In Atlanta, a select panel will meet from 2 to 4 p.m. on March 6 at the Loudermilk Center – Atlanta Conference Center at 40 Courtland St. N.E.
Panelists include Bishop O.C. Allen III, senior pastor of the Vision Church of Atlanta; Rabbi Joshua Lesser, senior rabbi, Congregation Bet Haverim; Bishop Theresa Snorton, presiding prelate, 5th Episcopal District of the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church; and the Rev. Dr. Raphael Warnock, senior pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church.
Organizers say the purpose of the weeklong observance is to bring national attention to the AIDS epidemic in the United States and the role communities of faith must play in prevention, service, advocacy and care.
Congregations or organizations can register their institutions to participate at www.balmingilead.org or www.nwpha.org.
In Dialogue kicked off on March 1 in Washington at the Howard University School of Divinity.
The theme of this year’s observance is “The End of the AIDS Epidemic Is in Sight With Prayer, Education, Testing and Treatment.” Discussions will center on how to dismantle the AIDS stigma; address the spiritual and emotional needs of people living with AIDS; and provide strategies for an appropriate theological response for addressing the AIDS epidemic within local faith institutions.
The dialogue is being facilitated by Dr. Marsha Martin, the architect of municipal HIV testing and the director of the Urban Coalition of HIV/AIDS Prevention Services. Martin was special assistant on HIV/AIDS policy to Health and Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala from 1997 to 2001.
The mission of the Balm in Gilead, now in its 23rd year, is to prevent diseases and to improve the health status of people of the African Diaspora by providing support to faith institutions in areas of program design, implementation and evaluation, which strengthens their capacity to deliver programs and services that contribute to the elimination of health disparities.
For more information, visit www.balmingilead.org or call 1-888-225-6243.