World AIDS Day Photo Gallery 2005 - Minnesota Dept. of Health

World AIDS Day Photo Gallery 2005

AWAD Planning Committee 2005

photo of African AIDS Day planning committee

(Alphabetical listing of persons in photo)

Sirad Abdirahman, Shukri Adan, Neville Ansley, Margaret Awasum, Degete Bushen, Ertra Deressa, Pastor Moses Fasanya, Redwan Hamza, Abdullah Hared, Wilhelmina Holder, Evelyn Kebaya, Huda Farah, Charles Koudou, Kent Linder, Charity Mentan, Abdirizak Mohamed, Paul Morande, Florence Nabeta, Elizabeth Namarra, Melissa Nambangi, Japhet Nyakundi, John Watham-Ocama, Dollina Odera, Abdullahi Sheikh, Alvine Siaka, Lekyelesh Worku, Monica Yugu
More AWAD Photos (PDF)

African World AIDS Day Event Summary
December 10, 2005

The African World AIDS Day (AWAD) Planning Committee hosted its second annual collaborative event in observance of World AIDS Day, 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Saturday, December 10 at the Sabathani Community Center, 310 East 38th Street, Minneapolis, MN 55409.

Overall participation:

  • 348 attended the event
  • 22 exhibitors
  • 19 different speakers
  • 39 performing artists, musicians, drummers and dancers
  • 6 HIV tests provided (need to verify)

Each day in Africa, UNAIDS estimated that up to 9,500 are infected and 6,500 will die. Africa represented only 10 percent of the world’s population but has more than half of all of the HIV infections worldwide.

According to the Minnesota Department of Health, HIV continues to be problem among African-born persons in Minnesota, who made up 19 percent of new HIV diagnoses during 2004, but represented less than 1 percent of the general population. In 1996, African-born persons only represented 4 percent of the newly diagnosed cases. This group is particularly vulnerable because they have not been exposed to 20 years of HIV education and prevention messages that the general U.S. population has.

African residents representing several African nations were enjoined in a unified commemoration to call attention to the impact HIV and AIDS has had on Africans here and in their respective countries.
The purposes of this event were to:

  • Increase HIV/AIDS awareness;
  • Reduce stigma and discrimination;
  • Provide prevention education; and,
  • Connect those already infected to existing care services.

African and HIV physicians, community leaders, religious leaders, elected officials’ representatives, agency directors, and survivors provided educational and inspirational presentations or invocations.

Featured speakers included:

  • Dr. Keith Henry, Hennepin County Medical Center
  • Chao Lee - Congresswoman Betty McCollum’s Representative
  • Michelle Collen - U.S. Senator Mark Dayton’s Representative
  • Mitchell Davis, Acting Director, Office of Minority and Multicultural Health, Minnesota Department of Health
  • Joyce Nalwoga, African Hero
  • Community elders and religious leaders: (Abdullahi Sheikh, Pastor Moses Fasanya and Orthodox Christian representative

Panel discussions featured:

  • Dr. John Ocama, Great Lakes AIDS Support Services
  • Dr. Keith Henry, Hennepin County Medical Center
  • Dr. Laura Hoyt, St. Paul Childrens Hospital and University of Minnesota
  • Dr. Alan Lifson, Professor, University of Minnesota
  • Dr. Joyce Onyenkaba, Crown Medical Center
  • Dr. Omobosola Akinsete, Hennepin County Medical Center
  • Joyce Nalwoga, African Hero
  • Peggy Thornton, St. Paul Childrens Hospital and University of Minnesota
  • Pastor Moses Fasayna

African performing artists, drama, singers, musicians, dancers and drummers performed throughout the day. Performers included:

  • ANDI Youth Group – lead by Charity Mentan
  • Cameroonian Amanim Dance Group lead by Pascal Atem;
  • MAWA Youth Dance Group lead by Melissa Nambangi;
  • Oromo and Nigerian Fashion Show;
  • Project Valentine’s “Spoken Word: Awakening;”
  • Somalia musicians;
  • Egbe Omo Oduduwa – Yoruba lead by Rilwan Alowonie;
  • Sowah Mensah and Friends Drummer Group; and,
  • Togolese Accappella Gospel Group lead by Kofi Dosu

Collaborating African Agencies
A planning committee, made up of over 30 members, spearheaded the AWAD Event. The chair of the planning committee was Monica Yugu, Women Light Action Network, and the vice chair was Abdullah Hared, Somali Community Resettlement Services, Inc. Agencies represented on the AWAD Planning Committee included:

  • Africa Solutions
  • African & American Friendship Association for
  • Cooperative Development
  • African Network for Development Inc.
  • AIDS Project of Nigeria
  • Generation for Change and Growth
  • Good Image Family Services
  • Great Lakes AIDS Support Services
  • HEAL Social Families Services
  • Liberian Human Rights & Refugee Welfare Organization
  • Mestawet Ethiopian Newspaper
  • Minnesota African Women Association
  • Miss Cameroon Minnesota Organization
  • Morning Star Catering Service
  • New Americas Community Services
  • Nyagetinge Umoja
  • Oromo Community of Minnesota, Inc.
  • Pan African Community Organization
  • Project Valentine
  • Relief Association of South Sudan
  • Somali Community Resettlement Services, Inc.
  • Somali Health Project
  • Sub-Saharan African Youth and Family Services
  • Sudanese Women Association of Minnesota
  • The African Parents Support-Group
  • We Care Family Services
  • Women Light Action Network
  • Zyombi International Project

  • Other Supporting Agencies

  • African American AIDS Task Force

  • American Red Cross – Minneapolis Community Volunteers

  • Hamline African Student Association

  • Minnesota AIDS Project

  • Minnesota Department of Health

  • Minnesota Department of Human Services

  • Minnesota International Health Volunteer

  • Open Arms of Minnesota

  • Pillsbury United Communities

  • Planned Parenthood of MN/ND/SD

  • University of MN African Student Association

  • University of MN AIDS Clinical Trials
  • Funders
    These organizations contributed funding and without their support, the AWAD event could not have taken place:

  • Africa Solutions

  • African American AIDS Task Force (AAATF)

  • MN African Women's Association (MAWA)

  • Minnesota AIDS Project (MAP)

  • Minnesota Department of Health (MDH)

  • Minnesota Department of Human Services

  • Minnesota International Health Volunteers (MIHV)

  • Open Arms of Minnesota

  • Otto Bremer Foundation

  • Pfizer, Inc.

  • Planned Parenthood of MN/ND/SD

  • University of Minnesota – School of Public Health (MATEC)

  • For More Information
    For more information, contact: Monica Yugu, Chair, AWAD Planning Committee, at 952-484-7046 or e-mail at:; or, Abdullah Hared, Vice Chair, AWAD Planning Committee, at 507-252-5888, or e-mail at:

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