This Saturday, Dec. 1 is World AIDS Day. For three decades, this day has been dedicated to raising awareness of the AIDS pandemic caused by the spread of HIV infection, and mourning those who have died of the disease. This year, the Delta Sigma Theta Madison Alumnae Chapter will be partnering with Sankofa Behavioral & Community Health to host a special event dedicated to raising awareness around HIV/AIDS.
“This is a new collaboration with Sanfoka and we are very excited to have this opportunity,” Delta Sigma Theta Madison Alumnae Chapter President Terri Strong tells Madison365. “ Since 1988, Delta Sigma Theta has been dedicated to raising awareness of the AIDS pandemic caused by the spread of HIV infection. For the past 5 years, the Madison Alumnae Chapter has contributed to this effort by collecting empty laundry detergent bottles and donating them to the AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin for needle exchange as well as other efforts. This year, we will partner with Sankofa Behavioral & Community Health on Dec. 1 for ‘World AIDS Day and Stand Up For An AIDS-Free Generation.’”
World AIDS Day is the first-ever global health day and an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV and show their support for people living with HIV while remembering those who have died. This Saturday’s event at will take place at Sankofa Behavioral and Community Health, located at 1955 W. Broadway in Monona. The event runs from noon-4 p.m.
“There will be people there with information, doing testing, referrals, and providing education. We thought that this would be a great opportunity to partner with Sankofa and continue on with our programming,” Chioma Amegashie, the chair of the Delta Sigma Theta International Awareness and Involvement Committee, tells Madison365.
Sankofa Behavioral & Community Health is a not for profit certified outpatient behavioral health clinic that was officially established in 2012. Both the Delta’s International Awareness and Involvement and their Physical and Mental Health Committees will be volunteering at Saturday’s event and collecting empty detergent bottles for needle exchange to donate to the Aids Resources Network of Wisconsin along with handing out health information as it relates to HIV/AIDS.
“For the past 5 or 6 years, the sorority has empty detergent bottle collection for the AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin. We’ve partnered with local laundromats to do weekly collections and have been doing that since the end of October,” Amegashie explains. “As a sorority, we’ve collected over 110 bottles for them. We’re using this platform on Saturday to take it to the community and really collaborate and use it as an opportunity to do more programming along with Sankofa and the AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin.”
Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. provides an extensive array of public service initiatives through its Five-Point Programmatic Thrust of Economic Development, Educational Development, International Awareness and Involvement, Physical and Mental Health, and Political Awareness and Involvement. Last year, the Delta Sigma Theta Madison Alumnae Chapter celebrated 40 years of making a difference in the Madison area with their community involvement, activism and programming.
“This was an excellent opportunity for the Deltas to partner with a great community organization on a great cause,” Amegashie says. “We’re excited to build this relationship with Sankofa and hopefully do this every year.
“This is an event for the whole community. We are using this as an opportunity to build awareness,” she continues. “World AIDS Day is something that Deltas across the world participate in. It will be a great community event. We will have some light refreshments. Hopefully, people will come out and get information and we can raise awareness. It’s also a great way to connect with Sankofa and see what they are all about. It’s an important day and an important event.”
For more information about this World AIDS Day event, call Paris at (608)285-9101.