In September 2018, we were honored to learn our Women of Wisdom (WOW) program had been selected as a charity for the Schooled! Event, put on by Our Bold Voices. Founded in 2005, WOW remains the only psychosocial support program for HIV+ women and their children in all of Oregon and SW Washington. Despite progress to eliminate stigma and health barriers associated with HIV, there remains a tremendous lack of services for positive communities—especially for marginalized communities of color, women, and low-income groups. WOW is a program for positive women, facilitated by positive women. It is a program that fosters genuine bonds of sisterhood and belonging in a community battling isolation and stigma.
The stories of the WOW women are not often told. Paul’s platform with Our Bold voices gave our WOW women such a platform. Validating these stories and sharing them with the public remains the most effective way to build bridges of empathy and compassion. Each of us rely on these connections, as they unite us in a shared moment between storyteller and audience. We are hugely grateful to Our Bold Voices for elevating these stories and giving them prominence. Without them, the wider public wouldn’t see the core values of strength and resilience which define our WOW women. Thank you so very much.