by Chelsey Sellars | The Center For Black Health & Equity Communications Specialist
If you’re reading this, you may have missed out on the Griot Groove activities – so let’s recap!
Griot Groove was hosted in partnership with The Center For Black Health & Equity, Quality Comprehensive Health Center, R.O.L.E Models, and North Carolina AIDS Action Network. The night served a double purpose to kick off Black History Month and raise awareness for National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NBHAAD). This observance day calls attention to the significant and disproportionate impact of HIV on Black communities and the importance of increasing access to HIV education, testing, treatment, and prevention services.
The Griot Groove was an in-person event, but for those that felt more comfortable maintaining a social distance, many people tuned in virtually on Facebook Live and Bigo platforms.
All who attended were able to experience open mic from a diverse group of spoken word artists, poetry, storytelling and vocal artists. They all used their artistic prowess to shed light on Black experiences in general while also reinforcing the vital, collaborative approach to Let's Stop HIV Together and stigma reduction messaging.
A major highlight of the night was the storytelling by individuals directly or indirectly impacted by HIV. These were submitted anonymously. The stories were powerful, prompted moments for reflection, and sparked a call to action. Vocal performances and the live band supplied the crowd with amazing sounds and music from the late 1990s and the early 2000s, which was met with warm voices and synchronous singing.
It was an evening of empowerment, resiliency, and hope.
HIV and other health screenings were made available on-site, which you can still take advantage of by visiting CDC.gov.