Meet Cambriae Bates, our new Events Coordinator. She will be handling AIDS Walk Austin as one of her first assignments. We are glad to have her.

“When I was nineteen, I went to a tattoo shop and told the artist that I wanted him to draw an image of a doll parachuting on my back and in the strings I wanted the words, “To live would be an awfully big adventure.” If there is one thing important that everyone should know about me it is that I am an enthusiast of life.

“People always ask me why the HIV and AIDS community when I could be helping out with so many other causes. I always give two reasons. 1) I find happiness in knowing that organizations like ASA help people to live full and vibrant lives. 2)  For ten years my aunt had a partner that tested positive for HIV and when she first introduced her to my family I felt everyone in the room cringe. As a curious child, I started doing my own research about HIV and I found out that my family’s behavior was unwarranted. Eventually, they found out facts, erased some of the myths that exist, and realized that my aunt’s partner was not a danger to any of us. As a family, we even created a short film about HIV/AIDS to help build awareness in the Philadelphia community. From then on, I developed a desire to reduce the stigma that surrounds the HIV/AIDS community.

“About seven months ago, my boyfriend and I decided to relocate from Philadelphia because we wanted to embark on a new adventure. Having worked as a development intern at Action Wellness in Philadelphia, I was excited to find the Special Events position on the ASA development team because it gave me a chance to return to the HIV/AIDS services field and I was hired about a week before our move date. I love events because the role gives me the chance to interact with the communities that I serve and there is a lot of creativity that I can implement while planning an event. My hope is that I will be able to truly become an Austinite, add a little extra weirdness to the city, and help the individuals and families affected by HIV/AIDS in central Texas to live lives free of stigma and full of joy.

“The first event that I will be working on is the 2016 AIDS Walk that will be held at Palm Park on Sunday, October 16. This year we will have live music acts, food trucks, activities for the whole family and more. Registration is open at aidswalkaustin.org. I am a very easy going person, so if you have any questions about the event give me a call!”