The Living Red Ribbon Project: A Reflection

On October 9th, Moveable Feast and the Partnership for Life gathered at Rash Field at the Inner Harbor for the B'more Aware of HIV: The Living Red Ribbon event. Hundreds of volunteers and Baltimore citizens joined us to promote a new awareness of HIV in the City. 
Here is a reflection of the day by Melissa Otterbein, event volunteer and HopeSprings volunteer. HopeSprings is a local organization that works to "equip the Church to provide hope and healing to those impacted by HIV/AIDS in Baltimore and beyond." To learn more about HopeSprings, visit www.hopesprings.org.

As I walked to Rash Field on the sunny Saturday morning of October 9, 2010, my heart was filled with an incredible sense that I was about to embark upon something bigger than myself, something unique, and something that was a relevant way to stand up for advocacy about a health and social issue that so readily impacts this world, and in particularly, Baltimore City. Do you know those moments where your heart is wrapped up in something so much bigger than yourself that you can’t even really put your experience into words?

The B’more Aware Red Ribbon event tugged at my heart for each of those things. As crowds began to gather at Rash Field, slowly turning the field into a sea of red, something was happening. A crowd became fully awake and alive (with some assistance, perhaps, through the free Starbucks coffee that was given out), with morale from government leaders, media, faith-based organizations, community organizations, and community members to show support for HIV/AIDS awareness. Participants were each given a red ribbon poster to hold up and together, participants formed an outline of a red ribbon. Singers led us into songs of joy, and also songs of reflection, as participants were left to ponder how easily strangers could come together and lay any differences aside to support one great cause.
As B’More Aware becomes an annual event, I look forward to coming back year after year to show the world, along with the people of Baltimore, that epidemic doesn’t have to do be the way it is-that HIV/AIDS is real and being silent about it is never the answer. Events like B’More Aware are the kinds of things that the world needs more of. Next October 2011, will you stand in red with us?

Click here to watch the B'more Aware of HIV promotional video, or learn more about the event at the B'more website.

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