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Digital Stories Part of Campaign to End the Silence and Shame Surrounding HIV/AIDS in Asian and Pacific Islander Communities


We are pleased to present posts by StoryCenter staff, storytellers, colleagues from partnering organizations, and thought leaders in Storywork and related fields.

Digital Stories Part of Campaign to End the Silence and Shame Surrounding HIV/AIDS in Asian and Pacific Islander Communities

Emily Paulos

The Center for Digital Storytelling has been busy facilitating workshops in which the inspirational participants brought together by the Asian and Pacific Islander Wellness Center's (A&PIWC) Banyan Tree Project have told the stories that are featured in these events to celebrate Asian and Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day on May 19. Since March 2012, the Center for Digital Storytelling has partnered with the A&PIWC on four workshops in the Bay Area, Guam and Honolulu, and will teach three more workshops this summer.

The Banyan Tree Project is a national community mobilization and social marketing campaign to end the silence and shame surrounding HIV/AIDS in Asian and Pacific Islander Communities. The digital stories have been posted to Facebook, will be featured in Twitterchats, and are supported by a discussion guide that can be downloaded from the Banyan Tree Project website. Watch the stories from these workshops or order a set of Taking Root DVDs.


The Banyan Tree Project has posted the official national press release for National Asian & Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, highlighting our continued work fighting HIV-related stigma in the A&PI community through digital storytelling. The press release also showcases the national flagship event for A&PI HIV/AIDS Awareness Day: a series of Twitter chats than all community members and supporters can join in honor of the day (see below for more information on the Twitter chat). Please feel free to use it as a resource when talking about May 19.

Paul Kawata, National Minority AIDS Council executive director says, "As a community, it is critical that A&PIs talk about the issues that impact us, including our relationships, sexuality and the impact that HIV has on our families and loved ones. National Asian & Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day is an important opportunity to start that dialogue."Help us start that dialogue. Read and share our press release.


Last Thursday, the Banyan Tree Project premiered two of its new Taking Root videos during their first ever #BTPchat onTwitter. The chat featured "Making Deals" by Jaimie and "Courage to Live On" by Martin Q. Barcinas and was co-hosted by TheBody.Com. "Hearing stories from individuals like Jaimie and Martin is incredibly important, not only because it highlights the continued toll that this epidemic has on our community, but also our amazing resilience and spirit," says National Minority AIDS Council Executive Director Paul Kawata in our press release.

Please join us for one or all of the remaining three #BTPchats! The next chat is Thursday at 11am Honolulu Time/2pm Pacific Time/5pm Eastern Time. Check out the full chat schedule.


We've added more events to our map! Is yours one of them? You still have time to register your event! Tell us if you're having a commemoration and we'll share it on our website and on our Facebook and Twitter pages! This is a great way to increase visibility and attendance at your events. See what's planned so far across the country!

Once your event is over, we'd love to get your feedback and share any photos that you've taken. Download the event report form and send it to us after the event. Email your event photos to us and we'll share them on ourFacebook and Twitter pages!

For more information, please contact David Stupplebeen at

The Banyan Tree Project is a program of Asian & Pacific Islander Wellness Center and is supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Its content are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.