In a intimate event held to mark the publication of the groundbreaking book, ‘Our Stories Told by Us: Celebrating the African Contribution to the UK HIV Response,’ attendees gathered to honor the vital role played by black leaders in addressing health inequalities and inequities within their communities. Organized by a team of dedicated individuals, this event was a testament to the power of collective action and community-driven initiatives.

Keynote Address by Professor Kevin Fenton CBE FFHP

The event kicked off with a thought-provoking keynote address delivered by Professor Kevin Fenton, a prominent figure in public health. As the Co-Chair of the London HIV Fast Track Cities Initiative and the Statutory Health Advisor to the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, Professor Fenton highlighted the significance of acknowledging the contributions of black leaders in the fight against HIV/AIDS. He emphasized the need for collaborative efforts and innovative solutions to address the challenges faced by marginalized communities.

Q&A with the Co-Authors

Q/A Session Chaired by Dr. Ade Fakoya

Following the keynote address, attendees engaged in a stimulating question-and-answer session chaired by Dr. Ade Fakoya, an esteemed HIV Consultant and Positive East Trustee. The interactive session allowed participants to delve deeper into the issues raised by Professor Fenton, fostering meaningful discussions and encouraging attendees to reflect on their roles in shaping a more equitable future

Spoken Word Performance by Bakita Kasadha

Adding a creative and poignant touch to the event, attendees were treated to a mesmerizing spoken word performance by Bakita Kasadha. A researcher, author, poet, and contributor to ‘Our Stories Told by Us,’ Bakita’s performance captivated the audience, weaving together words that celebrated resilience, hope, and the strength of women with HIV.

Poet and writer Bakita Kasadha 

Celebrating Black Leaders and Community Solutions

Throughout the event, the spotlight remained firmly on black leaders, recognizing their invaluable contributions to addressing health inequalities. The organizers, including Angelina Namiba, Charity Nyirenda, Memory Sachikonye, Rebecca Mbewe, and Winnie Ssanyu-Sseruma, Mark Santos, Ian Montgomery and the wonderful team at Positive East expressed their gratitude to all the contributors and everyone involved for their generous support, underscoring the importance of collaboration between community-driven organizations and institutions to effect positive change.

The event was a powerful testament to the strength of community, the importance of meaningful representation, and the need to recognize the African leadership to the UK AIDS response. As attendees left the event, they carried with them a renewed sense of purpose and inspiration, driven by the stories shared and the commitment to working together to create a future where everyone can benefit from the tremendous progress we have seen in HIV response over the last 40 years.

bookmarks and red ribbons designed by the co-authors were gifted to attendees

bookmarks reverse side