World AIDS Day Prayer Breakfast

Faith leaders will gather tomorrow to discuss how they can educate congregations about the disease

More than 100 faith leaders in Philadelphia will gather tomorrow (December 1) at 8 a.m. at the Doubletree Hotel for a World AIDS Day Prayer Breakfast sponsored by Philadelphia FIGHT. The event will remember those who have died of AIDS and encourage the religious community to include messages about HIV prevention in their work.

“We believe that the slowing of the spread of HIV requires the education of the general public,” says Jane Shull, executive director of Philadelphia FIGHT, “and that faith leaders have the ability to use their voices to ensure that people living with AIDS get treatment, and that those not exposed to the virus stay healthy.”

The World AIDS Day Prayer Breakfast got started two years ago as an effort to open the dialogue about HIV/AIDS, and to explore how the religious community can help educate congregations about facts surrounding the disease. This year, leaders from more than 100 houses of worship will address the disease’s impact in the African-American community, sharing what they learn at the event in the coming weeks.

Rev. Dr. Kevin Johnson of Bright Hope Baptist Church will deliver the keynote address. Others participating tomorrow include Bishop Ernest McNear, chairman of the FIGHT Faith Advisory Board; Rev. Bonnie Camarda, president of the Hispanic Clergy of Philadelphia and Vicinity; Imam Asim Abdur-Rashid from the Masjid Mujahideen; Rabbi Nancy Epstein of the Drexel University School of Public Health; and Rev. Terrence Griffith, vice president of the Black Clergy of Philadelphia and Vicinity.

World AIDS Day Prayer Breakfast, Dec. 1, 8 a.m., Doubletree Hotel, 237 S. Broad St., 215-985-4448.