Williams College to Commemorate World AIDS Day

Media contact: Noelle Lemoine, communications assistant; tele: (413) 597-4277; email: Noelle.Lemoine@williams.edu

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass., November 21, 2012—Williams College will commemorate World AIDS Day with a selection of events in late November and early December around the Williams College campus and throughout the community. World AIDS Day, Dec. 1, was first held in 1988 to increase awareness and education about the disease and help stop the spread of HIV/AIDS.

The AIDS Memorial Quilt will be on display in the atrium of the Williams College Museum of Art from Nov. 27 through Dec. 2. In June of 1987, a small group of strangers gathered in a San Francisco storefront to document the lives they feared history would neglect. Their goal was to create a memorial for those who had died of AIDS, and to thereby help people understand the devastating impact of the disease.

Professors from the department of women’s, gender, and sexuality studies will discuss HIV/AIDS and its impact on the world from 12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 30, in Paresky 112. This will be an interactive and informal discussion.

Donald Molosi ’09 will present the show Today It’s Me, at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 1, in the ’62 Center for Theatre and Dance CenterStage. This is the true story of the legendary Ugandan musician Philly Lutaaya, whose soulful AfroPop rhythms united a generation of Ugandans. Inspired by his continent and its people, Lutaaya kept faith in his beloved motherland and his music, even while he was a struggling musician in Sweden.  This piece chronicles his transformation from entertainer to musical activist after learning that he was HIV positive. Today It’s Me is an exploration of courage, passion, and tragedy, featuring Lutaaya’s music.  The performance is $3, free for Williams students with ID.

The Williams College Black Student Union is sponsoring a film screening of Out of Control: The AIDS Epidemic in Black America at 3 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 1, in Paresky Auditorium. The SnagFilms documentary shows how AIDS continues to be a deeply damaging disease in the U.S., and more specifically, in the black community. The film features interviews with political leaders, activists, and religious figures in an attempt to gain a rounded understanding of the AIDS problem in black America.

A film screening of How to Survive a Plague will be held from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 3, at Images Cinema. This film is the story of two coalitions—ACT UP and TAG (Treatment Action Group)—whose activism and innovation helped turn AIDS from a death sentence into a manageable condition. Featuring never-before-seen archival footage of the 1980s and 1990s, filmmaker David France presents the controversial actions, heated meetings, heartbreaking failures, and exultant breakthroughs of these activists. The film is free for Williams students with ID.  This film is sponsored by the Queer Student Union, the Dively Committee, and Images Cinema.

Images Cinema is located at 50 Spring Street in Williamstown, Mass. For more information on these films, visit www.imagescinema.org/events.

Tapestry Health will provide free, confidential HIV rapid testing and counseling from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 4, in its mobile health van in front of Paresky. The rapid HIV test is an oral swab that does not require blood and provides results within 20 minutes.

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