ABOUT THE RED PUMP PROJECT®
The Red Pump Project® is a nonprofit organization that raises awareness about the impact of HIV/AIDS on women and girls. We empower, educate, and motivate action by boldly driving conversation online and offline around HIV prevention and issues related to sexual and reproductive health. We use the Red Pump as a symbol of empowerment to represent the strength and courage of women affected by HIV/AIDS.
Red Pump believes that if HIV affects one, it affects us all. We use a powerful symbol for a powerful cause. The incorporation of fashion into the message of HIV prevention is our contribution as we hope to show that Awareness is Always in Style!
Why We Rock the Red Pump
- Because every 47 minutes, a woman tests positive for HIV in the United States
- Because HIV is the leading cause of death for Black women ages 25-34
- Because when HIV affects one of us, it affects all of us.
What We Do
WE ‘ROCK THE RED PUMP’®
The Red Pump Project is firmly committed to educating women about the epidemic and decreasing the stigma around this disease. We want women of all ages to be empowered with information that could potentially save their lives, and we use the Red Pump to get their attention
With a network of ambassadors in five cities (Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas and Washington DC), Red Pump conducts prevention outreach and workshops for women and teen girls while also commemorating major HIV awareness days with signature events. We create safe spaces where women can feel comfortable talking about sexual health with our Cupcakes & Condoms program and we merge performance art with the message of empowerment through Behind the RED Curtains.
Our signature events commemorate major HIV awareness days throughout the year bringing people together to show that Awareness is Always in Style. At each event, we take the time to honor a woman who is dedicated to the fight against HIV/AIDS within their community. These events are:
- The Rock the Red Fashion Show (Chicago)
- The Red Pump/Red Tie Affair (Charlotte)
- The Red Summer Soiree (Washington DC)
- Roaring Red (Atlanta)
- Say RED: Cocktails & Conversations
- Cupcakes & Condoms
- Behind the RED Curtains: Monologues on HIV
Education and community outreach are also important in the fight against HIV/AIDS. Red Pump participates in health fairs, panel discussions and community events focused on improving health outcomes. Our organization works tirelessly to build critical alliances with community agencies and faith-based organizations both in Chicago and nationally.
How We Began
In 2009, Karyn and Luvvie came together to devise a creative way to engage bloggers in recognition of National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, observed annually on March 10th. They asked bloggers to “Rock the Red Pump” out of their desire to jumpstart important conversations on the issue of HIV/AIDS and the impact of the disease on women and girls. The call-to-action was a simple one:
Rock the Red Pump on your blog to represent the strength and courage of women fighting HIV/AIDS or affected by the disease. We ask that on March 10, you embed the Red Pump Widget within your post with a short snippet of its significance, or you can rock the widget on your sidebar.
The goal of that first campaign was to sign on 100 bloggers. On March 10, 2009, over 125 bloggers responded and “Rocked the Red Pump.” And, year over year, the campaign has continued to grow and gain national attention. In 2012, singer and activist Alicia Keys tweeted her support of the campaign.
The Red Pump Project has grown from a social media campaign to a national nonprofit working both on the ground and online to ensure that women are empowered with knowledge about HIV/AIDS and the issues surrounding it.