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COVID-19, Condoms and Conversations: North Nashville non-profit teams up with local church

February 7 was National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. In 1999, this day was launched as a grassroots-education effort to raise awareness about HIV and AIDS prevention, care and treatment in communities of color. Now, one North Nashville organization is continuing that conversation and, at the same time, supporting a vulnerable population during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Street Works is a 501 c3, non-profit organization that works in inner-city communities in Nashville to provide education, prevention and care to those affected by HIV/AIDS. Through the pandemic, employees are working tirelessly to advance SW’s mission despite many personal hardships, and the added burdens presented by clients. “Many clients need that one-on-one to help inspire and motivate them.  Without it they experience anxieties and depression,” explains Executive Director, Sharon Hurt.  Street Works is following guidelines and taking extra precautions to ensure  its environment is sanitized and disinfected daily to keep everyone safe.  Additionally, the non-profit is also moving towards online events to help educate the community. 

Street Works has teamed up with Rev. Dr. Kelly Miller Smith, Jr. at First Baptist Church, Capitol Hill to present COVID-19, Condoms and Conversations. This event will take place February 25th at 12pm CST. Featured panelists will discuss the recent rise in drug use which can lead to the spread of HIV/AIDS. They will also discuss unprotected sex, and how these two aspects are entry points impacting the lives of those who might be most at risk. 

The Street Works mission is to help people who are overlooked, especially those who call North Nashville home. “Those who have the greatest difficulty with health care, be it insurance or transportation, are those who require the most compassion,” says Hurt. If you would like to support, volunteer or learn more about the prevention of sexually transmitted disease without the stigma, please visit http://streetworks.org/about/

Juneteenth Observance

We know that for too long, the Black Community has faced injustices that our society works to correct every day, but we still have a long way to go.

In recognition of this day, our offices will be closed on this Friday.

As demonstrators across America fight to liberate black people, whether through calls to abolish the police or through legislative action against systemic racism, the country is getting ready to celebrate the 155th anniversary of one of its earliest liberation moments: Juneteenth.

A portmanteau of “June” and “nineteenth,” Juneteenth marks the day in 1865 when a group of enslaved people in Galveston, Texas, finally learned that they were free from the institution of slavery. But, woefully, this was almost two and a half years after President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation; the Civil War was still going on, and when it ended, Union Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger traveled to Texas and issued an order stating that all enslaved people were free, establishing a new relationship between “former masters and slaves” as “employer and hired labor.” As much as Juneteenth represents freedom, it also represents how emancipation was tragically delayed for enslaved people in the deepest reaches of the Confederacy.

Newly freed black people celebrated the first Juneteenth in 1866 to commemorate liberation — with food, singing, and the reading of spirituals — and take pride in their progress. But a century and a half later, Juneteenth is still not taught in most schools, nor is the event a federal holiday despite decades of pushing from activists. In 1980, Texas became the first state to declare Juneteenth an official holiday. In 2020, 45 states and Washington, DC, recognize the day as a holiday or observance.

This year, Juneteenth will be commemorated with protests, marchesa general workers strike, and opportunities for healing and joy across the country. It will also be celebrated as it has been for decades, with cookouts and parades, as well as church gatherings and spirituals, keeping in touch with the original tradition (Cineas, 2020).”

Works Cited

Cineas, F. (2020, June 18). Junteenth, explained. Retrieved from Vox: https://www.vox.com/2020/6/18/21294825/history-of-juneteenth

Pride, Prejudice & Punch 2022

In June of 2022, Street Works hosted Pride, Prejudice & Punch in honor of Pride Month. The virtual conversation included advocates and entrepreneurs such as DeMarcus Beckham, Mac Huffington and Reverend RJ Robles. The panelists discussed their experiences in the LGBTQIA+ community and what others can do to create a supportive environment and society.

Street Works remains committed to creating opportunities for informed and candid dialogue as part of our efforts to dispel myths, elevate truth over stigma, and make strides toward ending the HIV & AIDS epidemic.
Click here to watch the full recording of the virtual panel and be sure to follow us on social media to stay up to date on future discussions!

kidDEAD Forever Fest Proceeds Benefit Street Works

On May 7, friends and family of Ross Norton aka kidDEAD, an MC, promoter and general scene booster gathered at The East Room for kidDEAD Forever Fest, a massive celebration of Norton’s life and work. It was also a release party for his posthumous album.
All proceeds from the event were donated to Street Works. Thank you so much to Spoken Nerd, Bobby Exodus, Adder, Sophie Miriam, Kaby, Quiet Entertainer and all of Norton’s family and friends. We are honored by your support.
Read more about the event from Nashville Scene and listen to Ross’ final recordings which were released on Friday.

Tea, Transformation & Talk

Join Street Works on April 18th for Tea, Transformation & Talk, a community conversation in recognition of National Transgender HIV Testing Day. This virtual discussion will explore the dynamics that contribute to the disproportionate effect of HIV disease on the transgender community, as well as the importance of HIV testing, prevention, and patient-centered care for transgender and gender non-binary individuals. 

To join the conversation live at 11am CT on Monday, April 18th, please visit us our Facebook Page or click the following link: https://bit.ly/3wTWRJp.

Street Works remains committed to creating opportunities for informed and candid dialogue as part of our efforts to dispel myths, elevate truth over stigma, and make strides toward ending the HIV & AIDS epidemic. We hope that you’ll join us in this important work!

Discreet or Deceit: HIV Status Transparency in Intimate Interactions

National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day is February 7, 2022. To highlight this important annual event, Street Works will host a virtual community conversation on Thursday, Feb. 10 at 11am featuring community organizers Bentley Hudgins and DeMarcus Beckam. The pair will join an open discussion on the impact of transparency in intimate interactions, and the effect of concealment of HIV status on the battle to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

Each year, National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day is held to help reduce the structural barriers to HIV testingprevention, and treatment and to stop HIV stigma, with the goal of reducing HIV-related disparities and health inequities in Black communities.

Event speaker Bentley Hudgins is a Mercer University graduate, former lead organizer at the New Georgia Project, and a communications consultant at the Georgia AFL-CIO. Hudgins was named the Up & Coming LGBTQ+ Youth by Georgia Voice in the 2018 Best of Atlanta Awards and was a finalist for Best Activist in the 2019 Best of Atlanta Awards. DeMarcus Beckam is the executive director of the Reach to Impact Group.

Join the virtual conversation on Facebook Live by visiting www.Facebook.com/StreetWorksTN.

Champagne & Conversations: World AIDS Day 2021

On Saturday, Dec. 4, from 11 AM to 1 PM CST, Street Works will bring together a diverse panel of local voices for a virtual ‘Champagne & Conversation’ event featuring the topic “Ending the HIV Epidemic: Equitable Access, Everyone’s Voice.”

The free, public event will include a discussion on the unique experiences and challenges related to living with HIV/ADS and why it will take a cooperative effort to dispel myths, elevate truth over stigma, and make strides towards ending the epidemic.

Panel participants include:
– Dr. Michael Spalding, Founder, Equal Chance for Education
– Dr. Tiye Link, Founder,Faith Connections and Minister, Nashville Church of the Messiah
– Dr. Deon Tolliver, Family Medicine Practitioner, Meharry Clinic
– Moderator Dr. Leah Alexander, Interim Director of the MSPH Program at Meharry Medical College

Watch the virtual discussion here: https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/791469389.

Champagne Brunch & Book Signing: World AIDS Day 2021

Join Street Works along with CNN and CNBC contributor, and host of BET Network’s My Two Cents, Keith Boykin for a ticketed in-person fundraising event on Sunday, Dec. 5 from 1 – 3 PM, CST. The Champagne Brunch and Book Signing will feature a conversation with the author, at Yay Yay’s on Jefferson Street.

Keith Boykin is the author of several titles including “Beyond the Down Low: Sex, Lies and Denial in Black America” and his newest release, “Race Against Time: The Politics of a Darkening America.”

Purchase Tickets Here.

Café con Leche y Conversación

Join us Thursday, October 21, at 11:30am CT for Street Works’ Café con Leche y Conversación in honor of National LatinX AIDS Awareness Day and National AIDS Awareness Month. This virtual conversation moderated by Street Works Medical Case Manager, Claudia Lee, will focus on AIDS awareness, prevention, education, and treatment.

Please RSVP below to receive the link to this virtual discussion.

COVID-19, Condoms & Conversation Full Video

Today Street Works, in partnership with First Baptist Church Capitol Hill, hosted COVID-19, Condoms & Conversations. This virtual experience was a conversation between faith leaders and HIV professionals about the impact of HIV, Covid, Stigma and Faith.

See the full video below:

COVID, Condoms & Care Event and Virtual Discussion in Honor of World AIDS Day 2020

On December 1, Street Works welcomes the public to attend the organization’s “COVID, Condoms & Care” outreach event from 10 AM to 6 PM at its new location on 1326B Rosa Parks Blvd. Davidson County Mayor John Cooper will help celebrate the community center’s grand opening and Street Works staff will provide free HIV testing and distribute COVID-19 care bags to attendees. Masks are required and temperature checks will be required for entry.

Also on December 1, Street Works will host ‘Let’s Talk About It: Know Your Status with Dr. Sherry Blake’ to highlight the importance of talking to friends and family members about HIV testing and provide tips on how to start difficult conversations about sex and sexuality, HIV testing, and being HIV positive. The community event is sponsored by Gilead Science.

Let’s Talk About It: Know Your Status with Dr. Sherry Blake panelists include: Dr. Sherry Blake, clinical psychologist known for her role on Braxton Family Values will moderate the expert panel; Dr. Tiye Link, Director of Healthy University at Nashville Cares; Brady Eztzkorn-Morris, co-chair of the Ryan White Planning Council, radio host, and advocate; David and Johnny Lester-Massey, a serodiscordant couple who candidly share their experiences with beginning a serodiscordant relationship and how they have stayed safe and healthy.

Click here to watch the full virtual discussion.

Distinguished Partner
Thank you to our Distinguished Partner, Music City PreP Clinic.