SUMA at SRU presents Red Ribbon Monologues in support of World AIDS Day


World AIDS Day graphic

Nov. 30, 2018

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - The Student Union for Multicultural Affairs, a student organization at Slippery Rock University, will host its eighth annual "Red Ribbon Monologues" at 6 p.m., Dec. 3 in the Smith Student Center Ballroom to help raise continued awareness of the dangers of HIV/AIDS.

The "Red Ribbon Monologues" is a free, interactive event that explores the history of HIV/AIDS and the effects it has had on the world and more specifically on students, faculty and staff at SRU.

HIV/AIDS continues to be a global health issue that has taken the lives of more than 35 million people around the world. Dec. 1 is recognized as World AIDS Day.

"It's a difficult topic to talk about, so the (event) is meant to help facilitate the conversation," said Josiah Cole, a senior biology major from Emlenton and president of SUMA. "It's important to talk about because it's not just something that happens to 'bad people,' it (AIDS/HIV) can happen to anyone; it can be a simple mistake that happens in seconds. It's not like the flu, people who suffer from the flu aren't harassed or have their social and professional lives affected. It's important to destroy the stigma behind it and to learn to be more compassionate towards those suffering from the disease."

The event will begin with a history of AIDS presented by Shrija Shrestha, a junior public health major from Sarlahi, Nepal and vice president of SUMA. Shrestha's presentation will include a history of the HIV/AIDS in global cultures.

Bart Rauluk, the former treasurer of the Pittsburgh AIDS Task Force and former president of Allies for Health & Wellbeing, an organization that seeks to improve health and wellbeing through supportive human services, and community-based education and testing for individuals living with, or at risk of, HIV, viral hepatitis and sexually transmitted infections, will be the event's guest speaker.

Following Rauluk's keynote address, SRU students and faculty will share stories, poetry and songs in honor of those who have suffered from HIV/AIDS. As part of the performances, a group of student dancers will present "D-Man in the Waters," a critically acclaimed work that celebrates the memory and spirit of dancer Demian Acquavella who died in 1990 from AIDS.

Students and faculty participating in the performance portion of the event include:

● Reva Adams, a sophomore dance major from Vero Beach, Florida.
● Djenne Boutrin, a senior dual major in dance and social work from Ephrata.
● Maggie Calvert, a senior dual major in political science and philosophy from Butler.
● Josiah Cole, a senior biology major from Emlenton.
● Kylie Criswell, a senior dance major from East Petersburg
● Kemoni Farmer, a junior psychology major from Erie.
● Khalil Harper, a junior computing major from Pittsburgh.
● Caroline Horne, a senior biology major from Pittsburgh.
● Dallas Kline, a senior sports management major from Hanover.
● Katie Kulasa, a senior dance major from Belle Vernon.
● Cindy Lacom, professor of interdisciplinary programs and director of the Gender Studies Program.
● Jean Carrio-Mendez, a senior dance major from Arlington, Texas
● Kennedy Moore, a senior resort, recreation, and hospitality major from Braddock.
● Olivia Nellis, a senior dance major from Glenshaw.
● Alexus Nubani, a junior biology major from Leavittsburg, Ohio.
● Ashleigh Schuller, a senior dance major from Williamsport.
● Metea Sinclair, a sophomore music therapy major from Harrisburg.
● Brianna Skiles, a senior biology major from Beaver Falls.
● Julia Studer, a senior dance major from Huron, Ohio.
● Cameron Waters, a junior dual major in dance and management from New Castle.

MEDIA CONTACT: Lesa Bressanelli | 724.738.2091 |