by Shyronn Jones, PWN-USA Georgia Communications Rep
In honor of National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, The National HIV/AIDS Disability Project hosted the Women Living 2017 conference for women in Georgia who are living with HIV on Saturday, March 11th 2017 from 8 am to 4 p.m at the Loudermilk Center in Atlanta. Women Living 2017 featured educational and empowering workshops, resource and vendor tables and opportunities for women living with HIV to build community engagement relationships. This conference focused special emphasis on provided a day of enrichment and support for women who are newly diagnosed and/or isolated from the community. The conference was staffed by PWN-USA-Georgia members, a host of volunteers and others who work in the field of HIV/AIDS. Admission was free as well as meals, childcare, transportation.
The hostess of Women Living 2017, Tori Copper, directed the program which started with the introduction of the Special Guest/Ambassador of Positivity Dr. Jacqueline M. Walters, OB-GYN and cast member of Bravo’s successful Atlanta based reality show “Married to Medicine” for whom opened the conference with inspirational messages about thinking positive and having resilience during adversity. Dr. Jacqueline gave a tidbit of a Dr. Wellness consultation on how the body’s immune system responds to particular thoughts. Her advice was to create, practice and control positive thoughts and to speak positive things into existence for positive results. She spoke a collection of wise words of advice “turn your pain into passion, your misery into ministry and your struggle into strength” and “TO WIN OR LEARN, BUT NEVER QUIT.” She talked openly about being a two-time breast cancer survivor and her infertility diagnosis after her chemotherapy. She related the life-long worries and unpredictability of cancer to living with a chronic diagnosis such as HIV/AIDS. She encouraged the audience to not be paralyzed by the fear of the unknown but rather hold in high regards the 1,440 minutes/opportunities we have every day.
PWN-USA-Georgia Member Danielle Atkins performed spoken word and other members Phyllis Beard, Phyllis Malone, Stephanie Laster, Patricia Semiens, Cynthia Allen, Juanita Hubbard and I participated in various duties such as registration check-in, workshops (“HIV 2.0”, “Self Care, Sex and HIV” and “Women Centered Care–It’s my life”), an HIV positive panel and a resource table.
Lisa Britt, Attendee and Founder of Butterfly Girls, LLC, stated, “The Women Living Conference was a special event for me and many others. Meeting new faces and seeing old faces. It reminded me of the Atlanta Area Outreach Initiative (AAOI) with the different workshops you can pick from. The serenity room by Ms. Sandy and the massage given by Mr. Adonis were to die for. Volunteering for iknowAwareness LLC was the best of all. Working with the founder Shyronn Jones was the most fun and exciting for me. Working with Ms. Jones was educational and something I would like to do more often. She is very good at what she does and she knows her stuff. Being supportive and giving resources is something that is much needed. Kudos to her!”
The sweat equity Lisa Britt and my son contributed to co-hosting iknowAwareness LLC vendor table made my experience delightful; and enhanced my ability to staff PWN-USA outreach table with ease. The PWN-USA table featured a bodily autonomy poster board, palm cards, buttons and voter registration cards. Sandy Rodgers and a team of practitioners coordinated tranquil serenity rooms that performed rejuvenating therapeutic sessions. Customized full-body massages, reiki and meditation relaxed the body, calm the mind and channel energy to activate the natural healing process to restore physical and emotional well-being. There were live musical performances throughout and a DJ closed the conference.
Muchas gracias to Women Living 2017 Conference Organizer Joshua Moore and his team for reducing the stigma and bringing awareness to the needs (such as lack of housing, health insurance, medication and transportation) of women living with HIV in Georgia. To discover more about the Women Living 2017 Conference and The National HIV/AIDS Disability Project contact the Organizer Joshua Moore at Josh@HIVLegalServices.com
The National HIV/AIDS Disability Project: Social Security Justice helps people living with HIV/AIDS across the country in their fight for Social Security benefits through their exclusive National HIV/AIDS Disability Project.