Category Archives: Inspirations

2013 AIDS Walk Atlanta & 5k Run, One of the Largest AIDS Event in the Southeast Gains Over One Million Dollars in Financial Support

2013 AIDS Walk Atlanta & 5K Run from Dawn on Vimeo.

AIDS  Organizations Will Receive  Financial Support Thanks to the AIDS Walk Atlanta & 5k Run Annual Event

AIDS Walk Atlanta & 5K Run is an annual event that supports AID Atlanta and seven other AIDS service organizations.  They have been funding support to organizations for 23 years.  It’s one of the largest fundraising events for AIDS in the Southeast United States as well as  the most visible. With this years attendance reaching over 10,000 people.  The AIDS Walk & 5K Run involvement makes it possible for AID Atlanta and the other AIDS organizations continue the work to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS. They have funded several programs, including the HIV primary health care, case management, HIV testing & counseling, and also provides support to AID Atlanta’s education program; which provides more than 80,000 prevention contacts annually.

2013 AIDS Walk Atlanta & 5K Run at Piedmont Park

2013 AIDS Walk Atlanta & 5K Run at Piedmont Park

Two Women indirectly affected by the disease are Caroline Mitchell and Tanzie Rena. They each give an account of their own personal experience of what it’s like to lose someone to HIV/AIDS. According to Caroline she has lost her brother and sister to AIDS in 1989 at a time when AIDS patients had stigma & discrimination attached.  Her sister was a prostitute and her brother was gay it was one of the toughest times her family had to deal with.

Caroline Tolbert (c) 2013

Caroline Mitchell (c) 2013 photo by D. Garvin

Caroline says “although my mother was always there for all of us, this was the one time she says was unable to fix it.”  During this tough time Caroline tried to be the strength for them all and became the support system for her siblings helping them at their homes.

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The Names Project Quilt laid out for People to Sign

Tanzie Rena’s pain is still fresh after recently losing her child this year just few months earlier to cancer, which may have also been a complication from the HIV virus.  However, Tanzie says “it doesn’t’ matter what my child died from, just not having my son here still hurts all the same.” Tanzie was also in attendance at the Atlanta AIDS Walk & 5k Run event where she signed one of the AIDS Quilt.

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Sal Gangi, College Park Fire Fighter (c) 2013

College Park Fire fighter, Sal Gangi explains the effects of HIV/AIDS and how they handle a call with an infected person.  However, he also reminds us that “it doesn’t matter who people are or whether or not they have HIV/AIDS, everyone is treated fairly and we are here for the people” says Gangi. Gangi’s reputation precedes him for the concern he has for human life  as a professional and simply as a human being.  One great example of that is from a mother of a dying child, Tanzie Rena, who remembers Gangi vividly because of the compassion he displayed to her son during his extreme weak & fragile state two weeks prior to his death.

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Tanzie Rena and Fire Fighter Sal Gangi

According to Tanzie Rena, Sal Gangi was one of the first responders who arrived at her house on an emergency call when her son fell ill from his sickness just two weeks prior to his death.“I remember this fire fighter because of the compassion he showed my son in his sufferings. I remember Mr. Gangi talking to my son the entire time to keep his focus on him and not his circumstance; even talking to him about living in New York City.”  “That stood out to me because he was so kind to my son and  it meant the world to me because no mother wants to see their child suffering”.  I will never forget him for for his kindness” says Tanzie.

College Park Ga. Fire Station (C) 2013

College Park Ga. Fire Station (C) 2013

The Names Project Foundation is Another participant of the event, they’re a non-profit organization and has been around since 1987, and has charge over the AIDS Memorial Quilt.

The Creation of the AIDS Memorial Quilt Being Made on the Spot at the AIDS Walk Event (C) 2013

The the AIDS Memorial Quilt Being Made on the Spot by Director of Programs, Jada Harris  (C) 2013 Piedmont Park

“The purpose of the quilt is to memorialize the victims of AIDS who has passed on and to help remind people of the seriousness of the disease” says Jada Harris.  According to The Names Project “The Quilt was conceived in November of 1985 by long-time San Francisco gay rights activist Cleve Jones.  Since the 1978 assassinations of gay San Francisco Supervisor Harvey Milk and Mayor George Moscone, Jones had helped organize the annuandlelight march honoring these men.  At the end of the march, Jones and others stood on ladders taping these placards to the walls of the San Francisco Federal Building. The wall of names looked like a patchwork quilt.”  After seeing the wall, Jones and friends were inspired to create a larger memorial in memory of his friend Marvin Feldman, which was the inspiration for the quilts first patch a year later.

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Local Record Company Offers Free Classes to Area Teens

James Barlow, also Known to the community as JB.  Barlow has been an Audio Visual Technician for over 25 years.  His role as an Audio Visual Technician has allowed him the opportunity to see and travel the country on many occasions.  Throughout his travels he has met many people in the field and has formed great business relationships/partnerships.

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With the numerous years of AV experience and travel opportunities under his belt, Barlow decided to share his gifts and talents with the youths of Georgia.  Five years ago, Barlow came up with the brilliant idea to form a youth development workshop program that will offer opportunity to students to gain positive influence and pull out creativity, as well as instill leadership skills by teaching team work, job readiness, life skills, audio visual technical skills and the arts. Today this program has come to fruition and is currently located at The West End performing arts center, the name of the program is called Art @ Work.

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Barlow understands the importance of mentoring and how meaningful engagement in arts and education can have a life-changing impact on a youth’s life; while at the same time having a positive benefit to not only the teens, but the organization and the community as a whole. Barlow says “Growing up, I never had a mentor to show me what to do or how to do it. I pretty much had to figure it out on my own.”  As an adult I realize the importance of mentoring and decided to give back to my community by allowing the youth to see the opportunities that lie ahead; opportunities that will help them to be successful in the world of audio visual and the arts.  One of Barlow’s favorite sayings “In order to seize the opportunity, you must to see the opportunity.”

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According to Barlow, some of the business relationships include Wade Jones and L.A. Jackson.  Jones and Jackson are business partners with the Peach City Record label and L.A. Jackson  who’s also the author of his newly released book, Musicology 2101 joined forces to help support Barlow’s dream to teach and support the youth by offering their time, talent and expertise.

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Evanjahlist “The Music Man” Of Midtown Atlanta at Little Five Points

Evan, fondly known to the Little Five Points community in Midtown Atlanta as Evanjahlist, who’s a celebrity in his own right.  Evanjahlist says his first name is Evan and he created the add-on “Jahlist” as a last name and prefers to be called Evanjahlist (as in Evangelist).  The name represents the biblical term to spread the good word/message and reaching many people.

Evanjahlist sits on the streets of Atlanta's Little Five Points district stopping to take a break away from the drumming in order to stop & talk with  his drums while a spectator. August 10, 2013

Photo by D. Garvin/Journalist (c) 2013 Evanjahlist sits on the streets of Atlanta’s Little Five Points district stopping to take a break away from the drumming in order to  chat a moment with a spectator.              August 10, 2013

Evanjahlist is a 44yr old man who is currently homeless, he says he use to do art, stones and jewelry, but he doesn’t do it anymore and prefers to do music.  He has played drums since he was 12yrs old and he also sang in the choir.  Evanjahlist moved to Atlanta from Miami, during the 1996 Olympics, but has visited Georgia regularly every summer from childhood.  He says “although he lived in Miami, he grew up in Atlanta.”

He believes that Atlanta has the best culture, art and music scene around and says “that’s why I love Atlanta so much.”  Evanjahlist loves all genres of music and finds peace of mind and joy spreading love through his music to the community he plays in.  As he plays his homemade drum set made from two 5 gallon water jugs, a milk crate for a seat and a wooden spoon to hold his symbol in place and beating the drums with his hand and a wooden stick, Evanjahlist creates wonderful music.  Evan has been a part of the community for the past 17 yrs and is very well known by most people in the community.

Evanjahlist, the man of the community tells a little bit of his story as to why he plays on the streets of  Little Five Points in Midtown Atlanta He reminisces w/a pleasant memories. Photo by D. Garvin/Journalist (c) 2013

Evanjahlist, the man of the community tells a little bit of his story as to why he plays on the streets of Little Five Points in Midtown Atlanta
He reminisces w/a pleasant memories.
Photo by D. Garvin/Journalist (c) 2013

He was forced to move from one location, stating that he was told that he needed to get a permit to perform.  “It’s very hard to get a permit” says Evan, “so I moved to this location, where the spirit led me and I love this location.”

Evanjahlist, looks on talking to the people when they stop to ask questions.  Little Five Points, August 10, 2013 Photo by D. Garvin/Journalist (c) 2013

Evanjahlist, looks on talking to the people when they stop to ask questions. Little Five Points, August 10, 2013
Photo by D. Garvin/Journalist (c) 2013

Evanjahlist states that “he is not out robbing people, but is making an honest living.”  Although Evan is currently homeless and struggling, he keeps a great spirit and sees beauty in the world around him and just wants to share the good news and his music to the world while bringing a smile to the faces around him.

Evanjahlist watches as a young girl drops money into the bucket as he sits in front of a building playing his music.  August 10, 2013 Atlanta, Midtown's popular Little Five Points. Photo by D. Garvin/Journalist (c) 2013

Evanjahlist watches as a young girl drops money into the bucket as he sits in front of a building playing his music. August 10, 2013 Atlanta, Midtown’s popular Little Five Points.
Photo by D. Garvin/Journalist (c) 2013

Evanjahlist, the music man stops to count his money after the bucket gets a little full and puts it away to prevent any temptation of theft. Midtown, Atlanta Little Five Points district.  August 10, 2013  Photo by: D. Garvin/Journalist (c) 2013

Evanjahlist, the music man stops to count his money after the bucket gets a little full and puts it away to prevent any temptation of theft. Midtown, Atlanta Little Five Points district. August 10, 2013 Photo by: D. D. Garvin/Journalist (c) 2013

Evanjahlist bucket is slowly filling up, but a little more help is always good.  He can always be found in Midtown Atlanta's Little Five Points district. August 10, 2013 Photo by D. Garvin/Journalist (c) 2013

Evanjahlist bucket is slowly filling up, but a little more help is always good. He can always be found in Midtown Atlanta’s Little Five Points district.
August 10, 2013
Photo by D. Garvin/Journalist (c) 2013

So, the next time you’re in Midtown Atlanta in the Little Five Points district, don’t hesitate to drop by to say hello to Evanjahlist and Bless him with a little drop in the bucket.