Community and faith leaders gathered at the North Carolina Capitol on Feb. 7 for its I Am My Brother/Sister’s Keeper” vigil for Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. Pictured here are (left to right): Lee Storrow, Patrick Lee, Elisabeth Jones, Rev. Earl Johnson and Abraham Jones

Faith, community leaders gather at capitol

RALEIGH, N.C. — On Feb. 7, elected officials, faith leaders and community advocates gathered at the North Carolina State Capitol for I Am My Brother/Sister’s Keeper, a vigil for Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day.

Speakers spoke about the importance of addressing the HIV disparities in the African-American community and the need to close the Medicaid coverage gap in North Carolina, Lee Storrow, executive director of North Carolina AIDS Action Network, shared.

“We need to make the African-American community more aware about HIV,” said Rev. Dr. Earl Johnson of Martin Street Baptist Church. “Rates are increasing, and we must educate the community about HIV treatment and prevention,” he added.

Former Wake County Superior Court Judge Abraham Jones delivered prepared remarks on behalf of State Rep. Rosa Gill, stating “If North Carolina would close the Medicaid coverage gap, hundreds of HIV+ North Carolinians would have access to full health insurance. Closing the Medicaid coverage gap would provide health insurance to over half a million North Carolinians. A study done by the Cone Health Foundation and Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust found that closing the gap would generate millions of dollars in tax revenue, and would have created 29,000 jobs in our state in 2015, including over 3,000 here in Wake County.”

The event was sponsored by the Alliance of AIDS Services – Carolina, Crape Myrtle Festival, LGBT Center of Raleigh, Martin Street Baptist Church, North Carolina AIDS Action Network, North Carolina Justice Center, North Carolina NAACP, Planned Parenthood South Atlantic and Triangle Empowerment Center, Inc.


Center expands programming

DURHAM, N.C. — The LGBTQ Center of Durham, 114 Hunt St., has announced that it is hosting “Fair Housing — Know Your Rights” workshop on Feb. 29, 6 p.m.

Participants will be able to learn more about how to proceed if a housing application has been denied and get information on filing a housing discrimination complaint.

For more information, call Larry Revelle at Durham Human Relations at 919-560-4107, ext. 34278, or email

The center is also holding an interest meeting for a safe harbor support group on March 6, 4:30 p.m.

This option is for parents who seek the solace of interacting with others who have undergone the journey of being an LGBT parent in a supportive, safe environment. Children may be of any age.

Now that space has been made available, book donations for the center’s library are being accepted. Bring them to a book drive on March 5, 12-6 p.m. Books should be new or gently used and be of LGBT content and/or authors.

Email to make arrangements.

The center is inviting the community to collaborate on taking action to improve wellness for LGBT individuals, especially those who are transgender, gender-queer, gender-non-conforming and people of color.

Working groups are being formed to address these concerns. Organizing teams are also being created to work on “big picture” issues relative to LGBT community wellness and to support working groups. More information is available online at Email to join or learn more about the initiative.


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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 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.