National Diversity Council Carolinas will hold its 2016 strategic planning session on Jan. 28, 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m., at Citrix, 120 S. West St.

The session serves as an annual check-in with local business and community leaders to gather thoughts, ideas and suggestions about various ways to further enhance NDC Carolinas as it proceeds through the new year.

Registration is available online. For additional information, email nationaldejoron.thorpe@nationaldiversitycouncil.org.

info/registration: ndccarolinas.org.

Have news or other information? Send your press releases and updates for inclusion in our News Notes: editor@goqnotes-launch2.newspackstaging.com.

Share your news with us
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 specialassignments@goqnotes-launch2.newspackstaging.com. 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 LGBT 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 LGBT 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.