The Time is Now

By Rob Banaszak on March 21, 2011 in Access2Care

by Will Rutland, Montgomery AIDS Outreach

It is a bittersweet thing to leave an environment so charged with hope in order to carry that hope into the world.  And yet, today, that is what we did: today we left the comforting confines of the Pere Marquette convening space. Today we began the task of translating our respective aspirations into action beyond the walls of our hotel meeting room, appropriately called “Storyville III.”

Fortunately, AIDS United sent us out well-armed.  In addition to the powerful programs and presentations given over the last few days (and let’s be fair, the St. Patty’s revelry down Rue Bourbon was a whimper in comparison to the thunderous message of  WORLD  founder Rebecca Denison’s moving film about her beloved HIV doctor), we concluded the convening with small group conversations focused on: evaluation, the peer model, and social networking.

After digging into our respective areas of interest, we reconvened in front of our able captains from AIDS United, Maura Riordan and Suzanne Kinsky, and continued a dialogue regarding how best to stay connected as we embark on our shared, separate adventures.  Having collectively determined that: (1) too many emails are bad for the soul, and (2) we really should more seriously consider a convening in Hawaii, the time had come to say goodbye.

For our Montgomery group, that means the time is *now* to begin the work of bringing crucial care to those outside the practical boundaries of the traditional model; the time is now to begin reaching the previously unreachable; the time is now to begin amplifying the impact of our efforts through technology.  The time is now to do more.

And so, with heartfelt hugs, vigorous handshakes, and one or two quickly-covered sniffles, we bid each other farewell – parting company a little more certain that after this hopeful (if trepidation-tinged) week, we can do this. Together, we can do this.

And so we begin . . .

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