Local Groups Commemorate World AIDS Day with Memorial Quilts

Local Groups Commemorate World AIDS Day with Memorial Quilts

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - This is a press release from the AIDS Services Coalition:


Hattiesburg, MS – A display of the internationally-celebrated National AIDS Memorial Quilt – the 54-ton, handmade tapestry that stands as a memorial to more than 90,000 individuals lost to AIDS – will be on view from November 30- December 5 in the Hattiesburg area in commemoration of World AIDS Day, December 1, 2014. In a war against a disease that has no cure, The AIDS Memorial Quilt has evolved as a most potent tool in the effort to educate against the lethal threat of AIDS. By revealing the humanity behind the statistics, The AIDS Memorial Quilt helps teach compassion, triumphs over taboo, stigma and phobia; and inspires individuals to take direct responsibility for their own well-being and that of their family, friends and community.

This year, The AIDS Services Coalition is joined by many community partners, including Trinity Episcopal Church, Mt. Olive Baptist Church, the Hattiesburg Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, the City of Hattiesburg and USM in hosting this free display of The AIDS Memorial Quilt. USM's social justice initiative, R.I.S.E., is sponsoring daylong activities for World AIDS Day including a panel discussion and luncheon, HIV testing and display of the National Memorial AIDS Quilt.

The Mississippi Episcopal AIDS Commission, a ministry of the Episcopal Dioceses of Mississippi, provided funding for this display. Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. is a private, non-profit organization whose purpose is to provide assistance and support through established programs in local communities throughout the world. The Sorority conducts several projects each year that include, but are not limited to collecting items for donation to 121 Haven House, working with the Mississippi Department of Health and Southeast Mississippi Rural Health Initiative to conduct HIV testing, and sponsoring the AIDS Services Coalition's annual World AIDS Day awareness reception.

The following activities are planned in connection with World AIDS Day:

AIDS Memorial Quilt Display

Sunday, November 30 Mt. Olive Baptist 1313 Country Club Rd. 8 a.m. and 11 a.m. services

Monday, December 1 Trinity Episcopal 509 West Pine 9 a.m. – 12 and 3 p.m. -7.

USM Thad Cochran Ctr. 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Mt. Olive Baptist Church 1313 Country Club Rd. 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Tuesday, December 2 Trinity Episcopal 509 West Pine 9 a.m. – 12 and 3 p.m. -7.

Mt. Olive Baptist Church 1313 Country Club Rd. 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Wednesday, December 3 Trinity Episcopal 509 West Pine 9 a.m. – 12

Thursday, December 2-5 Hattiesburg City Hall 3rd Floor 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Free Confidential HIV Testing

Monday, December 1 USM Thad Cochran Center 11 p.m. – 5 p.m.

All week

SE Mississippi Rural Health 66 Old Airport Road 8 a.m. til 4 p.m.

MS State Health Department 5008 Highway 42 8 a.m. til 4:30 p.m.

AIDS Services Coalition By appointment 601-329-2425

An Ecumenical Service of Healing and Remembrance –

Monday, December 01

Trinity Episcopal 509 West Pine 5:30 p.m.

World AIDS Day Remembrance Reception

Monday, December 01

Reception/Trinity Episcopal 509 West Pine 6:00 p.m.


Kathy Garner, Executive Director of the AIDS Services Coalition gave the events context; "In remembering those who have died from AIDS as well as the living, we must also work to prevent others from becoming infected. HIV testing is a critical component of our work. All partners in the area are coming together to emphasize the importance of ending this pandemic before another 20 years goes by."

A solemn event, the Service of Healing and Remembrance will be officiated by The Reverend Marian Fortner of Trinity Episcopal Church. Pastors from Episcopal Church of the Ascension, University Baptist Church, St. Paul's UMC, Grace Temple, St. Elizabeth's Episcopal Church (Collins) and Westminster Presbyterian will also participate Reverend Fortner summed up its importance this way, "This service is one of hope and an important reminder to us in this time of the year when God came into the world. He came for all people in all circumstances. I encourage all to come and take part in remembering those lost and celebrate the lives of those living with HIV/AIDS."

For more information on the display in Hattiesburg, please call 601-450-4286. For more information on The NAMES Project and The AIDS Memorial Quilt, please visit aidsquilt.org or call the National Headquarters at (404) 688-5500.

The AIDS Services Coalition (ASC) was founded in 2002 to provide transitional housing and supportive services for homeless people with HIV/AIDS. ASC now provides housing and supportive services for homeless women and families as well. In addition, the ASC helps fill a significant void as an outreach facility and networks to provide information to the community on homelessness and HIV prevention. For more information on the AIDS Services Coalition and its transitional housing for persons living with HIV/AIDS, please call 601-450-4286 or go to www.121havenhouse.org.