Alafia, peace. I am Khafre K. Abif, an AIDS activist thriving with HIV for 23 years. I have compiled an anthology of inspirational prayers, poems, and affirmations to support the souls and uplift the spirits of people living with HIV/AIDS. For the last 20 months these submissions have touched my soul, made me cry, filled me with hope, and connected me to an international community of compassionate contributors sharing their work to empower my world. Your sponsorship will bring healing words to those infected with and affected by HIV/AIDS.
I believe prayer heals. I know words have power. I provide this collection to combat the words so often spoken to those with HIV. This is my effort to fight HIV-related stigma, the prejudice, negative attitudes, abuse, and maltreatment directed at people living with HIV and AIDS. The consequences of stigma and discrimination are wide-ranging: being shunned by family, peers, and the wider community, poor treatment in healthcare and educational settings, an erosion of rights, psychological damage, and a negative effect on HIV testing and treatment. The idea for the anthology grew out of my work as an HIV Test Counselor. Each time I had to tell someone they tested positive for HIV, one of their first concerns was disclosure. This anthology aims to help them through an entire book of encouragement.
Cornbread, Fish and Collard Greens: Prayers, Poems & Affirmation for People Living with HIV/AIDS has received submissions from Africa, Europe, South America, and the United States. Some contributors have even provided their work in their indigenous languages with English translations. I want to share this anthology with the international community who created it. You, the reader may very well know someone living with HIV/AIDS. If you do, then they have shared their status with you. Consider all who still haven’t disclosed to their mothers, fathers, sisters/brothers, or even their faith communities. Where do they go for support and inspiration? I use this anthology to encourage those in the shadows to come into the light.
What We Need & What You Get
Your sponsorship will support the cost of self-publishing this anthology project, delivering a high-quality, eco-friendly printing of Cornbread, Fish and Collard Greens: Prayers, Poems & Affirmations for People Living with HIV/AIDS. In addition, sponsorship will also fund our cover art contract with award-winning illustrator, Javaka Steptoe.
For your Giving Backsponsorship of $50 you will receive a thank-you on the project website, and I will donate one copy of the book to an AIDS Service Organization in your city. For your Name in Print sponsorship of $250, we will include your name in the acknowledgments of the anthology. For $500, we will arrange a Skype reading and discussion for you and your friends and community. And for your sponsorship of $1,000, I will travel to your city to share my story of living with HIV for 24 years—and you can host a private book signing.
Your sponsorship will provide new voices to the long-silent AIDS story. It will provide hope, strength, and words that affirm, heal, and lift those who are infected and so often marginalized —commercial sex workers, substance users, and gay people, especially those too afraid to share that they are gay with their families and churches, much less that they are living with HIV.
Your sponsorship will ensure this anthology is presented in the spirit in which it has been compiled, a quilt of words that heal and affirm the soul. You will ensure the delivery of an aesthetically attractive book that is produced, designed and printed on quality paper. Sponsorship will ensure each contributor in the United States and beyond receives one free copy.
Other Ways You Can Help
Post this campaign link of your Facebook page, send emails to your social network, and log on the campaign link to post comments. Spread the word about this project and share it on Twitter so we can raise the GoGo Factor for this project. Use the share tools to push this project out to your community.
Poets featured in the forthcoming anthology include: Nikki Grimes, Serena T. Wills, Reginald T. Jackson, Sharaledon D. Brave, r. witherspoon, Samiya Bashir, Storme Webber, Carl Hancock Rux, Tim’m T. West, Mose Xavier Hardin, Jr., Victor R. Pond, Catherine Zickgraf, Temujin Ekunfeo, Alfreda Lanoix. Maria Hiv Mejia, Tony Medina, Clifford C. Boyd, Rev. Nazim B. Fakir, lauren ryder Williams, W. Travis Wright, Vanessa German, Anthony “SleepyEyez” CarterRiver Huston, Mary Bowman, avery r. young, Lady Vee DaPoet and more.
Please share this mission with us!