PWN-USA-GA is truly excited to be a part of PWN-USA. To be the official Georgia Chapter is a pure delight. PWN-USA-GA is impressed with the projects PWN-USA has developed and with the plans for the organization’s growth. At this critical time for Georgia and surrounding areas, PWN-USA-GA is looking forward to partnerships with individuals and organizations to provide services in the communities of Georgia.
Message from Co-Chair Tammy Kinney
Doctors confirmed that I had indeed been living with HIV for at least two years before I was initially diagnosed in 1987. I started volunteering at AIDS Survival Project – my first support group was Common Grounds. Along the way, I became an advocate, activist, and motivational speaker for people living with HIV.
I began volunteering and traveling with SisterLove, Inc. I was one of the first honorees in the Class of 2009 20/20 Leading Women Society. Also in 2009, I traveled to be with SisterSong in Washington, DC, for the Let’s Talk About Sex! Policy Implication.
Advocating for reproductive justice, I began to truly understand the work I must be engaged in.
I was part of a presentation at the US Conference on AIDS, as one of the women in the documentary Everyone Has a Story. In that documentary I talk about not wanting women to face the challenges that I faced within myself – one of them being adherence.
Facing challenges with stigma and discrimination, I started following PWN-USA – from Baton Rouge; to marching on Washington, DC, at the International AIDS Conference in 2012; to Fort Walton Beach for the first-ever SPEAK UP! Summit. I became a member of Project SWARM (Southern Women’s Advocacy Response Mobilization) and am now a Co-Chair of PWN-USA-GA. I am a 2014 graduate of Common Threads, a Peer Facilitator of Willow at Positive Impact Duluth, GA; I am constantly working in my community.
I now live in the rural South facing more challenges of stigma. I am a part of AIDS Athens/Monroe where I facilitate a powerful working group called The Productive Living Group. Held my First Women and Young Girls/National Youth HIV Awareness Day event on April 11, 2015, in Winder, GA, titled “Information+ Transformation = Empowerment.”
I have spoken at AIDS Watch with local Commissioners, Legislators, and State Representatives, and worked with UGA HEROs doing speaking engagements.
I know my work is not over until we have an AIDS-free Generation!
Message from Co-Chair Patricia Semiens
“I am not HIV. I am a woman. I am victorious.” This has been my mantra for over a decade in my tenure as a speaker, activist, author, and counselor for HIV/AIDS communities and organizations.
From the age of 15, I have been through adversity, including contracting HIV during my pregnancy from my husband. If this weren’t enough, I was abandoned and left to raise three daughters alone as I fought for survival and hope to overcome the odds. Homelessness, stigma, and discrimination would have broken most – but not me.
As we all know, the most powerful teachers are made through experience. No one knows this better than I, being a long time survivor of HIV/AIDS.
At the age of 15, I was kidnapped and violated, and then in my twenties I suffered the loss of my first child who died in my arms immediately after birth. But I wasn’t prepared for what was to come next. I lived through the devastation and realization that I had contracted HIV from my husband during my third pregnancy. Soon after, I found myself abandoned, while raising three little girls on my own as I battled the uncertainty of our future. Never giving up on hope, I found the strength inside of myself to choose life and live. We all have the right to die but today we have the right to live in dignity.
Experiences like these make are break spirits, my soul was impassioned. “I am not HIV. I am a woman, I am victorious.”
20 plus years later, today, I stand strong, virus undetectable and spreading my message of strength, faith, courage and hope. Yes, if experience is the force behind compelling educators, then I bring my message with the power of the sun.
I’m more than thankful and very excited about being part of not only a strong and positive movement, but a sisterhood that embraces the courage and voices of all females living with an ailment that was once a silent death sentence for us all. I stand on the shoulders of many great women before me that have set and created great opportunities for all women to be heard and loved, and knowledge for our worth and fight. In our unity we’re breaking all boundaries and living prosperous lives. My spirit is very humble but strong. I offer not only my life experience of being a woman and mother living positive, but my worth, my strength and my courage to share my thoughts and gain strength with education from all my sisters in this fight.
I am dedicated to this fight and ready to march alongside my sisters speaking life.
Proverbs 18:21 Death and Life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit. Speak Life.
Served 4 years as the Speaker and Fine Arts Instructor for The Women’s Motivational Ministries – Humble Civic Center in Humble, Texas
Completed and instructed several HIV/AIDS workshops and training programs at the Houston Health Fairs in Houston T.X
Site manager/ HIV/AIDS Consultant: 5 years – Greater Jerusalem Baptist Church – Health Facility – The CURED Building
Attended all AIDS walks located in Houston TX; also Guest Speaker
Guest Speaker at numerous churches in Houston, TX
Certified Paraprofessional and Director of the Fine Arts Department at Benji’s Academy Charter School for 7 years. Fine arts department participated in several fundraisers, programs educating the community about the virus.
Served 2 years as the choreographer and guest speaker (HIV/AIDS) for the Juneteenth Pageant held each year at the emancipation park in Houston Texas.
Special guest and speaker on All About Houston Talk Show, Channel -51 (local Television Talk Show – Host Mrs. LaraBell)
Speaker for NAACP HIV/AIDS Campaign – Chapter in Houston TX.
4 years -Owner/Director of In Mother’s Arms Non-Profit Program for Mothers Living Positive and Feeding the Homeless
Certified Evangelist since 2004
Attended and participated in several workshops held by Georgia Equality and Emily Brown
Special Guest – Talking Out Load: Host – Amanda Cooper
Speaker: Somwa Foundation Radio Show: Host – Shacazia Brown
Guest Speaker- The Dee Hill Radio Show
Guest Speaker – Mary Ellis Radio/Talk Show
Guest Speaker – In the Mix / Radio Show with Darryl Peek
Special Guest/ Speaker – Leading Through Living Today (2 – Segments) Host Lynita Mitchell and Sebe J. Dalieh
Guest Speaker for the Patricia Story- My Story Inc. – Owner -Crissy Dorsey
Special Guest/ Speaker – Art Institute of Atlanta National Black Hiv/Aids Awareness Day – Feburary 6, 2016 – held by – Tobias Terrell
Attendee at the 2016 – AIDSWatch in Atlanta Ga.
Guest Speaker at the Aniz Inc. 2016
Guest Speaker at the Re-Kee Services, llc
Guest Speaker at the 2016 Fund Raising Gala for Women living Positive – led by organization – Helping Hands.
Founder of the Night Owl Foundation – We feed homeless women at night also educating them on health care and awareness.
The Patricia Story – Produced By Shacazia Brown/ Somwa Foundation
GSU – Documentary / Patricia Semiens- Produced By Melissa and Jasmine Lewis
I Am Patricia / Documentary Produced By Patricia Semiens
# Emerging From Darkness- Documentary – still in Production
Personal Memoir – Soaring above the Storms of Life – Launching summer of 2016
Book of Praise, My Legacy – both coming out in late 2016
CEO/Founder – Fountain of Life, LLC
Creator/Owner of Danielle Kandie Dolls
Member and Awardee of Sister Love’s 2020 Leading Women’s Society Awards -2015
Check out PWN-USA Georgia member Cynthia Allen in this article for AARP: http://states.aarp.org/ga-hiv/