AGENCY PROFILE

A Dream That Came True

In 1993, community members gathered at Lincoln Park to discuss the need of a public symbol to address the stigma and silence of HIV/AIDS in the Latino community. Through community mobilization, education, and advocacy, the AIDS monument was dedicated in 2004 – creating the needed catalyst for social change.

In 2004, over 1500 attended the unveiling of the monument and the names etched on its granite walls. Designed in the shape of Quetzalcoatl, an Aztec serpent and symbol for rebirth, The Wall Las Memorias AIDS Monument is composed of eight panels, six with murals by Southern California artists and two granite panels that will eventually display the names of 8,000 people lost to AIDS. Located in Lincoln Park, the 10,000 square foot monument includes a stainless steel archway.

Our Mission

The Wall Las Memorias Project is a community health and wellness organization dedicated to serving Latino, LGBT and other underserved populations through advocacy, education and building the next generation of leadership.

The Wall-Las Memorias Project Faith Community Advisory Board

Project Faith provides HIV/AIDS education, prevention, testing and capacity building services to the Latino faith based institutions of Los Angeles County. This program hosts a countywide community advisory board consisting of representatives from the Roman Catholic, Protestant and Evangelical communities to help guide the outreach and education components of the project.

Latino Men’s Action Network is an integrated program of services that provides education and empowerment on issues of sexuality, HIV and sexual health, substance use, self-discovery, faith, peer leadership and service to the community. The services include HIV testing, HIV risk-reduction counseling, support groups that empowers men to take a leadership role in living a healthy life, addressing health disparities, and creating policy change for the Latino gay and bisexual community.

Southeast Los Angeles Alcohol and Other Drugs Task Force (SELA) proactively engages in community mobilization to reduce alcohol and other drug use by educating and supporting our youth and their families in the greater Southeast Los Angeles area.

Agency Initiatives

 

Coalition to Reduce Excessive Alcohol Use and Violence at Dodger Game

As a response to the severe beating of Giants fan Bryan Stow at Dodger Stadium. The Wall-Las Memorias built a coalition of over twenty community organizations, church leaders, and community groups have joined the coalition to address the increase in alcohol-related violence at Dodger Stadium. The Wall-Las Memorias Project continues to lead the effort to mobilize the Los Angeles community to reduce alcohol use and violence at and around Dodger Stadium.

LGBT Catholic Action Now

A volunteer movement to identify and empower LGBT Latino Catholics to step up and be counted at their local parishes and empower them to be an active voice in their church.

Project Faith

Project Faith conducts HIV education prevention services to the Latino faith based community of Los Angeles County.

Services include culturally sensitive education, capacity building for AIDS ministries, HIV testing, and hosting a county wide advisory board.

To date Project Faith has expanded its work to over 680 churches. Project Faith conducts HIV education prevention services to Latino faith based community of Los Angeles County.

Latino Men’s Action Network

  • Conduct free rapid HIV testing
  • Gay and bisexual men’s discussion groups
  • Leadership skills building and advocacy
  • Community engagement
  • Peer counseling for gay and bisexual men at high risk
  • HIV/AIDS and substance abuse workshops
  • Community outreach-education and recruitment

Annual Strike Out AIDS at Dodger Stadium

The Annual Strike Out AIDS takes place at Dodger Stadium, where a Human AIDS Ribbon is formed in center field.

On Field Introductions and other pre-game activities. An AIDS video presentation is shown on the Dodger Diamond Vision.

ROJO: Annual Food Tasting & Awards Benefit

This annual fundraising event is hosted at Cicada Restaurant in downtown Los Angeles in the Fall. The event consists of awards, music, food tasting, and dancing. Over 350 people usually attend the event. Past honorees include: Benjamin Bratt and the movie “La Mission”, Laura Diaz, news anchor of CBS News and Mario Perez, the director of the office of AIDS Programs and Policy; Actress and Comedian, Liz Torres; Los Angeles Dodger, Andre Ethier; Actress, Lupe Ontiveros; AIDS Quilt Founder, Cleve Jones.

Annual Los Angeles Faith in Action Conference

The annual Los Angeles Faith in Action Conference takes place in autumn at The California Endowment. The conference includes various topics ranging from the stigma surrounding mental health in our community to a plenary devoted to speaking about theology and sexuality. The conference brings together over 200 faith congregants as well as clergy from Los Angeles County and surrounding cities.

Noche De Las Memorias

Noche de las Memorias is an annual community ceremony dedicated to rememberance and raising awareness about HIV/AIDS in the LGBT and Latino communities on World AIDS Day. Over 600 people attend the HIV/AIDS awareness event which includes youth, parents, faith leaders, elected officials, cable executives, and community-based organizations.

Agency Goals

  • Provide HIV and substance abuse prevention services to Latino communities of faith and gay, bisexual men
  • Provide mental health education to the general Latino community
  • Create Community Action Councils to fight health disparities for gay and bisexual men
  • Increase services to underserved communities
  • Collaborate with communities of faith to provide HIV testing services and ministry development
  • Conduct community outreaches to promote agency programs to increase client services
  • Expand dialogue with the Latino LGBT populations to encourage them to become active members within the faith communities.
  • Develop a volunteer database to increase community engagement for agency programs, special events, and outreach

About the Founder

Richard Zaldivar’s dream, passion and determination in the fight against HIV/AIDS comes from a lifetime of public service and community empowerment and mobilization. His personal battle with addiction and commitment to sobriety also fuels his passion, creativity and drive to address the shame, silence and denial that fuel HIV transmission, homophobia and social injustice.

Advisory Boards

  • Training Advisory Board of the National Council of La Raza-Cal State Long Beach Center for Latino Community Health, Education and Leadership
  • Capacity Building Division Advisory Board of the U.S. Office of Minority Health Resource Center
  • RAND Corporation’s Urban Congregations and HIV/AIDS Project.
  • KCET Television Advisory Board LGBT Committee Chair
  • Consejero de la Instituto de los Mexicanos en Exterior, U.S. American advisor to Mexico ( por Meritos y Trayectoria). 2009-2011.

Awards

  • Named as one of 100 most influential lesbian or gay persons in 1997 by Out magazine.
  • Local Hero Award by KCET and Union Bank, 2005
  • Sabbatical award from the California Wellness Foundation, 2005
  • "Spirit Award" by the California Latino Heritage Legislative Caucus, 2010
  • Named as a Hero in a segment in the American Latino Television program on national syndicated television, 2010
  • Connie Norman Spirit Award Recipient, 2013 LA Pride  
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