Each time I stand before an audience and tell my story or interview with a reporter, I take a risk. Will people reject who I am or what I have to say? But I’ve never been fazed by it. I have always been a risk taker. I took a real risk launching my blog. Will people like it? Will they come back? Can I really generate a large readership? And let’s not forget my bracelet collection. Each time I launch a new collection I run the risk of it being a failure. One man’s treasure is another man’s trash. I’ve done it all and I’ve never been afraid of doing it. Just like Whitney Houston's song, “Tell me no and I’ll show you I can.” That’s been me!
Garrard McClendon show recently ask, “Didn’t they pay you?” Huh? I froze. In what world did I ever get paid for an interview? TV, radio, magazines and newspaper articles are done for free. I got a big fat thank you letter for being on the cover of Essence magazine. That is all. Yes, I get paid for most speaking engagements, but speaking engagements are few and far between these days. HIV is not the sexy topic it used to be. Sadly people have moved on at a time when HIV has only increased in the United States. There are 30,000 new cases annually and over half of those are African-Americans. I do what I do in spite of the compensation. In fact, I shall never forget, the month that I was on the cover of Essence magazine I could not afford to pay my rent. Honestly. But I have always believed that God will make a way if I am obedient to this call on my life.
Anyway, in spite of the fact that I struggle with keeping it all afloat, I still didn't want to step out there on my own. I’m not sure what paralyzed me. Every time a friend mentioned that I should have an event, I shot it down. Maybe I thought people would see me differently, in a negative way, if I sponsored an event on my own. Maybe I was a afraid of people saying, “Who does she think she is?” I don’t know what had me so stuck. But I was stuck. That is until now. I’m not even sure what got me to this place, but I’m there and proud of it.
Encore Liquid Lounge, I’m hosting my very first event, An Evening With Rae: Meet, Greet & Tweet: A Social Media Event for A Socially Conscious Cause. Yes I’m a little nervous, but I cannot allow my fear of failure to stop my potential growth. I almost allowed my health to stop me. In the middle of planning this event I developed an AIDS related infection that needs to be treated with intravenous medication. I’ve been here before and it’s a rough regiment that in the past has shut me down. So I considered long and hard dropping the idea. I concluded that I couldn’t continue to allow this treatment to altar my life in any way. So I continued to press forward even on an IV drip, twice a day for two hours.
Hotel Allegro offered to host my Tweet-Up at their beautiful Encore Liquid Lounge. I knew that I had hit the jackpot. I didn't have any big dollars but I had a place to host my event and that‘s half the ball game. I am so grateful that they thought my work around HIV/AIDS was worth the risk.
I am very proud of this event. While Tweet-Ups and Facebook Meet-Ups are very popular, I’ve decided to add a meaningful theme behind the concept. Yes, let’s get together, hang out and socialize, but let’s do it for a cause. And what better cause than HIV/AIDS prevention and education.
#Protected. We will convene on July 15th at Encore Liquid Lounge where the #RLTEvent will be in full swing. There will be hors d’oeuvres provided by #EncoreAllegro, cash bar, swag bags, great raffle prizes and twitter fun. NO! This event is not just for tweeters. I would like very much for my Facebook supporters to come hang out with me for the night. I promise to hang until the last person walks out of the door. Come join me as I officially launch my Diva Living With AIDS blog and the Protected Project™.
I am hopeful that you will come out and support my work around HIV/AIDS. See you at #RLTEvent #EncoreAllegro, the first of many. I already have a date in mind for the second round... I’m on a roll now and there is no turning back. #ForReal #ForReal…