The Banyan Tree Project is a national community mobilization and social marketing campaign to end the silence and shame surrounding HIV/AIDS in Asian and Pacific Islander (A&PI) communities. The Banyan Tree Project produces annual anti-HIV stigma messages and materials, the National Asian & Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, and provides Capacity Building Assistance (CBA) to community-based organizations serving A&PIs in the US and six US-affiliated Pacific Island Jurisdictions.
In 2012, we launched a new community-driven, community-owned initiative that puts the power to end HIV stigma back in the hands of the community.
"Taking Root" stories are authentic and personal. They are the storyteller's own work, unfiltered through the lens of directors, producers, or journalists who often have their own agenda. Storytellers are trained to create their own digital stories in intense, three-day workshops facilitated by the Banyan Tree Project and the Center for Digital Storytelling. Our goal is to host digital storytelling workshops in A&PI communities across the country and the six US-affiliated Pacific Island Jurisdictions.
It's been said that it takes a thousand voices to tell a single story. To tell the story of A&PIs and HIV, we need each of you to take part.
We're all living with HIV, whether we have the virus or not.
Listen with compassion. Share the stories with your friends and family.
Watch more stories on the Taking Root Stories page. Want to hold a screening for your community? Download the Taking Root Facilitators Guide. Visit our Resources Page for more to support your screening.
To find out about creating your own Taking Root story or hosting a workshop in your area, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
It's been said that it takes a thousand voices to tell a single story. "Taking Root" is grounded in the power of the individual story, but its territory extends beyond the individual. We are a multitude of voices: there is no singular Asian American or Pacific Islander experience, and the face of HIV is as diverse as the people affected by it. Through the connections forged by these individual experiences, we are able to tell a story about the ways we are affected by HIV. Together, these stories heal and it is through the telling and witnessing of them that we learn to overcome our silence and shame. As "Taking Root" grows, it will eventually include stories from AA and NHPI communities across the US and the six US-affiliated Pacific Island Jurisdictions.
Digital storytelling is a form of short narrative told in the first person and enhanced by sound, video, and symbolic imagery. These are true stories from AAs and NHPIs recounting the ways in which HIV has affected and altered their lives. The stories were developed during an intensive 3-day workshop facilitated by Center for Digital Storytelling where participants were trained to produce their own story, from developing their own narrative and producing a voiceover, to using audiovisual and editing equipment to create the final video.
The videos created during this workshop will be featured here on the Banyan Tree Project web page, and will be available via our YouTube channel and on DVD for screening at National A&PI HIV/AIDS Awareness Day events. If you are interested in receiving a DVD, please email the Banyan Tree Project team.
Taking Root takes our campaign to a whole new level, where people are talking about HIV for themselves and for our community as a whole, cutting to the core of what the Banyan Tree Project's slogan is all about.
"Saving face" is a common cultural concept in A&PI communities, where individuals seek to protect the family from perceived public shame or disgrace. In practice, "saving face" contributes to silence about sex, HIV, and safe sex practices. Saving face and stigma also lead to higher rates of HIV infection and a lack of knowledge about one's HIV status:
It's easy! Get ready and set to help spread the word:
When you're ready and set, GO!