USM Leads Local Commemoration of 35th World AIDS Day

Contact: Laura McCulty Stepp
Director, Ursuline Sisters HIV/AIDS Ministry

USM Leads Local Commemoration of 35th World AIDS Day
This year’s theme -- Remember and Commit

CANFIELD – Ursuline Sisters Mission, which operates the Ursuline Sisters HIV/AIDS Ministry, is leading the local commemoration of World AIDS Day. Begun 35 years ago, the annual event strives to increase awareness, combat stigma and myths, and support people affected by HIV/AIDS.

The public is invited to join area political and health officials, business leaders, and staff and supporters of the Ursuline Sisters HIV/AIDS Ministry Nov. 30, from 3:30-5:30 p.m. at the Ursuline Center, 4280 Shields Road, Canfield. World AIDS Day is Dec. 1.

3:30 p.m.: Prayer, candlelight vigil in the Ursuline Center Auditorium

We will open the event with prayer. Speakers will help us remember the unique lives of local residents lost to AIDS. On display will be portions of the AIDS Memorial Quilt, which was originally displayed in Washington, D.C., and quilts created to memorialize local residents. Flameless candles will be provided.

4 p.m.: Call to action in the Ursuline Center Atrium

Speakers will discuss the stigma and myths complicating the lives of people living with HIV/AIDS, their families, friends and caregivers. The Ursuline Sisters HIV/AIDS Ministry will issue a compelling call to action, urging everyone to be active in HIV/AIDS awareness, education, and prevention. The audience will be provided with credible information to help all stand in solidarity through compassion and understanding.

4:30 p.m. Remembrance & Reflection Guided Labyrinth Walk

Participants can carry their flameless candles to the Ursuline Center labyrinth, just across the parking lot from the Center Atrium, where Vicki Vicars, Mission, Equity & Resilience director for USM, will lead a labyrinth walk to pay tribute to people infected or affected by HIV/AIDS.

Light refreshments will be provided in the Ursuline Center Atrium.

Also, beginning Nov. 27, USM will place displays of red ribbons at locations around Youngstown and USM in Canfield. Each ribbon symbolizes 50 people living with HIV in the Mahoning Valley.

Ursuline Sisters HIV/AIDS Ministry director Laura McCulty Stepp is available for live interview on local stations the week of Nov. 27.

Ursuline Sisters HIV/AIDS Ministry