By Brittani Menina, Red Pump Ambassador – Charlotte
On May 1st I will be in Gulfport, Mississippi representing The Red Pump Project at Little Rock Missionary Baptist Church for a “Pump up the Awareness” event for all girl youth sororities and African American Teenagers. My goal is to spread the work of the Red Pump Project and ultimately raise awareness of the impact HIV/AIDS has on women and girls.
The call for the event came from a conversation with my mother about the rise in teenage pregnancy within the youth sororities. This is causing other parents to not allow their daughters to join youth sororities in the attempt to keep them being persuaded by others. She asked for suggestions from me on what to do and what to say to the girls.
My immediate thoughts were to inform them about The Red Pump Project because it was apparent that they are willing and are having unprotected sex. I thought it was important that the youth knew that there were other consequences to having unprotected sex other than just pregnancy.
Ever since my hometown was devastated by Hurricane Katrina, it has been important to focus on the youth because they are the future of the survival of my hometown. I know from experience that HIV/AIDS and STDs are rarely discussed there. The type of person I am would not allow me to sit back and not respond to a plea, especially from my mother. I personally believe in empowering other young women and sharing my education and experiences with others. No one will ever find me doing speaking engagements, but it is possible to find me educating.
I’m excited to announce that we have partnered with South MS AIDS Task Force (SMATF) for this event. Last summer during my stay in Gulfport, I decided to volunteer with the South MS AIDS Task Force. I attended a meeting about the Annual Bid for Life fundraiser and was so excited to help this organization out. At the same time, I was preparing to go back to Charlotte but I made an undisclosed vow to the executive director, Amanda Breckenridge that I would continue to work to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS. This is how I began my search for an organization to get involve with and my desire to work with The Red Pump Project.
After the plans were final to host Pump up the Awareness in Gulfport, I instantly called Amanda and without hesitation she agreed to partner up to plan this event. She took the time to visit Red Pump’s website and was blown away by the organization. She is overwhelmed with excitement and honored to partner with The Red Pump Project.
Pump up the Awareness
Saturday, May 1st, 2010
Little Rock Missionary Baptist Church
4538 Old Pass Road, Gulfport, MS 39501
10 AM – 1 PM
If you are in MS, please come out to support! Questions, email me at [email protected]