Today is the 29th Anniversary of the AIDS virus being officially recognized. Since then, as we posted earlier, more than 25 million have died. Throughout the years, World AIDS Day has been recognized in many ways. First in 1988, when members of the World Health Organization and what is now known as UNAIDS started the campaign. In 1989, a campaign to make December 1st “A Day Without Art” began. Museums were shut down and workers went for the day to volunteer for HIV/AIDS service organizations.
Six years later, a new campaign to make it “A Day With Art” was born to recognize artists living with HIV/AIDS and art commemorating those lost to the illness. Over the years, millions have done their part to recognize and bring awareness to HIV/AIDS on World AIDS Day – using the resources they have to create art installations, youtube campaigns and one of my favorites – a condom over the Obelisk in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 2005. What are you doing to recognize December 1st, 2010?
Interestingly enough, December 1st was known for another important step in the fight for civil rights about 30 years prior to the first documented case of HIV/AIDS. In 1955, (55 years ago today), at the age of 42, a woman named Rosa Parks refused to obey the orders of a bus driver who demanded she sit at the back of the bus. Though not the first instance of this kind of activism by the African American community, this was the one that made history, sparking the Montgomery, alabama bus boycott. Parks instantly became an icon of the modern civil rights movement and with her help, we came to know of another civil rights leader by the name of Martin Luther King, Jr.
Please. Take a moment or two today to do something for our equality. It’s an important day and we cannot let it go by without recognizing its’ historical significance. If you just call a friend or relative and have a conversation about equality, it will be a step forward towards gaining equality for all people.