Reply to "AIDS turns 20"

Tuesday, July 09, 2002
Dear Friend:

I am writing you to request your presence for a two-part event be hosted by the Network to Initiate Action group (NIA) at People of Color in Crisis (POCC) in Brooklyn on Saturday, July 20, 2002, 1:30 p.m. NIA is a newly founded youth run group operating under the continuous goal of reducing HIV infection rates among black young men who have sex with men and Transgender (BYMSM/TG) communities, by highlighting issues regarding the HIV epidemic on a local, regional and ultimately national level.

The primary goal of NIA, which means purpose in Swahili, is to have a series of Round Tables/Community Forums to gather local community youth and highlight the issues they are facing. Some of the key questions we hope to answer are why infection rates are still rising, why youth are not accessing HIV service providers on a regular basis to find out their health status, and to report this information to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Our other major goal is to develop a needs assessment based on the information we gather from our Roundtables/Community Forums.

We would greatly appreciate your support for this youth led initiative. We are asking each invited agency to send their young adult coordinator and a youth representative to participate in this event. The first portion will be a presentation about the NIA project and how it came to be. Our hope is your youth program will be interested in collaborating with NIA to promote a youth focused HIV prevention agenda. The later half of the event will be spent on our first Roundtable/Community Forum; we invite you to attend this as a member of the community who wishes to discus issues that (B)YMSM/TG communities are facing.

We hope you and your agency will be able to work with us towards achieving the goals mentioned in this letter. The NIA Public Relations Team (Ka'Leef Washington and Kevin Edwards) will be in touch with you soon to follow up to confirm your attendance for this event, further details such as the times for both events, and directions to the location will be provided at that time. If you would like to RSVP via E-mail, or if you would like to receive more information about our initiative, please reply to the address listed below. We as young people believe that saving the lives of our fellow youth is important, because the lives of BYMSM/TG are important. Thank you for your time and we look forward to hearing from you soon.

Sincerely,

Christan G. Narvaez
Secretary, The NIA Group

Christan Narvaez
NIA, The group with a purpose
NIA Project Secretary
E-mail: cn204@columbia.edu
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