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Philly Fight Holds Fifth Annual WAD Prayer Breakfast

by Winnie McCroy
EDGE Editor
Tuesday Nov 26, 2013

Philadelphia FIGHT invites all to join them on Nov. 30 for the Fifth Annual World AIDS Day Prayer Breakfast, featuring Rev. Dr. J. Louis Felton, Minister Rodney Muhammad, Rev. Dr. Claudio Carvalhaes and Pastor Jay Broadnax.

"Our objective is to continue to put the issue of the AIDS pandemic in front of faith communities and to remind them of our commitment to help find a cure for this virus in our generation," said Calenthia Dowdy, Director of Faith Initiatives. "This is a great networking opportunity for faith communities to find out what specific communities are doing, and how we can come together and collaborate on ending the virus."

The event will begin with breakfast, and then move into some prayers. Speaker Rev. Felton of the Mt. Airy Church of God in Christ will then talk about HIV and the struggle to end the pandemic. A prayer ensemble will feature Minister Muhammad from Muhammad's Mosque of Islam No. 12. Pastor Broadnax will represent the Mt. Pigsah A.M.E. Church, and Rev. Dr. Carvalhaes will speak on behalf of the Lutheran Theological Seminary of Philadelphia.

Vocalist/composer Ruth Naomi Floyd will offer prayer in song, and there will also be a gospel choir. All are welcome to join in the breakfast and the prayers, but organizers ask those interested to RSVP, so that they do not run out of food.

The event will bolster relations in the HIV and faith communities, said Dowdy. She said that she has heard from clients that faith communities are not responding as they should to HIV, and that people living with HIV are disconnected or stigmatized because they have the virus.

"If we can get to destigmatizing, this affirms our clients," said Dowdy. "My new initiatives here are to talk with faith leaders and have them talk from the pulpit about HIV, and to start up AIDS ministries in various communities." Dowdy hopes to add 50 such ministries in the city over the next year.

Philly FIGHT will follow their WAD Prayer Breakfast with their 2013 FIGHT for Life Gala on Dec. 4, a fundraiser honoring former Governor Ed Rendell’s long commitment to fighting HIV/AIDS. The event will be held from 6-9 p.m. at the Union League of Philadelphia, 140 S. Broad Street.

"We are so pleased that Ed Rendell has accepted our invitation to be honored at the Gala," said Philadelphia FIGHT Executive Director Jane Shull. "As mayor and governor he was an able and consistent force for good affecting people living with HIV/AIDS, making it easier for organizations like FIGHT to do the work that we do."

The event will feature a live jazz ensemble, a segment of the AIDS quilt and a silent auction featuring a Cancun Paradise vacation with airfare and five-star hotel accommodations.

All proceeds will go to support FIGHT’s medical care at the Jonathan Lax Treatment Center. FIGHT’s social services and education programs reach more than 8,000 people each year, and they treat more than 1,500 people living with HIV each year, regardless of their ability to pay.

The Fifth Annual World AIDS Day Prayer Breakfast will be held from 8-10 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 30 at the Radisson BLU-Warwick Hotel, 220 S. 17th Street in Philadelphia. The event is free and open to all. To R.S.V.P. or for more information, please contact Jalina Evans,, 215.985.4448 x 169, or visit For tickets to the Gala, visit

Winnie McCroy is the Women on the EDGE Editor, HIV/Health Editor, and Assistant Entertainment Editor for EDGE Media Network, handling all women's news, HIV health stories and theater reviews throughout the U.S. She has contributed to other publications, including The Village Voice, Gay City News, Chelsea Now and The Advocate, and lives in Brooklyn, New York.


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