Where Do We Go From Here?
There aren't anymore news coverages. The candles that once flickered in the wind have since been blown out and discarded. Cicely has been laid to rest. The sensationalism of her death has now been replaced by headlines reading, "NFL and Referees Union End Lockout!", sending people into a frenzy to buy their favorite team jersey or shopping for the best football game spread known to man! While time has passed, many of us have not forgotten that eventful day which changed many of our lives little over a month ago....Where do we go from here? I asked myself this very question. So a decision was made with the help of the HIV community in Dallas to hold a community discussion entitled, "The Cost of Disclosure." The meeting focused on disclosure, stigma, HIV criminalization, reproductive justice and advocacy. As the meeting began, I looked around and saw there was standing room only. Many who were in attendence were people like Cicely, like me, voicing their concerns and listening intensively to the panel of experts hoping to find comfort in a world that criminalizes people because of their status...Huh, being an African-American woman, it brings back memories from long ago when Blacks suffered the same persecution because of the color of our skin. All driven by ingnorance...Stigma! As of this date, many emails and phone calls have been made to those who are of authority and those who are in postions to change policies have returned void. It's election year! So many issues have now taken a backseat, pushed yet again to the wayside and replaced with "Fundraising Galas" costing more than what common folk can afford and who will most likely not be in attendence or invited. Yet, I still ask, "Where do we go from here?" I don't have all the answers. I don't profess to. But what I do know is this, to not allow violence against women to be an acceptable occurance, fight to amend laws that will carry stiffer penalties for violence against positive and negative women and educating women on their reproductive health and rights. Don't allow another woman to die another senseless death. So again, I ask YOU now, "Where do we go from here?" Peace and Love!
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