WCW: London Woolman-Nebraska Aids Project

Nebraska Aids Project was founded in 1984 as a response to the AIDS crisis sweeping the nation at the time. People were full of fear and misinformation and NAP served as one of the few statewide AIDS organizations in the country and the only one in Nebraska.

NAP provides HIV prevention education and works tirelessly in the community (and beyond) in the fight for comprehensive sex education and as a safe haven to people who are looking for answers. Sworn to protect client confidentiality, the NAP team consists of dedicated people from diverse and wide-ranging backgrounds.

Including, one of my closest friends, London Woolman.

Joining the team last year London has been very open about her journey to work with this incredible organization and how in so many ways, it saved her life. Through her emotional honesty, courage to try new things and hilarious take on life-London, is not just a friend to many, but also an inspiration. I have watched her tackle this past year of personal adversity and change with a strong spirit and forward momentum. A constitution that is no doubt needed in the world of tackling HIV and AIDS in Nebraska. Being confronted by the melee of life and persevering, is an incredible trait and one so vital to the work she’s in.

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As part of her contribution to this Blog and her work at NAP, London-entrepreneurial as she is, decided to take things a step further and create a campaign built around transformation and self love. That campaign will be revealed here next Wednesday–complete with an essay from the woman herself as well as…well, I’ll just say…if you’ve never been to London, now’s the time to buy your ticket.

LONDON WOOLMAN, NEBRASKA AIDS PROJECT

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What gets you out of bed in the morning? Basic love of life and the possibilities that are out there to do better each day.

What is your motto/mantra? Reinvent the future.

Who has been the biggest inspiration in your life when it comes to what you do? My co-workers, for sure. I’m in awe of what they do and how they work and advocate for the greater good of HIV/AIDS

What are your personal core values? Honesty and Integrity – I have to live with the person in the mirror and she insists on no bullshit

Why do you do what you do? Great question with an ever-changing answer

3 Things you can’t live without. Food from Amigo’s, an occasional (ok frequent) pair of new shoes, and the love and support of all my homies.

What do you want people to know about your job? That it’s terrific and that it saved me, please read my story here.

Who is your rock? If you’re reading this and we’ve had any kind of raw or intimate conversation in the past 9-ish months about life, you’re on the list! I probably haven’t said thank you enough to all of you, but sometimes it takes a village.

Working at a Non-Profit in Omaha is: the shit? Is that word ok to use here?

What is the biggest unfairness in your world? HIV/AIDS still faces massive amounts of stigma and misinformation in the general public – please take the time to get educated on the subject and help us fulfill our mission to make those unfair attributes less of a burden on those infected or affected by HIV.

Quote that just “gets you.” “You don’t know the new me. I put the pieces back differently.” Credit: @HighPoetsSociety

What is your theme song? Glamazon by RuPaul

How can people be involved in your organization and why is it so important? Read along next week PLEASE.

If you’re interested in learning more about volunteering with NAP please, click here. 

Keeping up with the Kardashians

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There are these Kardashian memes going around saying “In a world of Kardashians be a Diana” or a “Lucy” or an “Audrey” with pictures of all of these deceased pillars of fashion and culture, looking glamorous. And I think they’re ridiculous! Usually whatever people choose to adorn their instragram accounts and Facebook pages with never, ever bother me as a true believer in “Live and Let Live” but these crossed over somehow.

First, the use of these particular women. Women who have been immortalized by pop culture for the way they wore dresses and quotes that they may or may not have said. Women whose very essence at the time was deemed rebellious (Lucy married to a Cuban, Marilyn Monroe’s overt sexuality, Diana’s scandals) have become a pissing match with women of a different time, standard and role in the world. As if these woman ALL couldn’t coexist, and on some level don’t exist, inside all women. And if you are more THIS than THAT, you are somehow greater.

And there’s the problem.

There’s the problem with how girls learn to be women in America. Maybe in the World. I don’t know. You CAN’T be what you’re not. You DON’T need to fit into a box of what people deem ‘appropriate’ or ‘right for you’ and above all–you absolutely never have to compare yourself with another woman to feel a) better about yourself or b) bad about yourself.  If you are in fact a “Lucy” or a “Janis” you can indeed be true to that without any other factor. Especially what other girls got going on. If you are around a girlfriend who tells you that she’s “This” and you’re “That”–you get away from that friend. You go take a shower. And you find a friend who wants to LEARN what you are–not dictate your role to affirm her own. (Okay? Okay.)

1) Please society–stop pitting women against each other. And women STOP perpetuating this her vs. her stereotype. This competitive, comparison culture is so damaging. It is breeding insecurity and insecure people do desperate things. There is room for everyone to embrace their own imperfections and unique traits AND those of others. NOT look down their noses at other women for being “other.”  At what point can women get kudos for their own originality without comparing them to another woman? I am a Beaufield. I am going to focus on Beaufield things. And advance my life as a Beaufield.

YOU, are a __________. And you get to fill that in however you choose.

2) While we’re on the Kardashians. People are obsessed with hating them. Turn off your TV.  Get a life.  They don’t care about you or your hatred for them–so why are you wasting your energy in such a negative way? I mean, when it comes down to it the Kardashians have built an EMPIRE on their personalities. Why should that be something we thumb our noses at. Isn’t this the land of Free Enterprise? How many times have you looked at your friends and said “We should have a reality show”?

Like you never watched seventeen episodes in a row…on a sick day. Please.

3) The message is–love yourself, embrace your journey, in a world full of 7 billion people be YOU. Sexy, goofy, classy, drunk–whatever you got, bring it to the table and tell those bitches to Eat Up.