Walking down the hallway of Carver High School in southeast Atlanta, my pockets stuffed with condoms and other merch, I felt good. Not only had I been enlightened with the gift of knowledge but I had also been given something more important — a great experience.
VOX’s Dec 5 event, co-hosted with Atlanta’s non-profit teen dance group Moving In The Spirit, met two critical requirements for teens: — the event was fun and educational. Teens today suffer a barrage of distractions. They are constantly on their smartphones, double-tapping GIFs of cats on Instagram. To engage teens today requires new and thought-provoking stimuli to maintain their interest and attention.
The “Shake The Stigma” event, in coordination with the December publication of the VOX Investigates “HIV, AIDS and Atlanta Teens” special edition of VOX (click here for the digital content), was held in Carver High’s auditorium and the hallway leading to it. VOX had placed tables with a plethora of information available on HIV & AIDS and how to protect yourself from other STIs. The afternoon emphasized the exchange of safe sex information instead of just the Georgia educational standard of abstinence.
Next was the Moving In The Spirit performance. As people began to take their seats in the auditorium, the final adjustments were being made to the stage and atmosphere. As the lights dimmed, VOX Investigates reporter Kayla started us off with some words about VOX Investigates’ semester-long examination of spiking teen HIV rates in Georgia. She wrapped up by introducing a video about the many people who have HIV & AIDS who still lead happy and healthy lives. It underscored the advancements made in HIV & AIDS since the early days of the disease. There is now hope for people who suffer this disease in place of despair. There are now active people who can manage the disease while leading productive lives.
VOX and Moving In The Spirit did a wonderful job of creating an informative and engaging afternoon.