Abounding Prosperity hosts Series of Free Events for World AIDS Day

Kirk Myers-Hill
Kirk Myers-Hill
Kirk Myers-Hill

Abounding Prosperity Inc.,(API is hosting a series of events in honor of World AIDS Day 2022, Thursday, December 1, 2022, kicking off with its second annual “Legacy of Lives Lost” exhibit.

This interactive exhibit will include 100 life-size statues to commemorate the lives lost to AIDS related complications over the past 34 years. It will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 2400 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd, Dallas, Texas 75215.

There will be a reception featuring a violinist and light refreshments from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. This exhibit is free and open to the public, though attendees are encouraged to bring an unwrapped toy to be distributed to children in need during the holiday.

On Friday, December 2, 2022, from 8 p.m. to 12 a.m., API and the Human Rights Campaign, Center for Black Equity and HPTN096, are partnering to host a free community event, The Red Rooftop Renaissance, at Sky Blu Rooftop Bar at Tru by Hilton Dallas Market Center, 1949 North Stemmons Freeway, Dallas, Texas 75207, in honor of World AIDS Day 2022.

According to organizers, API is working hard in the community through these events and others to increase knowledge around HIV and its prevention, reduce the stigma around sexuality and sexual health and increase access to prevention and treatment resources.

On World AIDS Day and every day, API lives out its mission to provide services that address the health, social and economic disparities among Black Americans with a particular emphasis on gay and bisexual men, cisgender women, transgender women and their families.

These events were created to increase influential awareness around World AIDS Day, vaccine inequity and the surplus of health disparities that disproportionately impact Black and Latinx LGBTQ+ communities.

“Recently, we’ve been consumed by COVID and monkeypox, but it’s important to remember that HIV and AIDS are still of concern to our communities,” said Kirk Myers-Hill, founder and chief executive officer of API. “Our goal is to educate individuals and provide the necessary resources so that we may all remain diligent in the fight against this disease.”

In addition to the Red Rooftop Renaissance event, Abounding Prosperity Inc. is encouraging the community to get their Mon-keypox vaccine through their clinical partner, H.O.P.E. Health and Wellness Center, 1619 Martin Luther King, Jr Blvd, Dallas, Texas 75215. H.O.P.E. Health and Wellness Center is accepting walkins for vaccines during business hours, Mondays and Thursdays: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

To help encourage increased vaccine rates, API will also conduct two $500 raffles for individuals who complete their 1st dose of the vaccine by December 15.

The drawing will take place at Dallas Southern Pride’s Christmas Fundraising Gala featuring a performance by Patti LaBelle on Saturday, December 17, 2022, from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. CST at the Fairmont Dallas, 1717 Akard Street, Dallas, TX 75201.

Dallas nonprofit launches relief fund to combat economic consequences of monkeypox

Kirk Myers-Hill
Kirk Myers-Hill
Kirk Myers-Hill, founder and CEO of Abounding Prosperity, speaks during a press conference at HOPE Health Center, Thursday, Sept. 22, 2022 in Dallas. Also in attendance were (from left) Tamara Stephney, executive director at H.O.P.E. Health Center, Dallas City Council members Jesse Moreno, Adam Bazaldua and Omar Narvaez. Atmos Energy donated $2,500 to Abounding Prosperity to establish the the Monkeypox Relief Assistance Fund.(Elías Valverde II / Staff Photographer)

By Marin Wolf

Local health organizers are trying to raise at least $50,000 for a fund that aims to help Dallas residents struggling to meet their basic needs because of monkeypox infections.

The Monkeypox Relief Assistance Fund, launched by Dallas health nonprofit Abounding Prosperity Inc., will combat the economic implications of the monkeypox virus. An infection can last anywhere from two to four weeks, forcing people to take significant time off work.

The virus has disproportionately impacted Black, Latino and LGBT communities, with more than 34% of Dallas County’s 689 total cases occurring in Black individuals and nearly 20% occurring in Latino individuals. A majority of cases have been reported in men who have sex with men, although the virus can spread to anyone, regardless of sexual orientation.

“Solidarity efforts are not enough. The health and economic burden among Black and Brown LGBTQ+ communities in Dallas County and beyond is distressing,” said Kirk Myers-Hill, founder and CEO of Abounding Prosperity.

So far, the fund has raised just over $1,600 of its goal on a GoFundMe page. Dallas-based natural gas distribution company Atmos Energy will also contribute $2,500 to the fund.

New monkeypox cases in Dallas County have been declining since a peak of 25 new cases on Aug. 10, according to health department data. Still, for individuals who contract monkeypox, the virus can be devastating.

A monkeypox infection is typically accompanied by flu-like symptoms, followed by lesions that can spread throughout the body or stay confined to only a few locations. The lesions go through several stages, including becoming raised and liquid filled, before scabbing over and falling off. They can be incredibly painful, although monkeypox is rarely fatal.

“A lot of folks don’t realize that they do not have… the backing of their employer in order to be gone that long, because this isn’t COVID,” Deputy Mayor Pro Tem Omar Narvaez said at the press conference announcing the relief fund.

Narvaez was one of three Dallas City Council members at the press conference, held at the HOPE Health and Wellness Center. The city is not financially supporting the fund, the council members confirmed.

Myers-Hill said at least one individual has contacted Abounding Prosperity about monetary assistance following a monkeypox infection that led to significant medical bills.

Kirk Myers-Hill
Kirk Myers-Hill, founder and CEO of Abounding Prosperity, smiles after receiving a donation from Atmos Energy during a press conference at HOPE Health Center, Thursday, Sept. 22, 2022 in Dallas. Atmos Energy donated $2,500 to Abounding Prosperity to establish the the Monkeypox Relief Assistance Fund.(Elías Valverde II / Staff Photographer)

Earlier this week, Dallas Southern Pride announced the cancellation of Dallas’ upcoming Black Pride Weekend “out of an abundance of caution,” over the spread of monkeypox. The celebratory weekend-long event, scheduled for Sept. 29 to Oct. 1, was set to draw anywhere from 10,000 to 15,000 attendees.

The decision to cancel the event was also made to bring attention to vaccination opportunities for Black and Latino members of the LGBT community, said Myers-Hill, who also serves as president of Dallas Southern Pride.

Vaccinations are available for qualifying individuals through the county health departments and a handful of community health partners, including Abounding Prosperity. While vaccinations have previously been in short supply, the county currently has more than enough doses for eligible groups, said the county’s top health official Dr. Philip Huang.

Abounding Prosperity’s vaccine clinic is at HOPE Health and Wellness Center at 1619 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. in Dallas from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Mondays and Thursdays, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the first and third Saturdays of the month, while supplies last.

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