Right now, I’m getting ready for my trip to Port-au-Prince, Haiti tomorrow. Besides that fact that it will be my first time ever in Haiti, what makes this trip exciting is that I am going to represent The Red Pump Project, along with 2 of our team members (hey Brittani and Skyy!) as guests of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.
We will be on the ground in time for World AIDS Day (December 1), when people all over the globe will focus on shedding light on the HIV/AIDS epidemic. We’re bringing one of our signature events, Cupcakes and Condoms, to Port-au-Prince that day.
We will be there this week, giving several workshops on HIV/AIDS 101 to various groups, including high school and college kids. I’ll also be teaching a “Social Media Marketing for Nonprofits” workshop at the U.S. Embassy. We’ll be passing out safe sex kits that include female condoms, and we’ll be visiting sex workers.
It is a FULL week and I am looking forward to it. Our days start early and end late, but we will be keeping folks in the know. via social media Our trip will be documented by photographer and filmmaker Antonio Thompson. You can check out what we’re doing by following The Red Pump Project on Instagram (@RedPump) and Facebook. We’re also on Twitter (@RedPumpProj). FOLLOW US!
This trip is a dream come true. Ever since Red Pump launched in 2009, we’ve wondered if we’d ever get to do this work outside of the United States. It has been on our strategic plan, but we have not been able to pursue it, as we’re small and have a dedicated team in 6 cities around the country.
We certainly didn’t have the money to expand. But this opportunity dropped at our feet and it is incredible. The State Department saw the value in what Red Pump does, and it takes me back to when we got the Congressional Record from the U.S. House of Representatives in 2010. This just goes to affirm what we’ve been doing, and to be invited to come speak, learn and fellowship in Haiti is an ultimate honor. We are being hosted by a great team in Port-au-Prince, and they’ve made this process simple. Shoutout to them.
The stigma around HIV/AIDS is literally killing us, and how the epidemic has affected women of color disproportionately means people who look like me need to be talking about it. We need to let women know they are powerful and worthy of being safe, and we need to decrease barriers of access to things that can keep them safe. We’re taking our message of empowerment to Haiti and we could not be more excited about it.
Now to pick 4-5 pairs of my favorite red shoes to take with me. Not all pumps, of course. I gotta take some flats, maybe a pair of sneakers too. I’ll be posting my shoe choices on my shoestagram (@MustLuvvShoes).
While I’m gone this week, expect very little in terms of posting from me. I might schedule a couple of posts, like some of the ones of y’all clowning on my Facebook fan page but I’m not sure if I even have time. You know I’m probably gonna be packing until I leave for the airport. Because of who I am as a person and professional procrastinator. I’m missing some GOOD STUFF this week too, like The Wiz Live. Hold it down for me, though!
But yes. WHOOT!!! Haiti is the 12th country I’m going to this year. 1 more to go next week (Barbados). I look forward to eating the delicious food I’ve heard so much about. I want to eat ALLTHECARBS.
P.S. ANDDD I am the guest curator for the ONE Campaign’s Girls & Women site this December. I join the likes of Matt Damon, Angelique Kidjo, Chelsea Clinton and Laura Bush to talk about an issue that is near and dear to me, and spotlight some great content around the web. It kicks off December 1! Thank you to them for giving me the space to amplify something that matters to me.