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Riding 12,000 Miles for HIV--From LA to NYC

  • Broadcast in Culture
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Jamila K. Gaskins is an independent film producer based in Los Angeles who grew up in a household of the arts and activists. Her mother was a singer and her father, a well-known painter and ceramic artist. Through them, she learned that art could create and examine community, and the principles of individual and collective responsibility.

In 2005, Jamila ran the Adidas Dublin marathon to raise money for AIDS Project Los Angeles and honor her uncle Tommy who is HIV+. For 6 months, she trained, fundraised and learned how HIV/AIDS affects women. It seemed incredible to her that the percentage of women who have HIV/AIDS had more than doubled in the last 20 years yet it's still perceived and discussed in the general public as a gay male disease. Once she learned that HIV infection is the leading cause of death for black women aged 25 - 34 years, the 5th leading cause of death among all women aged 35 - 44 years and the 6th leading cause of death among all women aged 25 - 34 years, she knew she had to do something. Reminding her of a childhood lesson, "Each one reach one, each one teach one."

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