Nashville HIVer Ron Crowder, 52, is the Tennessee state organizer for the Campaign to End AIDS (C2EA), which culminates in a big October march on DC (visit www.endaidsnow.org). POZ spoke with Crowder as he readied for C2EA’s first leg, AIDSWatch, set to stir DC May 2–5.
Why are you marching? We need to get people reenergized [about the epidemic]. With new HIV meds, people have become too complacent. Nearly all the people our AIDS service organizations serve don’t do any AIDS activism.
What’s planned for AIDSWatch? We’re bringing a lot of shoes—each pair is supposed to represent someone living with AIDS.
What do you do back home? I’m executive director of Street Works (www.street-works.org), a Nashville ASO for prostitutes, drug users and such. At the October march, Tennessee’s going to be in the house!
What can Tennessee contribute? We may try to get the country-music industry behind us. They haven’t played a role in AIDS, probably because no one has pushed them. Anybody who wants to jump onboard, call me at: 615.321.3344.
Will you bring any of the prostitutes you do outreach to? We’ll try, but addictions make it hard. I can’t see them leaving for DC while they’re still smoking crack.