Day 5-Social Justice and Advocacy Day

Saturday, April 5, 2014 

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9am-12pm – Durham Food Bank: The Durham Food Bank has regular volunteer hours for anyone interested. The address is 708 Gilbert St, Durham NC, 27701. To sign up, contact DurVolCoord@foodbankcenc.org or 919-956-2513 ext. 2104.

11am-4pm – Bryan Center Plaza: Join in interactive displays, activities, and campaigns from UAEM, FACE AIDS, and WISER.

UAEM: Universities Allied for Essential Medicines focuses on social justice issues that can be addressed right here on campus. 40 chapters of UAEM at research universities worldwide work to bring awareness to the impact that university licensing decisions can have on access to drugs and innovative research products in the developing world. We work to stay informed about current events in the drug development sector, while also trying to get students and faculty thinking about the social impact of their research and subsequent licensing choices both nationally and globally. For Global Health Week’s Social Justice Day, we plan to illustrate the point along the drug development pipeline that UAEM focuses, as the average person may not be aware of the various steps it takes to get from one compound in the lab to a drug approved for sale. We also will be showing disparities in drug costs and access to certain drugs in different regions worldwide using coins and pill bottles.

FACE AIDS: FACE AIDS is a national organization which mobilizes students in the fight to end AIDS. Through spreading awareness and fundraising, we are able to challenge the stigma surrounding the disease and help people to see if for what it is, a biological condition. Our partnership with PIH (Partners in Health) allows us to send proceeds directly to AIDS affected victims in Rwanda. On social justice and advocacy day, we will be continuing our Pin Campaign. We will be selling pins created by AIDS victims in Rwanda and all of the proceeds will be sent back, so we can promote self-sustainability, agency, and health in their communities. For all those who help us in our mission, we will be taking polaroid photos and pinning them to our board in the BC! Come and support us in promoting “health as a human right”.

WISER: WISER will be inviting students to participate in mini-photo campaign. The purpose of this campaign is to provide a space in which students can channel their common interests towards a common goal: supporting WISER. On Social Justice Day, students will be given WISER watermarked mini-posters on which to write the personal connection that they have to WISER, through education, economics, policy, or any of the other field that WISER engages in. These posters will take the form: “I am a ____, so I care about WISER because _____” For example: “I am a future doctor, so I care about WISER because a woman that finishes high school reduces her lifetime HIV risk by 50%.” When each person finishes writing their statement, they will be photographed, and all of the photos will be compiled into a large photo-montage that will then be published on the WISER International Facebook page. We will also have information for students who would like to learn more about WISER’s mission and programs. The WISER club strives to engage Duke students in providing support to the Women’s Institute for Secondary Education and Research (WISER).   This is a school in Muhuru Bay Kenya that offers intelligent young girls the opportunity to get a free education and receive other support services.  As part of a community based intervention, the WISER school not only provides education for the WISER girls and support for primary students in the region, but changes the community perception of girls so that their worth and potential is recognized.  It also improves the health of the girls who face the burden of living in an incredibly impoverished region with an HIV/AIDS infection rate near 33%.  The end result is a generation of successful, healthy, empowered girls who can contribute to the development of their entire community. The WISER club fundraises to support this incredibly successful intervention.  Students in the club also seek to raise awareness about the cause and the importance of health, education, and female empowerment.  Through monetary support and educational campaigns, we hope to see WISER’s success continue for many years to come.

12pm-2pm – West Main Quad: Enjoy an awareness BBQ and join the Spread the Word to End the Word Campaign, hosted by Special Olympics College, Best Buddies, and Autism U.

Special Olympics College, Best Buddies, and Autism Speaks U will team up to host an Awareness BBQ on West Main Quad from 12-2pm with local Special Olympics athletes and other individuals in the community with disabilities. We’ll also have a banner signing for the national Spread the Word to End the Word campaign for students to pledge to stop the derogatory use of the r-word, or “retard” as well as a Special Olympics athlete to share his/her experiences. Our groups’ missions combine to bring together students and those with disabilities to promote inclusion and understanding and to facilitate friendship and interaction with the surrounding community through fun, sport, and other volunteering opportunities.

6pm-8pm – French Family Science Center 2231: Watch a screening of Fire in the Blood, a Sundance-acclaimed film exploring HIV/AIDS.

Fire in the Blood “tells the story of how Western pharmaceutical companies and governments aggressively blocked access to low-cost AIDS drugs for the countries of Africa and the global south in the years after 1996 – causing ten million or more unnecessary deaths –  and the improbable group of people who decided to fight back.” Check out http://fireintheblood.com/ for more information.

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