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AIDS Quilt Exhibit and Diversity Forum to be held during Pride Week in Morehead

In collaboration with Morehead State University's Eagle Diversity Education Center and the Camden-Carroll Library, Morehead Pride will host a Diversity and Inclusion Forum on Friday, Oct. 6, at the Camden-Carroll Library from 3 until 6 p.m.

The discussion will focus on diversity within the LGBT community, health access, HIV/AIDS awareness and inclusion.  Moderators include MSU’s Christopher Blakely, minority retention coordinator, and Cory Clark, minority academic services coordinator. A reception with light refreshments will be held at 3 p.m. and the forum will take place from 4 until 6 p.m.

Speakers at the forum include author and diversity trainer Ryan Sallans, secretary of Bluegrass Black Pride Inc. Mark Johnson and the executive director of AIDS Volunteers Inc. (AVOL) Jon Parker.

Sallans is a public speaker, diversity trainer, consultant and author specializing in health care, campus inclusion and workplace issues impacting the transgender community, and the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer/Questioning (LGBTQ) community. His memoir "Second Son: Transitioning Toward My Destiny, Love and Life," is one of the few books currently published that details the life and transition of a transgender man.

Johnson has been a champion for HIV/AIDS, cultural diversity and health equity for 30 years. He received a Master of Science degree in Social Work from the University of Louisville and his bachelor’s degree in social work from Morehead State University.

Parker serves as executive director of AVOL. The organization has been on the front lines of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Lexington and Eastern Kentucky for more than 25 years. Its guiding principles state that “…the most compassionate response to HIV/AIDS is to honor, to empower, and to support individuals and communities affected.”

MSU’s Camden-Carroll Library will display two sections of the internationally-celebrated AIDS Memorial Quilt from Oct. 2-8 in the Athena Room. The exhibit will be on display during the forum. Visitors may attend this free display of the AIDS Memorial Quilt during the library's regular business hours. This exhibit is made possible by the Names Project Foundation.

These events are free and open to the public, and are part of Pride Week in Morehead. The Morehead Pride Festival will be held on Saturday, Oct. 7 from 10 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.

The Diversity and Inclusion Forum is sponsored by grants from JustFundKY and the Appalachian Community Fund. The Morehead Pride Festival also is sponsored by a grant from Morehead Tourism.

For more information about events at the Camden-Carroll Library, visit