Asian & Pacific Islander Wellness Center
For Immediate Release Contact: Stephanie Goss, 415-292-3420 ext. 330
April 28, 2009 David Stupplebeen, 415-292-3420 ext. 361
THE BANYAN TREE PROJECT HOSTS FILMMAKER Q&A AT SCREENING OF “HONOR THY CHILDREN” FOR THE 5TH ANNUAL NATIONAL ASIAN & PACIFIC ISLANDER HIV/AIDS AWARENESS DAY
WHAT: The Banyan Tree Project—Asian & Pacific Islander Wellness Center’s national anti-stigma social marketing campaign—hosts “Acts of Love: Turning Compassion into Action,” an intimate film screening and dinner reception in honor of the 5th Annual National Asian & Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. Meet the filmmakers Al and Jane Nakatani as they share their story in “Honor Thy Children,” a moving documentary depicting their struggles with HIV-related stigma and their journey to acceptance. The event will open with a special introduction by Dr. Jesus Felizzola of the National Minority AIDS Education and Training Center. A complimentary dinner reception will follow the screening.
WHERE: Asian & Pacific Islander Wellness Center, 730 Polk Street 4th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94109
WHY: The threat of HIV/AIDS continues to grow in the U.S., particularly in communities of color who collectively represent 70% of the national epidemic. The impact of the disease among A&PIs is alarming, though less-publicized than that of Blacks and Latinos. In A&PI communities, the HIV/AIDS rate rose 34% from 1999 to 2003 and another 10% since then. Moreover, the number of HIV diagnoses among young A&PI gay men more than doubled between 2001 and 2006. Despite this, over two thirds of the A&PI community has never been tested for HIV.
“Honor Thy Children” is Al and Jane Nakatani’s personal tribute to the children they lost to the ravages of HIV/AIDS and, more painfully, the shame and violence accompanying HIV-related stigma and homophobia. Through the loss of their three sons (two to AIDS and one to murder), the Nakatanis made the difficult journey from fear and denial to compassion and acceptance. Though tragic, their story is ultimately about the transformative power of love.
As the third decade of the HIV epidemic comes to a close, it is vital that all Asians and Pacific Islanders take responsibility for the health of the community by getting tested for HIV. Turn your compassion into action by breaking the silence around HIV.
WHEN: Monday, May 18th, 2009 from 5:30-8:00 pm
WHO: A&PI Wellness Center, Banyan Tree Project, Al & Jane Nakatani
SPEAKERS: Al & Jane Nakatani, producers of “Honor Thy Children”
Dr. Jesus Felizzola, Cultural Competency Program Manager for the National Minority AIDS Education and Training Center (NMAETC) at Howard University College of Medicine.
About Asian & Pacific Islander Wellness Center
A&PI Wellness Center’s mission is to educate, support, empower and advocate for Asian & Pacific Islander communities, particularly A&PIs living with or at risk for HIV/AIDS. With three sites in the San Francisco Bay Area and a staff fluent in 20 languages, A&PI Wellness Center delivers programs regionally, statewide, and nationally, and collaborates with community-based organizations throughout the Asia Pacific Region. For press materials or more information please visit www.apiwellness.org.