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News Briefs: AIDS grove honors Black History Month

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The National AIDS Memorial Grove has announced special online programming to honor Black History Month. According to a news release, the material, which the public can access online for free, uses the power and beauty of the AIDS Memorial Quilt to bring to light the countless Black men, women, and children who have died of AIDS during the 40 years of the pandemic, and the continuing impact of HIV in the Black community today.

The AIDS grove took over stewardship of the quilt in 2019 and has been doing various online programs to bring new attention to the panels that memorialize those lost to the disease. "Our hope is that these online programs help raise greater awareness about the ongoing struggle with HIV and the impact systemic barriers have on positive health outcomes, particularly in the Black community," stated John Cunningham, AIDS grove CEO. "This collection of powerful stories are part of the hope, healing, and remembrance these two national treasures — the grove and the quilt — bring to our nation throughout the year." The virtual exhibition of the quilt features touching stories that include letters, news stories, and photos about quilt panels made to honor Black people who have passed away.

One panel shares the story of Belynda, a Massachusetts AIDS activist who dedicated herself to helping organize Black churches in the fights against AIDS (Block 5718).

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