On May 9, 2016 at 12:00pm the New York City Faith in Action Coalition for HIV/AIDS (NYCFIA), whose mission is to educate the community on issues of HIV and AIDS Prevention, Care and Education, convened its Renewal Luncheon at Restoration Corporation Plaza in Brooklyn, New York to galvanize its members, orientate new ones, and announce July 11, 2016 as the date for the NYCFIA Annual Meeting, where it’s members and partners come together to coordinate HIV/AIDS activities collectively for greater community impact. The Annual Meeting is also the kick off to NYCFIA’s “Stepping Up in Faith”, a week-long of activities coordinated by NYCFIA’s members that takes place across all five boroughs.

The Renewal Luncheon opened with a greeting from Pastor Stacey Latimer, NYCFIA’s Faith Coordinator, to a diverse gathering of faith leaders, Community Based Organizations, and others stake holders of the community passionate about ending AIDS in NYC. After the blessing of the food by Pastor Andrea Jordon, followed lunch and fellowship. The luncheon moved forward with a welcome from Pastor Latimer, who stressed the need for the NYCFIA’s work to continue. He asked the members to recall the profound impact this entity has on the community: the ability to bring people of faith together to work that would normally never do so; the breaking down of cultural, denominational, and ethic barriers; the culminating of and maximizing of resources, the innovation this type of coalition spawns, that continues to diminish the impact of HIV/AIDS in our communities; and the power harnessed as one body of faith, “for one can chase one thousand, two ten-thousand” (Duet 32:20).

Attendees were then graced by Divinah “Dee” Bailey, NYCFIA’s Co-Founder, who provided all with NYCFIA’s rich history of living out its mission to educate communities it serves on HIV and AIDS Prevention. She spoke about how the movement was born out of the burden placed on the hearts of The Late-Oliver Martin III, Co-Founder and herself, as they witnessed and experienced the intense need in the communities of New York City. Ms. Bailey highlighted NYCFIA’s ability to harness the masses across all sectors of community, which provides a platform for all to participate, and make a difference, in stemming the tide of HIV as we continue to he work to end AIDS. She reminded us of NYCFIA’s Christmas in July, a fundraiser that brought together over 300 people from all faiths and fellowships to dine, network, be entertained, and raise monies to forward the work of NYCFIA. Dee Bailey charged attendees to work together in reviving the efforts of those individuals passionate about the work of ending HIV/AIDS in our communities. She challenged all to spread the word and to bring others to the coalition that are ready to work, and she looks forward to seeing everyone at the NYCFIA Annual Meeting on July 11, 2016.

Dee Bailey’s motivating speech was followed by a moment of silence, in remembrance of individuals lost by the deadly scourge of AIDS over the years, including Co-Founder, The Late-Oliver Martin III. The Remembrance was followed by Prayer. After which, each body of faith and organization represented was given the opportunity to share who they represented and their mission. The luncheon ended with attendees signing a pledge of commitment to actively support the mission of NYCFIA, with the anticipation of seeing everyone at the NYCFIA Annual Meeting July 11, 2016.

New York City Faith in Action Coalition for HIV/AIDS Renewal Meeting Luncheon