Starting in, oh, a minute, local anti-AIDS-and-homelessness outfit Housing Works will be throwing a rally against HIV and AIDS at D.C.’s Anacostia Park. “Positively Uplifting: Rally, Music, and Barbecue” will feature just that: “inspiring music, spoken word artists, and powerful speakers all envisioning an end to HIV/AIDS by addressing the factors that contribute to its surge.” The rally will last from noon to four at Anacostia Drive and Nicholson Street SE; full press release after the jump.

Hundreds of AIDS activists from around the country will convene in Washington, D.C. from Sunday, April 18 through Wednesday, April 21 for the fifth anniversary of the pioneering organization the Campaign To End AIDS. Founded in 2005, C2EA is a national grassroots AIDS coalition led by people living with HIV/AIDS that advocates both locally and nationally for elected officials to exert the political will necessary to ending the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

A diverse coalition that welcomes all people living with HIV/AIDS and their supporters, the majority of C2EA members are black and Latino, which has made the movement particularly effective at highlighting how the disease disproportionately affects poor people of color.

D.C. Fights Back, the D.C. chapter of C2EA, has kept relentless pressure on the District’s leadership to address the devastating impact of HIV in the nation’s capital. Multiple protests over the waiting list for housing for poor people with HIV in the District embarrassed officials into addressing bureaucratic housing hurdles — although C2EA is still fighting to resolve the issue.

One D.C. Fights Back member, J’Mia Edwards is featured in a new documentary that will debut at the Tribeca Film Festival on April 26, The Other City. Edwards spent years on a waiting list for housing. “I’m tired of seeing this person or that person for answers. I’m afraid of getting sick,” Edwards said at a press conference last year with New York Congressman Jerrold Nadler. Edwards has since found housing and a job.

“We’ve had some great successes—both personal and political,” said Larry Bryant, a C2EA member from the D.C. area. “Our summit will be about celebrating those successes and plotting our strategy for the next five years. Those of us who are living with HIV have got to keep the pressure on our leaders in order to end the epidemic.”

C2EA members will spend most of the week meeting in small and large groups, establishing both national and local goals. The four-day gathering will culminate in a ‘Positively Uplifting’ rally and barbecue in Anacostia Park from 12 PM to 4 PM on Tuesday, April 20, and visits with elected officials on Wednesday, April 21.

‘Positively Uplifting’: Rally, Music, and Barbecue
April 20, 2010 from 12p-4pm
Anacostia Park at Anacostia Drive and Nicholson Street SE
Washington DC

The event will have inspiring music, spoken word artists, and powerful speakers all envisioning an end to HIV/AIDS by addressing the factors that contribute to its surge. Local organizations such as Us Helping Us and The Blair Underwood Clinic will provide free testing. The Grassroots Team, Food and Friends, Silent Partners and other community partners will be doing outreach and activities with the crowd.

C2EA has a 5,000-person member list, and active members in all 50 states. C2EA also has global partners in South Africa, China, and South America. Find out more at

Housing Works, a 501c(3), is the fiscal agent for C2EA. For more information on Housing Works, visit