On December 1st a small number of staff, students and friends gathered outside the University Chapel to commemorate World AIDS Day 2016.
The evening commenced with a facilitated discussion an PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis for HIV) led by Sexual Health at Kent Community Health NHS Trust.
John Gilmore Co-Chair of CCCq welcomed the group on behalf of the University and reflected on the meaning of the day.
‘Today we wear a Red Ribbon to remember the more than 35 million people who have died because of AIDS and HIV related illness.
We remember those denied research and treatment.
We remember those treated like outcasts.
We remember those told that they deserved it.
We remember those denied love and compassion.
It is also a day to be thankful.
Thankful that because of research, education and treatment it is possible to live a long and healthy life HIV positive.
Thankful for the activists, for the researchers and for the healthcare professionals who have made this possible.
Today is also a day to stand up.
Stand up against the prejudice and stigma associated with HIV.
Stand up to the ignorance. To Educate.
To shout out as loud as we can that we will not accept the corporate greed, political apathy and prejudice that means some people living with HIV do not live a full and happy life.
People still die because of HIV.
Dying of AIDS because they cannot afford treatment, die by suicide because of stigma and rejection.
People needlessly contract this virus because of a lack of free condoms, because they cannot access PrEP, because their sexual health education is abysmal.
HIV is a political crisis.
We are the first generation who can actually end transmission of HIV, who can stop people dying from AIDS. Let’s do it!’
The group then entered the chapel for a candle lit vigil led by Dr Stephen O’Connor CCCq member. Candles were lit and a number of prayers and poems were read before the group joined together to sing Labi Siffre’s So Strong.
A lantern lit Red Ribbon route followed to St Paul’s Church where a mulled wine and mince pie reception was hosted.
The event was jointly organised by CCCq and Kent Community Health. Many thanks to all who supported especially the chaplaincy team at Canterbury Christ Church University, Kent County Council and St Martin and St Paul.
On the first of February Canterbury Christ Church University raised the Pride flag outside Augustine House library and launched its programme for LGBT History Month 2016. Present were Pro Vice Chancellor Tony Lavender and Student Union President Krum Tashev as well as a number of representatives from CCCq the LGBTQi staff network, the LGBT+ student society and members of the public.
During the reception following, CCCq co-chair John Gilmore noted ‘LGBT History Month provides us not only with a space for reflection on, and celebration of, our history as a community and as a movement, but also a platform to look towards the future and to where Queer politics and activism is going’. Katja Hallenberg co-chair added thanks to the many collaborators from both within the university staff and student communities as well as the public, she added ‘raising the flag does not only represent a celebration of LGBT History Month but also of the work being done by staff and students here right throughout the year’. This year’s keynote event will be held on the 15th of February in Powell lecture theatre at 6pm, it is a public discussion on ‘Re-Radicalising Queers’ led by renowned human rights activist Peter Tatchell and will also feature Bishop of Buckingham Rt Revd Dr Alan Wilson. Other events include a public lecture by Elly Barnes of Educate and Celebrate at 5.30 on the 8th of February in Old Sessions House and a film screening and discussion on ‘Pinkwashing’ on February 22nd at 6.30 in association with Israeli Apartheid week organisers following their public lecture at 5.30 in Old Sessions House.
Shani Lewis from the student society gave a run down of their events for the month. On Friday the 5th there will be a ‘Non-Binary comedy night’ at the students union at 7pm, on Thursday the 11th they will host a Quiz night at the Jolly Sailor at 7pm, on Saturday the 27th there will be a Variety show at Anselm studio and on Monday the 29th they are joining with their counterparts at the University of Kent to host a screening of ‘Pride’ at University of Kent. They will also host cake sales throughout the week of the 1st and the week of the 22nd at touchdown. All fundraising efforts will benefit TG Pals.
All events are open to staff, students and public and everyone is warmly invited to join in the celebrations, discussions and networking.
Canterbury Christ Church University features in Stonewall’s ‘Starting Out’ Lesbian, Gay & Bisexual Careers Guide 14/15.
Click here to view our entry in this year’s guide.
Co-ordinated by Canterbury Christ Church University’s staff LGBTIQ network, CCCq, staff and students from the university will be marching together as a visible network for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex and Queer/questioning members of the University community at London Pride on Saturday 28 June 2014.
The London Pride Parade is a procession of walking groups and floats which together march through the streets of Central London to celebrate the LGBTIQ community.
The University is proud of its diverse community and the belief in the inherent dignity and potential of every person is one of the University’s core values. Regardless of your sexuality, help us to shine with pride, by marching with us on Saturday 28 June!
To register your interest in marching at London Pride, click the button below: