Nine Years and Counting….

It is truly incredible that Ribbon Rouge is here in 2015. It has been 9 years of people from all sorts of walks of life coming together to make this idea a reality. This idea that art can be such a powerful tool in stirring emotion and igniting passions in us all to be better… to do more. And cheesy as it may sound, to remind us that we have a soul…to remind us to be the change we really want in our communities.

It is not a coincidence, that I have chosen to put together our annual installation of art during the 16 days of activism against gender violence from November 25th to December 10th. Gender based violence is a real epidemic in our world, and I believe it should be addressed as such. A public health concern that must be eradicated. To that end, we must shine a spotlight upon it, advocate against it and take action against it. Gender based violence is also an important determinant of the spread of HIV globally. To get to zero HIV, we must eliminate gender inequalities.

We must each spread the idea of an equitable state of being and play our parts.

This year we will have fun as always…lots of fun.

We will enjoy fine art from Ryan Postic, Tim Okamura and me. I have not drawn in 7 years (I can not believe it either, but life gets away from us sometimes), and so understandably, I am nervous about sharing these pieces.{Eeeeek! *laughing*}

We will listen to the very talented Sierra Jamerson’s politi-soul music, lust after our homegrown designer clothing then dance with DJ SQ …then with Mayito Rivera!

Sangea will dance for us and our STEP team will get our juices flowing…Our thoughts will be awakened to words spoken by Nasra Adem, and we will laugh at Rapid Fire Theatre’s improv performance…

This is the beauty of this particular show; it is a display of local artistes, artists, fashion designers, musicians all speaking with different voices the same message to immerse ourselves in the arts, and in so doing, get to Zero HIV. A simple message, that spreading ideas does in fact change the world.

We will have a tonne of fun!

…and in this way, we will be imbued with new ideas, thoughts, knowledge of powerful Queens, serious social justice issues, real resource needs.

Ribbon Rouge is maturing; we’ve gone from an annual student event to a full fledged Foundation with a vision and objectives; now we are at the horizon of becoming a Charity. The vision has always been to get to Zero HIV,  and we have many plans …many dreams. So, stay with us…Join us.

I am so very proud, to invite you to join us for our 8th Installation of Ribbon Rouge, as we walk steadily towards elimination of gender inequalities, closing resource gaps, getting to zero mother to child transmissions and Zero HIV globally.

To Zero,

Morenike Olaosebikan

President, Ribbon Rouge Foundation

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