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Women’s STORIES Circle, held in November 2023, was the ninth event in the STORIES Circle story-telling event series.
Past Event

STORIES Circle Event #9: Women’s STORIES Circle

The Foundation for The AIDS Monument (FAM) hosted “Women’s STORIES Circle,” a story-telling event for women, on November 7, 2023, the ninth event in the STORIES Circle story-telling event series.

Women impacted by HIV were invited to share their story at this event, which was held at the Barnsdall Gallery Theatre in Hollywood.  The event was supported in part by a grant from the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs.

Sherri Lewis, HIV educator/writer and FAM board member, kicked off the event by sharing her personal story.  Patsy Lawson, an HIV-positive mother, told her story about navigating the news of testing positive and obtaining appropriate healthcare, all while raising young children, two of whom also tested positive for HIV.  She shared the words she used to comfort her young daughter, who was afraid of dying from AIDS.

“The same disease that’s in you is in me,” she said to her daughter. “And I have it worse, because I’ve had it longer.  So as long as you don’t see me falling down and dying, you’re not going to fall down and die.”

Both Lawson and her daughter are long-term HIV survivors.

Activist and author Mary Fisher,  best known for her speech at the 1992 Republican Convention, “A Whisper of AIDS“, was scheduled to speak at the event, but was unable to attend due to illness.  However, FAM board member Dr. Irene Kim read the speech Fisher prepared for the event.

“That we are here this evening to tell our stories is a remarkable tribute to the courage of care providers, the resilience of the AIDS movement, and abiding commitment to remember,” Fisher wrote.

Like in past STORIES Circle events, we gathered in small circles to share personal stories about how HIV & AIDS has impacted our lives.  Facilitators included women who had either facilitated or attended a previous STORIES Circle event.

We invite you to watch videos of the event:

Highlights (7 minutes)

Longer video with speeches (40 minutes)

Barnsdall Gallery Theatre is a facility of the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs and is located on the ancestral and present homeland and unceded territory of Tongva, Gabrieleno, Chumash People.

The mission of the STORIES Circle event series is to build community and foster storytelling among those affected by HIV & AIDS and expand awareness of STORIES: The AIDS Monument.  To be notified of FAM’s future STORIES Circle events, please sign up to receive our quarterly newsletter and to receive event notifications.