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#MeToo Galvanizes Victims of Sexual Assault
On October 5th, public allegations that Hollywood megaproducer Harvey Weinstein repeatedly harassed and assaulted women ignited a cultural firestorm surrounding sexual violence. Ten days later, actress Alyssa Milano tweeted an image that read "Suggested by a friend: If all the women who have been sexually harassed or assaulted wrote "Me too" as a status, we might give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem." Milano commented: "If you've been sexually harassed or assaulted write 'me too' as a reply to this tweet."
This kicked off a social media phenomenon known as the #MeToo campaign where thousands of women (and men) have come forward with their own admissions that they, too, have been the victims of sexual harassment or assault. The movement has drawn attention to how widespread the problems of misogyny and sexual violence are in our society.
All of us at WNCAP have been deeply touched by the #MeToo movement and want to take this as an opportunity to publicize all the resources that we and our community partners offer for victims of sexual violence.
First of all, WNCAP is and always will be a safe space for all people, including women both cis and trans, gender queer and non binary people, sex workers, and any other person who may be the victim of sexual harassment or assault. Anybody may come to WNCAP without fear of judgement or questioning. Of course, we always offer free testing for HIV, STIs, and Hepatitis, and can help connect you with medical care if you desire.
WNCAP can also connect you with resources surrounding sexual violence and abuse. One of our best community partners is Our Voice, an Asheville-based organization that offers everything from a crisis hotline to counseling to advocacy and outreach efforts, with programs directly targeted towards the Latinx, LGBTQIA, and youth communities, among others.
On Thursday, November 2nd, Our Voice is hosting the Asheville Sex Worker Outreach Project. The event, which will be held in the Board Room of the Housing Authority of Asheville from 1:00-3:00pm, is intended to provide free services to those engaged in sex work. Everything from food to needle exchange to menstrual products will be provided. This event is just one example of the resources available to people who have been or are at risk of being victims of sexual harassment or assault.
Get Out The Vote
Early Voting for Asheville City Elections is Happening Now
The Asheville municipal elections for mayor and city council are in full swing. The primary elections were held on October 10th, and now the top vote getters are campaigning to win in the general election on Tuesday, November 7th.
But you don't have to wait until then to cast your ballot. Now through Saturday, November 4th, early voting is in progress (with the exception of Sunday, 10/29, when early voting is closed). You can either go to the Buncombe County Election Services building at 77 McDowell Street, or one of the remote sites specified by the County. Polls are open from 8:00am-6:00pm at the Election Services building, and from 10am-6pm at the remote sites. Even if you're not currently registered to vote, you can register on-site at any voting location before casting your ballot. You can even see how many people are in line waiting for early voting by clicking on the "What's the Wait?" tab at the top of the screen.
The candidates for Mayor of Asheville (pictured above) are incumbent Esther Manheimer and challenger Martin Ramsey. The candidates for City Council (pictured below, left to right) are: Vijay Kapoor, Sheneika Smith, and Vice Mayor Gwen Wisler (top row), and Dee Williams, Rich Lee and Kim Roney (bottom row). Voters will choose one candidate for mayor and three candidates for City Council.
In addition to choosing candidates, voters will decide on a controversial referendum that would change the current at-large structure of the Asheville City Council to a series of six single-member districts.
For more information about early voting, voting locations, and voter registration, visit the Buncombe County Election Services website. Remember - change starts at home! Local politics matter.
The AIDS Memorial Quilt & World AIDS Day
WNCAP Presents the AIDS Memorial Quilt: Loss, Life, & Love
From November 20th-25th, WNCAP will exhibit portions of the AIDS Memorial Quilt at the Renaissance Hotel in downtown Asheville. Most of the patches that will be shown memorialize people from the local Asheville area who have died from AIDS. The exhibit is open to the public daily during the week from 10:00am-7:00pm (closed Thanksgiving Day).
The NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt began in 1987 during the peak of the AIDS epidemic. The founders' goal was to create a memorial for those who had died of AIDS, and thereby help people understand the devastating impact of the disease.
Nominated for a Nobel Peace Price in 1989, the Quilt remains the largest community art project in the world. It has been the subject of countless books, films, scholarly papers, articles, and theatrical, artistic and musical performances, including "Common Threads: Stories from The Quilt," which won the Academy Award for best feature-length documentary in 1989.
The Quilt is a powerful visual reminder of the AIDS pandemic, More than 48,000 individual 3-by-6-foot memorial panels - most commemorating the life of someone who has died of AIDS - have been sewn together by friends, lovers, and family members.
Contact Randy Rodriguez, Special Events Coordinator at WNCAP, to request a special tour or educational session: (828) 252-7489 ext. 313.
Merry & Bright
The WNCAP Holiday Gift Drive has raised over $1,000!
Halloween may be right around the corner, but a lot of people in our community are already getting into the holiday spirit!
Merry and Bright, the WNCAP Holiday Gift Drive to provide our clients' children with presents, is off to a joyful start. Already, over $1,000 has been raised so that low-income children in our community can have a merry and bright holiday.
Are you feeling the spirit of giving? Please donate now so that every child in our community can have a joyful holiday season, regardless of income.
LGBTQ Politics
WNCAP Co-sponsors first ever Asheville City Council Forum on LGBTQ Issues
WNCAP is proud to co-sponsor the first-ever Asheville City Council Forum exclusively dedicated to LGBTQ issues.
The event will be held on Wednesday, 10/25, at the First Congregational UCC in Asheville, from 6:30-8:30pm. It is being hosted by the Campaign for Southern Equality. The forum is an opportunity to learn more about the final 6 candidates running for city council and their policy positions specific to LGBTQ legal and lived equality in Asheville. 
Public Health Crisis
Please Support the Needle Exchange Program of Asheville (NEPA)
The opioid epidemic is the defining public health crisis of our time. Along with addiction itself, the epidemic has resulted in a spike of new Hepatitis and HIV cases - especially in rural areas, where resources are low and stigma is high.
WNCAP is on the front lines of the opioid crisis, and our Needle Exchange Program of Asheville (NEPA) helps reduce new cases of Hepatitis and HIV. But government funding is unavailable for sterile syringes, and demand is high. That makes the support of members of our community all the more crucial.
The WNCAP Needle Exchange fundraising campaign has reached over 25% of our goal. But we're a long way from being able to provide consistent harm reduction supplies. We can't do this alone. Please donate today so that you can be on the vanguard of the Harm Reduction Movement in Western North Carolina.
Rock & Roll & HIV
WNCAP Educates and Advocates at Against Me! Show at Orange Peel
That old saying about "sex, drugs, and rock 'n roll" may be a cliche, but there's more than a grain of truth to it. And since sex and drugs can also bring about less cool things like HIV and Hepatitis, WNCAP decided to hang out at a rock concert for some old fashioned HIV education and prevention.
Punk band Against Me! performed at the Orange Peel in Asheville on October 21st, and WNCAP was on hand to distribute condoms and literature. The event was organized by LIFEbeat - Music Fights HIV/AIDS, the leading nonprofit that works with musical artists to fight HIV and STIs, particularly among young people.
When it comes to HIV prevention, WNCAP rocks pretty hard!
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Western North Carolina AIDS Project  |  554 Fairview Rd.  |  Asheville, NC 28803
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