WEBVTT 00:00:00.000 --> 00:00:12.000 Music 00:00:12.000 --> 00:00:19.000 James Reddan: Welcome this evening to our World AIDS Day event here at Western Oregon University in the city of Monmouth. 00:00:19.000 --> 00:00:28.000 Thank you all for being here on such an important day where we recognize the AIDS epidemic and its impact on our communities. 00:00:28.000 --> 00:00:36.000 My name is James Reddan and I am really glad to see all of you here, and I would like to introduce the president of Western Oregon University, 00:00:36.000 --> 00:00:40.000 Dr. Jay Kenton, for our opening remarks. 00:00:40.000 --> 00:00:49.000 President Jay Kenton: So Western's hosting this event in collaboration with the Monmouth Pride Planning Committee to show our support for those who are living with or who have died 00:00:49.000 --> 00:00:52.000 as a result of complications due to AIDS. 00:00:52.000 --> 00:00:63.000 We also do this to support those who love and care for family and friends with AIDS. 00:01:03.000 --> 00:01:19.000 It's important that we keep AIDS awareness and efforts to find a cure for AIDS in the forefront of our daily lives. It is our duty to support our community, our friends, and our family. 00:01:19.000 --> 00:01:31.000 And I don't know if you know this, but we are hosting the AIDS memorial quilt, and we're only one of three sites in the Pacific Northwest 00:01:31.000 --> 00:01:36.000 and the only site in Oregon displaying panels of the quilt. 00:01:36.000 --> 00:01:43.000 Applause. 00:01:43.000 --> 00:01:52.000 The quilt is on display upstairs in the Willamette Room and will be up until Thursday at noon. 00:01:52.000 --> 00:01:63.000 Anyway, thank you again for coming tonight and showing your support for this very important day and this important affliction that affects our society. 00:02:03.000 --> 00:02:12.000 Hopefully we'll find a cure soon and be able to eradicate this from our daily lives. But, thank you again for coming. 00:02:12.000 --> 00:02:19.000 I'm going to turn it back to James and the chamber choir are going to sing for us. So thank you. 00:02:19.000 --> 00:02:26.000 Reddan: Thank you, Dr. Kenton. And, coming up to the front of the room is the Western Oregon University Chamber Singers. 00:02:26.000 --> 00:02:28.000 They're going to perform two pieces for you. 00:02:28.000 --> 00:02:43.000 The first piece is entitled I Am Glad and the idea behind this piece is the idea of I am glad for who I am, I am glad for the things that I have. I am glad for my heart. 00:02:43.000 --> 00:02:49.000 And that's going to be followed by a piece in Russian, so if you don't understand the words, it's okay. 00:02:49.000 --> 00:02:57.000 And, written by Pavel Tchesnokov, entitled Salvation Is Created. 00:02:57.000 --> 00:02:63.000 I am glad daylong for the gift of song, 00:03:03.000 --> 00:03:10.000 I am glad daylong for the gift of song, 00:03:10.000 --> 00:03:40.000 I am glad 00:03:40.000 --> 00:03:46.000 For time and change and sorrow; 00:03:46.000 --> 00:03:51.000 For time and change and sorrow; 00:03:51.000 --> 00:03:77.000 I am glad 00:04:17.000 --> 00:04:44.000 Soft Singing 00:04:44.000 --> 00:04:54.000 Where dreams come in from the rush and din 00:04:54.000 --> 00:04:67.000 Like sheep from the rains and thunders. 00:05:07.000 --> 00:05:36.000 I am glad 00:05:36.000 --> 00:05:43.000 I am glad daylong for the gift of song, 00:05:43.000 --> 00:05:51.000 I am glad daylong for the gift of song, 00:05:51.000 --> 00:05:76.000 I am glad 00:06:16.000 --> 00:06:41.000 Applause. 00:06:41.000 --> 00:07:63.000 Tchesnokov Spas'iye, sod'lal yes' Spas'iye, sod'lal yes' Spas'iye, sod'lal yes' Posred' zieml' Posred' zieml' B'zhe. 00:08:03.000 --> 00:09:30.000 Allil'iya Allil'iya, allil'iya Allil'iya, allil'iya Allil'iya, allil'iya Allil'iya 00:09:30.000 --> 00:09:40.000 Applause. 00:09:40.000 --> 00:09:45.000 Redden: It is now my pleasure to introduce the mayor of Monmouth, Cec Koontz. 00:09:45.000 --> 00:09:52.000 Applause. 00:09:52.000 --> 00:09:55.000 Mayor Cec Koontz: Thank you, James, and thank you, singers. 00:09:55.000 --> 00:09:65.000 That was really moving and lovely and it's really wonderful to be invited here and to know not only as the mayor of Monmouth 00:10:05.000 --> 00:10:09.000 but as a member of the Board of Trustees of Western Oregon University. 00:10:09.000 --> 00:10:23.000 This opportunity to share the AIDS quilt and to commemorate the events that started happening when I was in my twenties in the '80s, 00:10:23.000 --> 00:10:33.000 and as someone who lost friends, high school friend and a college friend, early in the stages and the awareness of AIDS, 00:10:33.000 --> 00:10:47.000 it's wonderful to see young people learning about it and learning about what that meant to people, particularly of the gay community at the time. My friends died alone. 00:10:47.000 --> 00:10:51.000 Their families didn't support them. 00:10:51.000 --> 00:10:65.000 The stigma that went with the illness of AIDS was devastating in its own right and so, today I'm happy to know that we are able to talk about this, to remember this, 00:11:05.000 --> 00:11:12.000 to be thankful for the treatments that are available, and still be looking for a cure. 00:11:12.000 --> 00:11:20.000 But most of all, I'm really glad to be here and be able to share this evening with you. Can't wait to hear more, the words of others on this. 00:11:20.000 --> 00:11:28.000 And thank you for being interested in learning about what this meant to people in our country. Thank you. 00:11:28.000 --> 00:11:37.000 Redden: And now I'd like to welcome Councillor Rebecca Salinas-Oliveros, Monmouth City Councillor, to share a few words with us. 00:11:37.000 --> 00:11:49.000 Councillor Rebecca Salinas-Oliveros: Thank you so much for this opportunity. It's an honor to be here with you today. And I have been thinking a lot about what to say tonight. 00:11:49.000 --> 00:11:58.000 This whole year, couple years, has been really reflective. It's been a really reflective time for myself and our family. 00:11:58.000 --> 00:11:74.000 And I'm hoping to leave you with something meaningful and something for you to think about and carry. And I'm going to start. So I did three parts and I hope they all go together. 00:12:14.000 --> 00:12:38.000 But the first part that I was reflecting on and, in August, I heard Pope Francis say that getting your vaccine is an act of love, for your community, for your family, for yourself. 00:12:38.000 --> 00:12:50.000 It's an act of love. And he took a lot of criticism for that. He got a lot of backlash for saying "acts of love." 00:12:50.000 --> 00:12:66.000 And I kept thinking about that and being here tonight and, being able to celebrate and to acknowledge and to learn really is an act of love and a responsibility that we have to each 00:13:06.000 --> 00:13:10.000 other, to our families, to our community. 00:13:10.000 --> 00:13:29.000 And then, a few months ago, here goes Pope Francis again. And, he did something else that was viewed controversial. He gave our current President Biden communion. 00:13:29.000 --> 00:13:45.000 Well, that goes against Catholic ideology. Our president believes in many values, including big supporters of the LGBTQ+ community. 00:13:45.000 --> 00:13:55.000 He believes in many things that Catholic religion doesn't. And so the pope, again, was criticized for that. 00:13:55.000 --> 00:13:77.000 And he went ahead and the only thing he said was, "I will never deny anyone the gift of communion." And it dawned on me that again, he is living and practicing acts of love. 00:14:17.000 --> 00:14:33.000 He is also embracing anyone that is different from him, regardless of their values, regardless if they, if they balance out or go with Catholicism. 00:14:33.000 --> 00:14:44.000 He uses acts of love and will not deny them gifts of communion. And I thought, "Oh my gosh, what a concept." 00:14:44.000 --> 00:14:55.000 And maybe you're thinking, "Well, it's Pope Francis. Of course he's got to do that, right?" But, but what an example, also, to Catholicism. 00:14:55.000 --> 00:14:61.000 Because I guarantee you, priests don't actually do everything Pope Francis wants them to do. 00:15:01.000 --> 00:15:03.000 Laughing. 00:15:03.000 --> 00:15:24.000 So, I just, I admire how upfront he is and how he just works from the heart. And how much we don't. We just don't do that. And, so I kept thinking about acts of love. 00:15:24.000 --> 00:15:36.000 And it brought me to another time. This was probably, I'd say, maybe a year, maybe a couple years before the pandemic. 00:15:36.000 --> 00:15:49.000 And, in my job at Chemeketa, I am faculty there and I help students connect with industry and prepare them. I also have interns in many different programs. 00:15:49.000 --> 00:15:61.000 And we had a visit from one of the heads of the Oregon Health Authority. And she was a nurse. And she came to visit with our program. 00:16:01.000 --> 00:16:13.000 She's trying to find nurses and interns, people that are interested to come and, to work for Oregon Health Authority. And they're going all over Oregon. 00:16:13.000 --> 00:16:19.000 Well, my coworker was with me at the time and then he had to leave for a meeting. 00:16:19.000 --> 00:16:32.000 And then I said, "You know, you're at a community college. I'd really like to know why you are here, if you wouldn't mind talking off the record about it." 00:16:32.000 --> 00:16:50.000 And she looks at me and then she said, "Rebecca, there's a big gap happening. There's a dilemma. It's not that we are not getting skilled nurses. They're coming from--" 00:16:50.000 --> 00:16:52.000 Here's, it's going to be controversial I'm sure. 00:17:13.000 --> 00:17:17.000 Some are even refusing to serve." 00:17:17.000 --> 00:17:35.000 And, at this point, she was in tears. And she's like, "I don't understand." And I'm not saying that, you know, I don't appreciate our nurses. I love our nurses. We are so fortunate. 00:17:35.000 --> 00:17:46.000 And not everybody from Christian colleges. She goes, "I'm a Christian, but I try to live as though I feel I should be. And we make a promise. 00:17:46.000 --> 00:17:60.000 We make a promise to serve everyone in our community, regardless, regardless if we agree, regardless of their difference, regardless of their economic status. That is a promise. 00:18:00.000 --> 00:18:19.000 What are we doing? What are we doing? What are we teaching our kids? What are they learning in college? How are we moving forward when we know that there's this big gap?" 00:18:19.000 --> 00:18:42.000 And, you know, and that, that conversation just has stuck with me. What are we doing? And so, it brings me to the last part of my speech tonight. 00:18:42.000 --> 00:18:64.000 And, the conversation that I've had and the reflection that I've done, it really brings me to an old, wise, Cherokee parable. And this is the tale of two wolves. 00:19:25.000 --> 00:19:47.000 It is anger, envy, jealousy, doubt, sorrow, regret, arrogance, self pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, and ego. 00:19:47.000 --> 00:19:74.000 The other wolf is good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, forgiveness, truth, compassion, and faith. 00:20:14.000 --> 00:20:31.000 The grandson thought a little bit about this. And then he asked, 'But Grandfather, which wolf wins?' And Grandfather replied, 'The one you feed." 00:20:31.000 --> 00:20:56.000 The one you feed. It makes me think about how, for decades, our society and aspects of our systems have been feeding the evil wolf. And I think about, what are we doing? 00:20:56.000 --> 00:20:68.000 So if you think about acts of love. And so, three challenges for you. Using acts of love in every aspect of your life. 00:21:08.000 --> 00:21:16.000 How you engage with others, how you live your life, how you are with your family, the decisions you make. 00:21:16.000 --> 00:21:30.000 Then ask yourself, "What am I doing? What am I doing? What am I doing that's worthy, that's good, that's helpful?" 00:21:30.000 --> 00:21:49.000 And then, think about in your career, as a student in your classes, as an educator teaching, in your family, out in the community, think about, which wolf am I feeding? 00:21:49.000 --> 00:21:65.000 And maybe if we practice, if we practice every day, because this isn't easy, that those who come after us may only know good wolves. Thank you so much for your time. 00:22:05.000 --> 00:22:07.000 Applause. 00:22:07.000 --> 00:22:14.000 Redden: I'd like to now bring to the stage Hailey Moore, who is the coordinator of our Stonewall Center here at Western Oregon University. 00:22:14.000 --> 00:22:24.000 Hailey Moore: Hi. So my name is Hailey Moore. I am the Stonewall Coordinator. I'm a senior here, majoring in elementary education with a minor in ASL. 00:22:24.000 --> 00:22:32.000 So, a little bit about Stonewall Center is that we're WOU's LGBTQ resource center and advocacy center. We're student-led, student-ran. 00:22:32.000 --> 00:22:42.000 I have a lot of great student volunteers that are dedicated to providing resources, advocacy, and support for the LGBTQ community here at Western. 00:22:42.000 --> 00:22:49.000 We do that through compassionate educational experiences and an engaging community environment. 00:22:49.000 --> 00:22:54.000 So, we're also strong supporters of safe sex and always provide condoms, lube, and dental dams in our center. 00:22:55.000 --> 00:22:63.000 We also outsource to HIV and STD testing and encourage a safe and supportive environment to talk about these topics. 00:23:03.000 --> 00:23:10.000 I want to thank WOU or, yeah, I want to thank WOU for allowing me to continue Stonewall into its thirteenth year of operation. 00:23:10.000 --> 00:23:12.000 We started in 2008-- 00:23:12.000 --> 00:23:15.000 Applause. 00:23:15.000 --> 00:23:16.000 Thank you. 00:23:16.000 --> 00:23:26.000 We started in 2008 and we're still going strong in 2021 and I want to thank you for allowing a space where conversations about HIV and AIDS can be had in a safe and accepting 00:23:26.000 --> 00:23:30.000 environment and bring that topic out of shame and hushed conversations. 00:23:30.000 --> 00:23:32.000 Thank you. 00:23:32.000 --> 00:23:45.000 Redden: Our next moment is, is truly a treat for us, featuring Davy Berra, who is an alum of the music program here at Western Oregon University in an original piece entitled The Last One. 00:23:45.000 --> 00:23:51.000 In 1988, an AIDS quilt panel was submitted anonymously with nothing but a handwritten note that read, 00:24:02.000 --> 00:24:05.000 So, The Last One and Davy Berra. 00:24:05.000 --> 00:30:27.000 Piano music. 00:30:27.000 --> 00:30:34.000 Applause. 00:30:34.000 --> 00:30:44.000 Redden: It is now my pleasure to introduce Dr. Jennifer Kubista, the superintendent of Central School District to introduce the winners of the essay 00:30:44.000 --> 00:30:52.000 contest that was held as part of our commemoration of World AIDS Day. Dr. Kubista. 00:30:52.000 --> 00:30:60.000 Dr. Jennifer Kubista: So I am honored to be here this evening to introduce the winners of the World AIDS Day commemoration essay contest. 00:31:00.000 --> 00:31:07.000 This is near and dear to my heart, as my father was diagnosed with HIV when I was twelve years old back in 1987. 00:31:07.000 --> 00:31:17.000 I start here as I reminisce about the beautiful national AIDS memorial quilt, which I believe we're going to be able to see upstairs after this in the Willamette Room. 00:31:18.000 --> 00:31:30.000 If you've never seen it, it is well worth taking the time. You see, in 1988, my father lived in Portland, which was one of the twenty cities the quilt visited. This is hard for me. 00:31:30.000 --> 00:31:38.000 I remember going to see the quilt for the first time that summer with my dad and sisters and what I remember most was the number of quilts that were hanging 00:31:38.000 --> 00:31:43.000 and lying in the large venue they were being displayed. 00:31:43.000 --> 00:31:55.000 My dad is no longer with us, but I can say, as you will hear from the two Central School District students today, we have come a long way but there is still work to be done to bring awareness, 00:31:55.000 --> 00:31:60.000 continued research, and education around HIV and AIDS. 00:32:00.000 --> 00:32:04.000 Tonight, we honor two students who will share their essays with us. 00:32:04.000 --> 00:32:08.000 First we will hear from Joshua Butler, a junior from Center High School. 00:32:08.000 --> 00:32:18.000 I don't want to give all of his essay away, but Joshua references how many medical professionals refuse to believe that the blood supply could be contaminated with A-- AIDS. 00:32:18.000 --> 00:32:27.000 Excuse me. In the late '80s, this was the case as I remember times with my father stating we had to be careful around him, especially if he was bleeding, 00:32:27.000 --> 00:32:32.000 as the information being shared wasn't consistent between doctors. 00:32:32.000 --> 00:32:40.000 I was thirteen, working through this. I even remember having to throw away a whole dinner one year over the winter holidays 00:32:40.000 --> 00:32:45.000 because he was bleeding and we hadn't noticed it when it had started as we were cooking. 00:32:45.000 --> 00:32:50.000 Secondly, you will hear from Yasmeen Ochoa, a senior at Central High School. 00:32:50.000 --> 00:32:60.000 Yasmeen references the stigma and people being afraid of the unknown and how that can cause harm to people and their families who have HIV or AIDS. 00:33:00.000 --> 00:33:03.000 This rang true during my teenage years. 00:33:03.000 --> 00:33:13.000 I had to navigate this conversation with friends in middle and high school where I did a lot of educating and sometimes there was bullying because my father was HIV positive. 00:33:13.000 --> 00:33:25.000 So I want to just publicly say thank you to both Joshua and Yasmeen for their continued work on this and bringing awareness to HIV and AIDS with your essays. 00:33:25.000 --> 00:33:29.000 So, without further ado, I'm going to welcome Joshua to the stage first. 00:33:29.000 --> 00:33:40.000 Joshua Butler: The foundation of a strong community is protection. Protecting your community can manifest in many forms, such as fighting fires, picking up litter, or enforcing traffic laws. 00:33:40.000 --> 00:33:45.000 I read that some of the most important forms of protection your community can offer are education and healthcare. 00:33:45.000 --> 00:33:51.000 It can be devastating when equal access to both of these services is not available. Healthcare is more than just hospitals and clinics. 00:33:51.000 --> 00:33:58.000 And if your community wants to offer equitable protection, it also needs to offer, it also needs to provide services like counseling and rehab. 00:33:58.000 --> 00:33:65.000 Leaving people with mental health issues or who are suffering from addiction to fend for themselves should not be considered an option. 00:34:05.000 --> 00:34:16.000 It's crucial for a community to address these problems and not sweep them under the rug. Education, like healthcare, goes deeper. 00:34:16.000 --> 00:34:24.000 It is central that everyone have access to high school and college education in the community, but providing quality access to education is pivotal in protecting a community. 00:34:24.000 --> 00:34:33.000 Many people don't know how STIs spread or even how they are transmitted. People don't know the kinds of birth control available or the options available if birth control fails. 00:34:33.000 --> 00:34:40.000 This stuff needs to be taught in schools. But not just in high schools-- but not just to high school and college students. 00:34:40.000 --> 00:34:46.000 There are many adults who are long out of school who were never offered an opportunity to learn about sexual health. 00:34:46.000 --> 00:34:57.000 A community is not protecting everyone if everyone isn't getting equal access to protections provided. Law enforcement, healthcare, education. 00:34:57.000 --> 00:34:64.000 These systems are designed for the cis-het white man, and keeping them that way only serves to ostracize people outside of that group. 00:35:04.000 --> 00:35:09.000 The Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation recently stated, 00:35:15.000 --> 00:35:21.000 systemic barriers that fuel pandemics like HIV in marginalized communities." 00:35:21.000 --> 00:35:33.000 The Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation has been conducting and fighting for AIDS research since 1988 and in a statement they released in September of 2020, 00:35:33.000 --> 00:35:37.000 they said that inequality in healthcare is one of their biggest roadblocks. 00:35:37.000 --> 00:35:47.000 In said statement, they go on to say, "AIDS has been exacerbated by over forty years of racial, socioeconomic, gender, and sexual orientation related disparities." 00:35:47.000 --> 00:35:53.000 We see racial and ethnic disparities in health in the U.S. We also see it on a global scale. 00:35:53.000 --> 00:35:61.000 Black Americans account for 42% of the new HIV diagnoses in the U.S., despite representing 13% of the population. 00:36:01.000 --> 00:36:08.000 We see here that inequitable access to healthcare and education is directly affecting people with AIDS right now. 00:36:08.000 --> 00:36:19.000 They're both so imperative to a community, and not offering equal access to a specific part of it is outright oppression. A lack of education can cause a lack of healthcare. 00:36:19.000 --> 00:36:27.000 In the AIDS pandemic, many medical professionals refuse to believe that children could have AIDS or that the blood supply could be contaminated with it. 00:36:27.000 --> 00:36:35.000 In a memorial of esteemed early AIDS researcher Dr. Arthur Ammann by the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, they say, 00:36:46.000 --> 00:36:51.000 Several prominent medical journals rejected articles by Dr. Ammann on the subject. 00:36:51.000 --> 00:36:58.000 Because of the stigma surrounding AIDS, both political figures and the healthcare industry refused to acknowledge the threat that AIDS presented 00:36:58.000 --> 00:36:60.000 and did not put effort into solving the problem." 00:37:00.000 --> 00:37:07.000 When I was five, I lived in the most impoverished county in my state. 00:37:07.000 --> 00:37:14.000 Our rural community had no rehab centers and the hospital we did have was so small it bragged about offering anesthesia. 00:37:14.000 --> 00:37:21.000 So many people suffer because of the county's lack of healthcare, and one of those many people was my father. 00:37:21.000 --> 00:37:25.000 My dad was chronically addicted to alcohol and he wanted to quit so bad. 00:37:25.000 --> 00:37:36.000 He wanted to quit, he really wanted to go to rehab, but it wasn't available to him. Later, when an autoimmune infection became acute, he struggled to get quality healthcare in time. 00:37:36.000 --> 00:37:48.000 On March 14th, 2021, two weeks after major surgery, he made several unanswered phone calls to his rural home healthcare nurse before calling 911. 00:37:48.000 --> 00:37:58.000 He then passed away in transit to the hospital. Equitable access to healthcare and education in the community is vital to properly protect its members. 00:37:58.000 --> 00:37:65.000 Having ready access to these will reduce the need for healthcare by preventing the spread of diseases and infections. 00:38:05.000 --> 00:38:13.000 When preventable hospitalizations are reduced, the healthcare system can focus on emergency cases and research new medicine. 00:38:13.000 --> 00:38:19.000 Having equal access in a community is crucial to its members well-being and success. Thank you. 00:38:19.000 --> 00:38:24.000 Applause. 00:38:24.000 --> 00:38:39.000 Dr. Kubista: Stay here for a sec. So, each one of them, because this was a contest, gets a certificate and $100 winners' reward, I should say, for the beautiful essay. So thank you. 00:38:39.000 --> 00:38:45.000 Applause. 00:38:45.000 --> 00:38:52.000 Second, if you would please also do a warm welcome to Yasmeen Ochoa. 00:38:52.000 --> 00:38:59.000 Yasmeen Ochoa: Many people around the world think about their health everyday. Each decision we make contributes to our overall well-being. 00:38:59.000 --> 00:38:66.000 But what happens when you know the healthcare that you're receiving isn't all that great? 00:39:06.000 --> 00:39:12.000 Or you could go to the doctors with questions and concerns about yourself but leave feeling more confused? 00:39:12.000 --> 00:39:20.000 How can the world be truly fair when the people who are already set up to fail in the world cannot have equitable access to healthcare? 00:39:20.000 --> 00:39:28.000 Receiving equitable healthcare for all communities is important, but especially because marginalized and rural communities deserve it the most. 00:39:28.000 --> 00:39:35.000 We live in a society where certain people are more privileged than others, which puts the rest at disadvantage. 00:39:35.000 --> 00:39:40.000 This is why making sure everyone has access to any and all resources is important. 00:39:40.000 --> 00:39:46.000 Our health is something we're taught at a young age and through our adulthood is very important to take care of. 00:39:46.000 --> 00:39:57.000 But how can people who don't have access to all the proper resources be able to fully achieve that goal? Being educated is such a powerful thing because it can help you do anything. 00:39:57.000 --> 00:39:64.000 When people have access to education and resources about their health, it can help with the nerves, but also with smart decision making. 00:40:04.000 --> 00:40:09.000 There are many people around the world who still don't know all the facts about HIV and AIDS. 00:40:09.000 --> 00:40:14.000 And while being educated can be a powerful thing, being uneducated can be harmful as well. 00:40:14.000 --> 00:40:21.000 People are afraid of the unknown and that can cause harm to the people who have HIV and AIDS. 00:40:21.000 --> 00:40:30.000 If we all have access to equitable healthcare and education resources, it can not only help you be more vigilant of your health but also provide a safe space for others. 00:40:30.000 --> 00:40:38.000 Anyone can get HIV and AIDS at any point, but it's not because they weren't being safe, but because of lack of knowledge or any other reason. 00:40:38.000 --> 00:40:45.000 Anyone can get an STI or STD at any point without getting any symptoms and then pass it on to their partners. 00:40:45.000 --> 00:40:56.000 This is why we must keep the conversation about healthcare, including sexual education, and keep it accessible for everyone so we can all make healthier and safer choices. Thank you. 00:40:56.000 --> 00:40:62.000 Applause. 00:41:02.000 --> 00:41:12.000 Dr. Kubista: Again, the commemorative and, as well as the award for the beautiful essay. So let's give a round of applause for both Joshua and Yasmeen again, for our students. 00:41:12.000 --> 00:41:24.000 Applause. 00:41:24.000 --> 00:41:27.000 Reddan: Let's give them one more round of applause for those amazing essays. 00:41:27.000 --> 00:41:33.000 Applause. 00:41:33.000 --> 00:41:40.000 It is my pleasure to introduce our keynote speaker for this evening, and that is Jason Dorsette. 00:41:40.000 --> 00:41:48.000 Jason is a PhD student in the College of Education Language Educational Policy and Equity program at Oregon State University. 00:41:48.000 --> 00:41:60.000 His research interests include issues of access and equity in the context of higher education informed by race, gender, and the interconnectedness of other social identities. 00:42:00.000 --> 00:42:09.000 Jason serves as director of advancing academic equity initiatives within the Educational Opportunities program at Oregon State University and will soon transition to the role of 00:42:09.000 --> 00:42:16.000 executive director for institutional equity, diversity, and inclusion at Linn-Benton Community College. 00:42:16.000 --> 00:42:24.000 For over a decade, Jason has facilitated training and professional development opportunities aimed at increasing individual and collective knowledge 00:42:24.000 --> 00:42:32.000 and understanding around topics of diversity, equity, inclusion, and gender identity, with a specific focus on masculinity. 00:42:32.000 --> 00:42:42.000 Jason has served in leadership capacities regionally, nationally, and internationally, in a number of higher educational professional associations, and has contributed to book chapters and 00:42:42.000 --> 00:42:45.000 articles related to diversity education. 00:42:45.000 --> 00:42:56.000 Civically, Jason serves as the president of the NAACP Corvallis Albany branch, board member for the city of Corvallis Imagine Corvallis Action Network, ICAN, 00:42:56.000 --> 00:42:66.000 advisory board member of the African American Youth Leadership Conference, and is on the executive leadership team of the western region of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Incorporated. 00:43:07.000 --> 00:43:08.000 Please welcome Jason Dorsette. 00:43:08.000 --> 00:43:22.000 Jason Dorsette: Greetings, friends, and thank you Carol and this amazing planning committee for inviting me today. Thank you, President Kenton, for having me on your beautiful campus. 00:43:22.000 --> 00:43:34.000 This is my first time here at Western Oregon and it is a beautiful campus. Thank you, Mayor, for also being with us on this evening. Thank you, City Councillor for being with us. 00:43:34.000 --> 00:43:45.000 Thank you, Superintendent. And, what can I say? These amazing students. These amazing students. 00:43:45.000 --> 00:43:59.000 Both Joshua and Yasmeen, your remarks were so heartfelt and I, too, extend my congratulations to both of you for your bravery, for telling your story, 00:43:59.000 --> 00:43:64.000 and for continuing to allow us and encouraging us to raise awareness. 00:44:04.000 --> 00:44:14.000 Before I get started, I would also like to acknowledge the indigenous peoples of whose land we are occupying today. 00:44:14.000 --> 00:44:26.000 The indigenous folk of today. I am indeed honored, extremely honored, to be in community with you all in person. 00:44:26.000 --> 00:44:32.000 It's been quite a while since I've had an opportunity to speak to folk in person, so thank you for being with us. 00:44:32.000 --> 00:44:50.000 And I'm even more excited to celebrate and commemorate World AIDS Day 2021 with this year's theme being ending the HIV epidemic, equitable access, everyone's voice. 00:44:50.000 --> 00:44:56.000 I am thrilled to speak to this theme for so many, many reasons. 00:44:56.000 --> 00:44:68.000 So for the next ten or so minutes, I would like to engage you all in both the conversation as well as share a personal story that I have never shared publicly before. 00:45:08.000 --> 00:45:25.000 On February the 7th, 2017, in New York City, the American Foundation for AIDS Research, an intentional, non-profit organization dedicated to the support of AIDS research, 00:45:25.000 --> 00:45:40.000 HIV prevention, treatment education, and the advocacy of AIDS, AIDS-related publicly policy, launched a campaign entitled National Black HIV-AIDS Awareness Day, 00:45:40.000 --> 00:45:54.000 to remember-- excuse me, to remind the general public of the racial disparities that Joshua spoke about and HIV infection that persists in the United States. 00:45:54.000 --> 00:45:70.000 According to the American Foundation for AIDS Research, year after year, year after year, year after year, African Americans continue to shoulder the heaviest burden of HIV. 00:46:10.000 --> 00:46:24.000 In preparation of my talk on this evening, I discovered six interesting facts that details the epidemic's impact on African Americans. The first one. 00:46:24.000 --> 00:46:41.000 Black Americans account for nearly half of all new HIV infections each year, despite, as Joshua reminded us, only representing 13% of the United States' population. 00:46:41.000 --> 00:46:55.000 Black Americans are also at a higher risk of HIV exposure, not because they engage in more risk-associated behaviors but because the prevalence of HIV is so much greater among black 00:46:55.000 --> 00:46:61.000 and brown communities than any other racial and ethnic group. 00:47:01.000 --> 00:47:09.000 While prevention efforts are certainly underway and have helped reduce the annual number of new HIV diagnoses amongst African American 00:47:09.000 --> 00:47:15.000 and Latinx population over the last decade or so, and we celebrate the progress that has been made, 00:47:15.000 --> 00:47:24.000 but there is still so much work to do around educating and raising awareness around the HIV and AIDS epidemic. 00:47:24.000 --> 00:47:40.000 Number 2. It is estimated that around 14% of black and/or African Americans living with HIV do not know that they are infected. Have no idea. 00:47:40.000 --> 00:47:52.000 The National Black HIV-AIDS Awareness Day is an HIV testing and treatment community mobilization initiative for African Americans and others. 00:47:52.000 --> 00:47:68.000 A late diagnosis of HIV infection is common, extremely common, in the African American community, which results in missed opportunities, missed opportunities, 00:48:08.000 --> 00:48:16.000 to get early medical care and prevent transmission to others. 00:48:16.000 --> 00:48:37.000 Number 3. One in every two black men nationally, nationally, will be diagnosed with HIV in their lifetime. One in two. 00:48:37.000 --> 00:48:46.000 Black men continue to be the highest risk for HIV among African Americans and all other groups nationwide, as I stated earlier. 00:48:46.000 --> 00:48:59.000 While the overall infection rate among black Americans is around 2, 2.3, 2.5%. Among black gay men, the rate is 30%. 00:48:59.000 --> 00:48:69.000 And again, one in two black gay men are expected to be diagnosed with this illness in their lifetime. 00:49:09.000 --> 00:49:24.000 Recent data from the Center for Disease Control -- I know we're all familiar with the CDC now -- has also shown that new HIV diagnoses are increasing amongst black and brown men 00:49:24.000 --> 00:49:35.000 and other men who have sex with other men, despite overall decreases in the general population. 00:49:35.000 --> 00:49:45.000 Number 4. HIV rates among black women in these here United States have declined. 00:49:45.000 --> 00:49:55.000 According to the CDC, the number of new HIV diagnoses among black women fell 42% from 2005 until 2016. 00:49:55.000 --> 00:49:66.000 Despite these gains, new HIV diagnoses amongst black women are still high compared to other women of other races and ethnicities. 00:50:06.000 --> 00:50:15.000 Black women accounted for six in ten diagnoses, amongst all women, in 2017. 00:50:15.000 --> 00:50:27.000 The CDC also estimates that one in forty-eight, one in forty-eight, black women will be diagnosed with HIV in their lifetime. 00:50:27.000 --> 00:50:38.000 Black transgender women are also more likely to have HIV than any other transgendered women, in any other race or ethnicity group. 00:50:38.000 --> 00:50:58.000 In a 2009 National Institute of Health study of transgender women in the United States showed that more than 56% of black trans women in these here United States were HIV positive. 00:50:58.000 --> 00:50:61.000 And my last point. 00:51:01.000 --> 00:51:07.000 Black Americans are still more likely to die from HIV-AIDS compared to other groups. 00:51:07.000 --> 00:51:26.000 According to the CDC, black Americans account for almost half of all of those, of all of those with AIDS who have died in the United States since the beginning of the epidemic in the '80s. 00:51:26.000 --> 00:51:45.000 While the AIDS death rate amongst black has declined by 28% from 2008 to 2015, it was 13% higher than whites and 47% higher than Latinx folk. 00:51:45.000 --> 00:51:63.000 These racial disparities, friends, persist, despite the fact that AIDS mortality rates have declined sharply overall since we've been experiencing this epidemic. 00:52:03.000 --> 00:52:14.000 I would now like to share very briefly, a personal story. I'm a storyteller, in addition to being an aspiring scholar. I love to tell stories. 00:52:14.000 --> 00:52:26.000 And, I am so motivated by what our superintendent has shared, what our students have shared, and other who have spoke, our city councillor. 00:52:26.000 --> 00:52:44.000 I'm going to share a story, again, that I've never shared publicly. And it's about my father. What was not mentioned on my bio, and I will have to make that addition. 00:52:44.000 --> 00:52:48.000 First of all, I need to make it a little bit brief. It's a little too long for me. 00:52:48.000 --> 00:52:49.000 Audience laughing. 00:52:49.000 --> 00:52:64.000 But I'm a first generation college student. Proud first generation college student. And I am a proud product of a very strong, black, single parent, a single black woman, a mother. 00:53:04.000 --> 00:53:11.000 And, my-- I'm the youngest of two. I have an older brother. And I'm from North Carolina. 00:53:11.000 --> 00:53:20.000 So as I tell my story here and I kind of go off script, you will clearly pick up my southern drawl and I love being from the south, right. 00:53:20.000 --> 00:53:26.000 Well, friends, this February the 7th date is really significant to me. 00:53:26.000 --> 00:53:38.000 And I didn't understand or even know why it was significant to me until today, all right, after learning and researching about what the AIDS Foundation or the AIDS research is doing 00:53:38.000 --> 00:53:43.000 around raising awareness for black and African American individuals with AIDS. 00:53:43.000 --> 00:53:56.000 And I said, "February the 7th? What is it about February the 7th that, something happened on February the 7th." Well, February the 7th, 1990, was the day that my father--. 00:53:56.000 --> 00:53:80.000 My father, who I had a very challenging relationship with, throughout my early years of growing up, called me to my mom's job. My mom was a cosmetologist instructor. 00:54:20.000 --> 00:54:35.000 And my mom and dad were married, you know, and they kind of got divorced and then my dad was a drug addict, an alcoholic, both verbally and physically abusive to my mom, 00:54:35.000 --> 00:54:37.000 which I had no idea. 00:54:37.000 --> 00:54:40.000 I was, you know, a young lad. 00:54:40.000 --> 00:54:45.000 But at any rate, in 1990, February 7th, my father called me to my mom's office, you know, to her job. 00:54:45.000 --> 00:54:52.000 And it was there that my father, who was heterosexual-- so I wanted to say this too. 00:54:52.000 --> 00:54:71.000 HIV pandemic, despite the statistics that I've just read, this is not an LGBTQ illness. This is not an LGBTQ specific related epidemic. This impacts us all. And it impacted me. 00:55:11.000 --> 00:55:24.000 My father shared with me, at a very young age, that he was, that he had tested positive for HIV and AIDS. I was mortified. 00:55:24.000 --> 00:55:37.000 I can recall being in my mother's cosmetology school crying hysterically, because all I knew at the very young age was that HIV was a death sentence. 00:55:37.000 --> 00:55:57.000 I then began to sort of imagine my father losing weight. I then began to sort of create these false illusions in my mind that my father would pass, and pass in a very brutal and sad way. 00:55:57.000 --> 00:55:67.000 Again, despite the fact that I did not have a meaningful relationship with my father at that time, I felt for him. I felt sorry. 00:56:07.000 --> 00:56:18.000 And so, as we sort of progressed and I progressed and I kind of grew up and I kind of matured a little bit, and I started to seek counseling to deal with my anger and my frustrations. 00:56:18.000 --> 00:56:38.000 And my feeling just alone, unworthy, helpless. I began to create a relationship with my father. And, we began to have a pretty strong relationship. 00:56:38.000 --> 00:56:47.000 It wasn't your traditional father and son relationship because so much time had passed. We were both dealing with hurt and anger and fear and all those sorts of things. 00:56:47.000 --> 00:56:60.000 But I was able to create a meaningful relationship with my father. And, in February. Again, February the 7th, 2012, I never forget. 00:57:00.000 --> 00:57:12.000 I was called by my grandmother, his mom, and I went to a historically black college for my undergraduate experience in Durham, North Carolina, called North Carolina Central University. 00:57:12.000 --> 00:57:26.000 And I was called and my grandma said, "Jason, come home. Your father is in the hospital and I think this is the time for you to say goodbye." 00:57:26.000 --> 00:57:34.000 Well, you know, my father had been called to the hospital many a times, and we had many of those, like, this is the moment types of calls and I would rush home, you know. 00:57:34.000 --> 00:57:41.000 Drive fifty minutes down the highway to get home and my father would, you know, somehow bounce back, check hisself out, and be all good. 00:57:41.000 --> 00:57:52.000 Well, this time, on this February the 7th, 2012, something felt different. I can't really describe it and articulate it, but something felt different. So, I got in my car. 00:57:52.000 --> 00:57:61.000 I was taking my sweet time, driving. And I finally made it to my father's hospital room. 00:58:01.000 --> 00:58:10.000 As I'm approaching the hospital room, I see my aunts and uncles, some of my aunts and uncles and cousins that I haven't seen in years. 00:58:10.000 --> 00:58:20.000 And right then, I was like, "Okay, this feels a little different." I walk into the hospital room and my father was in there, laying on his bed. 00:58:20.000 --> 00:58:34.000 And the nurse and my grandmother said, "Okay. Could everyone step out, because I'm sure that Jason would like to say some words to his father as he sort of, you know, transitions." 00:58:34.000 --> 00:58:43.000 And of course, it didn't dawn on me. I'm like, "Granny, transition. Dad isn't going anywhere. You know, we've forged a great relationship and he's not going to slip away on me this soon. 00:58:43.000 --> 00:58:48.000 I still have some stuff I need to let him know. I still have some stuff I need to tell him." 00:58:48.000 --> 00:58:56.000 And you all, it was my father and I in this room together, just he and I. And I grabbed my father's hand. 00:58:56.000 --> 00:58:66.000 And, I said, "Dad, if you can hear me, give me a sign. Blink your eyes, squeeze my hand, say something, do something." 00:59:06.000 --> 00:59:17.000 And I had his, I had his right hand, because he was laying in bed this way, I had his right hand in my left hand type of thing. 00:59:17.000 --> 00:59:28.000 And as I was beginning to tell him that "Dad, I forgive you, I love you, we're going to be okay, I'm going to be fine, can you hear me?" 00:59:28.000 --> 00:59:37.000 And I said again, "Give me a sign." And he just squeezed my hand a little bit, you know, he gave me a little nudge. Okay, you can hear me. 00:59:37.000 --> 00:59:52.000 I said, "Well Dad, not only do I forgive you, but I want you to know, as you are laying here on your death bed, that I, too, am queer." 00:59:52.000 --> 00:59:65.000 I had never told anyone in my family that. Never. And when I told my dad that, he literally, literally opened his eyes. 01:00:05.000 --> 01:00:11.000 Now granted, I was kind of told that he wasn't really kind of still with us, he had already transitioned on. 01:00:11.000 --> 01:00:24.000 My dad opened his eyes and I didn't know what he was going to say, right. He opened his eyes and said, struggling, and I made it out. 01:00:24.000 --> 01:00:34.000 He said, "Son, it's okay and I love you." And then the machine went flatline. 01:00:34.000 --> 01:00:48.000 That was a moment in my life that I will never, ever forget, a moment in my life in which not only was I able to share with my father, at that particular time, 01:00:48.000 --> 01:00:69.000 my most intimate and darkest secret that I had been holding forever, but I also felt the love that he was sharing with me. 01:01:09.000 --> 01:01:17.000 And, I am now at a better place. I feel a sense of relief. And I know that my father is so very proud of the person that I have, that I am today. 01:01:17.000 --> 01:01:23.000 And so, in closing, I would like for everyone to stand up. 01:01:23.000 --> 01:01:28.000 Everyone stand, as you're able, stand up. 01:01:28.000 --> 01:01:41.000 And I'm going to invite you as you're able, to think about an individual in your life, an individual in your family, an individual perhaps in the community, 01:01:41.000 --> 01:01:49.000 that has been impacted by this horrific epidemic, HIV-AIDS. 01:01:49.000 --> 01:01:54.000 Think about that name. 01:01:54.000 --> 01:01:69.000 And again, because I'm from the south, I can be a little preachy at times, and I love a pulpit, a podium, and so I'm going to invite you to say that person's name when I count to three. Okay? 01:02:09.000 --> 01:02:13.000 And I'm going to say my father's name, just the first name. 01:02:13.000 --> 01:02:27.000 And this will be a way for us to collectively honor and appreciate and remember those individuals who have endured and who are still with us, 01:02:27.000 --> 01:02:34.000 might I add, still with us in spirit, this-- this HIV-AIDS epidemic. 01:02:34.000 --> 01:02:45.000 Okay? So you have the name? And I want you to say it loud, even through the mask, okay? One, two, three. 01:02:45.000 --> 01:02:49.000 Saying names. 01:02:49.000 --> 01:02:56.000 Thank you. Thank you all, so much, for being here, and thank you for having me. Bless you all. Thank you. 01:02:56.000 --> 01:02:64.000 Applause. 01:03:04.000 --> 01:03:14.000 Reddan: As has been mentioned, we are fortunate enough here at Western Oregon University to be displaying several panels of the AIDS memorial quilt. 01:03:14.000 --> 01:03:22.000 And just a few facts to consider about the quilt, which was originally created in 1987. 01:03:22.000 --> 01:03:31.000 There are over 110,000 names on the quilt, and that's just a small fraction of those that have been lost to this epidemic. 01:03:31.000 --> 01:03:42.000 There's over 6,000 sections of the quilt, and if you lay them side by side, that encompasses 56 miles. 01:03:42.000 --> 01:03:50.000 If you were to look at each panel of the quilt for thirty seconds, it would take you seventeen days to see the quilt. 01:03:50.000 --> 01:03:57.000 The quilt was first created by Cleve Jones in memory of his friend, Marvin Feldman, in 1987. 01:03:57.000 --> 01:03:70.000 And it was curated by the AIDS Memorial Quilt Names Project Foundation up until 2020 when it was then taken over by the National AIDS Memorial in San Francisco, 01:04:10.000 --> 01:04:19.000 who have become the conservators of the quilt and all of the records for the quilt are now in the National Archives in the Library of Congress. 01:04:19.000 --> 01:04:24.000 In 1989, it was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize because of its global impact. 01:04:24.000 --> 01:04:36.000 And the last time it was displayed in its entirety was in October of 1996, and at that time, it took up the entire national mall. 01:04:36.000 --> 01:04:46.000 It includes panels from every U.S. state and twenty-eight countries, and a number of names that you may recognize. 01:04:46.000 --> 01:04:72.000 Peter Allen, the tennis player Arthur Ashe, director Michael Bennett, Mel Boozer, a black and gay rights activist, singer Michael Callen, attorney Roy Cohn, Eazy-E, the rap artist, Perry Ellis, 01:05:12.000 --> 01:05:42.000 the fashion designer, Allison Gertz, an AIDS activist, actor Rock Hudson, Ryan White, Ricky Wilson, the guitarist for The B-52's, Vito Russo, a writer, fashion designer Willi Smith, 01:05:42.000 --> 01:05:45.000 and I could go on and on. 01:05:45.000 --> 01:05:51.000 This epidemic has impacted us all a great deal and there's still a lot to be done. 01:05:51.000 --> 01:05:59.000 I'd like to thank the Monmouth-Independence Pride Committee for all of the work that they did to put this together, the City of Monmouth, 01:05:59.000 --> 01:05:69.000 the City of Independence, and definitely the generous donors that made tonight happen, and especially our contest winners for your beautiful essays this evening. 01:06:09.000 --> 01:06:16.000 Thank you all for coming and continue, as our councilwoman said, to engage in acts of love. Good night. 01:06:16.000 --> 01:06:20.000 Applause. 01:06:20.000 --> 01:06:36.000 Music