Friday June 17, 2016 | HRC Equality Center 1640 Rhode Island Ave NW | 8pm Film screening with Q&A panel/reception
In honor of the upcoming National HIV Testing Day please join us for a screening
In much of America, progress in HIV/AIDS treatment and improvement in education may suggest the worst is behind us, but every year 50,000 Americans are still diagnosed with the virus that causes AIDS. Astonishingly, nearly half of them live in the South, where the AIDS epidemic has taken root in rural communities, and is one of the leading causes of death among black women.
Wilhemina’s War is the story of Wilhemina Dixon, an uneducated daughter of sharecroppers who becomes a force in her family’s fight for survival from HIV and AIDS. Shot over the course of five years, the film bears witness to the resilience and determination of the human spirit in the face of tremendous adversity.
Wilhemina, or "Mina," as everyone calls her, knows little about public policy, but a great deal about caring for the sick. Five of her family members are living with HIV, and she is the caregiver for her daughter, Toni, a drug addict, and her teenage granddaughter, Dayshal, born with HIV and now the victim of online bullying.
While Wilhemina struggles to save her family, South Carolina politics only increase her burden as Governor Nikki Haley rejects billions of federal dollars available through the Affordable Care Act, a decision with devastating implications for those in need. Undaunted, Wilhemina soldiers on, taking a cue from her state’s motto: While I Breathe, I Hope.
Emmy award winning journalist and Professor June Cross finds Wilhemina, a one woman army fighting against a systemic dehumanization that’s the result of centuries of racism, and lack of access to drugs and treatment. Her story touches upon many of the structural issues that contribute to the alarming rising trend of HIV-positive women in the South: lack of education, lack of access to quality healthcare, lack of transportation, and silence and stigma in the local church congregations. This urgent documentary lays bare the intersection of poverty, race and politics with women’s health and security in the rural south, while showing determination in the face of adversity, and the triumph of the human spirit. Essential viewing for African-American Studies and Public Health courses.
We are curating a panel discussion and expect to host a catered cocktail reception after the screening. Please check back for more details about the reception and tickets sales.
Thank you to out libation partners
Thank you to our community partners