The Red Pump Project closed its doors.

About Us

About The Red Pump Project

The Red Pump Project® is a national nonprofit organization whose mission is to educate women and girls of color about HIV.

We do this through bold programming and digital initiatives designed to empower them to make more informed choices with their bodies. We envision a world where all women and girls receive a culturally-relevant and accurate HIV education, resulting in them taking ownership of their bodies without stigma or shame.

Why We Rock the Red Pump

Every 47 Minutes

a woman tests positive for HIV in the United States

HIV is the leading cause of death for Black women



Because when HIV

Affects ONE of us

it affects all of us.


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.

about howwebegan

How We Started

In 2009, our founders, Luvvie Ajayi and Karyn Brianne Lee, merged their shared love of blogging and fashion to recognize National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NWGHAAD) on March 10th. Inspired by the color red, which is the color of the AIDS ribbon, they knew rocking fly red shoes would be a unique way to gain people’s attention and start conversations about HIV and women.

The Rock the Red Pump® campaign was their creative way of stating what would later become the organization’s tagline:

Awareness is Always in Style!

More than 125 bloggers across the nation participated in that first campaign, putting on red shoes and dedicating their platforms to talking about HIV. The response was so overwhelmingly positive that the work had to continue.

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What We Do

The Red Pump Project is a nonprofit with a thriving network in major U.S. cities, such as Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, and Washington, DC. With a series of events surrounding HIV prevention and sexual and reproductive health, such as our signature Rock the Red Pump® campaign and Cupcakes & Condoms®, we are committed to increasing awareness about HIV, while also educating women and girls in a safe and engaging way.

Our work is based on the notion that if HIV affects one, it affects us all.

We rock our red pumps to honor all women affected by HIV and show them that they are not alone. For our efforts, The Red Pump Project has earned a Congressional Record from the U.S. House of Representatives and Resolutions by the Illinois State Senate as well as the City Council of Chicago. We’ve gained media attention from outlets such as Essence, the Huffington Post, The Chicago Suntimes and EBONY Magazine, and have received public support from notable public figures such as Alicia Keys, Chaka Khan, and Kim Coles.

With each year that passes, our passion for this cause grows deeper. We invite you to join us in the fight against HIV.
Our bold color and bomb shoes may draw you in, but it’s the dedication to affecting change and saving lives that will keep you here.

Slide on your red shoes, roll up your sleeves, and let’s get to work!

Our Signature Events

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


  • The Red Summer Soiree

    Washington, DC

  • The Red Pump/Red Tie Affair


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.