In 1992 four activists decided to start an organization to respond to the lack of HIV prevention and education services for youth of color. At the time, their main goal was to provide programming that would reduce HIV incidence, but little did they know that after three decades, their scope of work would make them a staple in Los Angeles and around the nation in using performing and creative arts to influence the health of young people. Since their inception, REACH LA has expanded to provide sexual health services, social groups, mental health services, and wraparound linkage to care for youth and young adults.
After years of COVID mitigation restrictions, the community came together to celebrate and support the 30th Anniversary of REACH LA and their awardees. Hosted by an amazing Board of Directors and staff, the central theme of the evening was the organization’s four pillars: Health & Wellness, Creative Arts, Personal Development and Social Enterprise. The HIV Vaccine Trials Network External Relations Team served as a platinum sponsor for the gala, and worked to ensure our collaborative partners at clinical research sites and community based organizations in the Greater Los Angeles area were in the building.
The celebration was one you did not want to miss! The evening brought together over 200 community members for a black-tie affair. The event included a cocktail networking hour, a sit-down dinner, live entertainment, and an awards ceremony highlighting some of REACH LA’s most influential stakeholders. The staff and Board of Directors highlighted the impact and investment of 9 individuals and businesses with the presentation of the Founders Awards, Creative Ally Awards, and Community Ally Awards.
Creating agency for community has allowed REACH LA to stand strong in providing services in an ever-evolving social landscape. It is our greatest hope that we can look forward to 30 more years of service and advocacy to ensure the community is engaging and prioritizing the voices of young people as we endeavor to end HIV and improve health outcomes.
Kyle Gordon is an External Relations Project Manager with HVTN.