Fenway Health’s first Strides for Action 5K walk and fun run takes place on Sunday, October 1 at DCR’s Carson Beach in South Boston. Strides for Action is the rebranded AIDS Walk Boston and we’ll once again be walking and running by the seaside to raise much needed support for vital HIV and LGBTQIA+ health care and services at Fenway Health and AIDS Action.
The site opens at 7:30 AM, performances and the program begin at 8:45 AM with Boston-born LGBTQIA+ hip hop artist Oompa headlining this year’s show at 10 AM. A wellness festival featuring activities, information, and giveaway will run throughout the event.
- 8:00 AM – registration opens; grab some coffee and bagels for breakfast
- 8:45 AM – drag artist Kori King kicks off the show
- 9:05 AM – speaking program followed by awards ceremony
- 10:00 AM – headliner Oompa performs
- 10:35 AM – fun run begins
- 11:00 AM – walkers head out
- 12:00 PM – Linda Maripossa entertains with her incredible costumes and high-octane flair
- 1:00 PM – event concludes
- Full schedule online here
Strides for Action will mark the first public appearance by Manny Lopes as Fenway’s new Interim CEO.
“I am excited to meet the community and so many of our supporters on Sunday,” said Lopes. “Strides for Action provides critical support allowing us to care and advocate for LGBTQIA+ people and people living with HIV in our communities right here in Massachusetts and around the country. Thank you to all of our walkers, runners, volunteers, and every person who donated to support this event.”
Started as AIDS Walk Boston in 1986, the event has drawn thousands of participants over the last 37 years who walk to remember those lost to HIV/AIDS and support those living with the disease. While there is still no cure, tremendous strides have been made in the treatment and prevention of HIV, due in part to funds raised via events like the AIDS Walk.
At the same time, the demand for programs and services addressing the broader needs of the LGBTQIA+ community —including disparities that affect BIPOC communities —continues to increase, as does the need for additional funding. Additionally, the ACLU is tracking 496 anti-LGBTQIA+ bills filed in states across the US. Human Rights Campaign reports that 150 of those are anti-trans bills seeking to criminalize access to gender affirming care and/or participation in school sports or restrict the discussion of sexual orientation and gender identity in schools.
The Bette Byrnes Award
Each year, we present the Bette Byrnes’s award to an individual or group who has gone above and beyond to promote HIV/AIDS awareness and education within the community. This year we have chosen to present this award to Lyv Norris, Fenway Health’s former Getting to Zero Coordinator, in recognition of their contributions to HIV/AIDS advocacy and activism.
The Award is named after Bette Byrnes, who participated in her first AIDS Walk in 1991, the year she learned that her son John was HIV positive. Over the years, Byrnes, who died in 2017, raised more than $500,000 for Fenway Health and AIDS Action by participating in the Walk.
- Premier Wellness Partner – Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Massachusetts
- Cornerstone Partners – Beth Israel Lahey Health, Point32 Health, and Moderna
- Presenting Sponsors – Eastern Bank and Gilead
- Gold Sponsors – andhealth, PWC, PTC, Takeda, and Vertex
- Media Sponsors – asg, Boston Spirit, and WCVB 5
More information online at stridesforaction.org.