My AIDS Walk Kansas City 2020 Fundraising Page
This year's Pride month has taken on a new feeling. It's happening during a global pandemic, and a time when the world has joined together in the rally cry of 'Black Lives Matter'. In the spirit of each of those (Pride, COVID, & Black Lives Matter) I am proud to announce that my campaign has donated $2,000 to AIDS Walk Kansas City.
In the early 1980's a mysterious illness began taking the lives of gay men, people with addictions, and hemophiliacs. In the early days it was known as gay cancer, gay pnenumonia, or Gay Related Immune Deficency (GRID) - today we know it as AIDS. Because it was seen as a "gay disease", the federal government's response under the Reagan Administration was essentially non-existant. Yet the LGBTQ community, along with our allies, came together to take care of our own when those in charge in Washington refused to help.
Here in Kansas City many of the organizations that were formed during the height of that pandemic are still serving our community today - organizations such as KC Care Health Clinic; SAVE, Inc; Hope Care Center; Thrive Health Connection. The money raised each year by AIDS Walk is shared equally among these organizations.
Today over 37 million people around the globe are infected with HIV. Here in the US infection rates disproportionately affect our Black communities. While Black Americans make up approximately 12% of the national population, over 40% of HIV infections are found in Black communities. This statistic is jarring and must be changed because Black Lives Matter not only on our streets, but also in terms of access to quality, affordable healthcare.
I'm proud of the LGBTQ advocates who came before me to form such amazing organizations that still exist and thrive to this day. I'm proud that my campaign has joined this fight to finally end the last great pandemic, even in the midst of the one we fight today. And I will be proud if any of you reading this email would be willing to consider giving to this incredible cause.