Advocating for Health Equity for African, Caribbean, Black, Individuals
The Ribbon Rouge Foundation is a grassroots organization that focuses on health equity and facilitates social justice through the Arts. The Ribbon Rouge Foundation facilitates storytelling, community-engaged arts and intentional meaningful community conversations to change perceptions, stir social conscience, educate the public and create positive social change.
We remain committed to raising the voices of people who experience poorer health outcomes as a result of racialized health disparities. In particular, we focus our social justice lens on issues related to gender and issues related to race. We believe in the liberating power of the arts to promote self-expression, build community and facilitate positive social change.
In 2014, the estimated new infection rate among people from African, Caribbean and Black communities was about 6 times higher than among other Canadians and that the number of new HIV infections may have increased in females since 2014. According to 2016 national HIV estimates,507 new HIV infections (23.4% of all new HIV infections) occurred in females compared to an estimated 436 new infections (22.2%) in 2014. Among females, the majority of new HIV diagnoses were among those identified as Black at 46% of new HIV diagnoses according to 2017 national surveillance data. Our foundation’s work is a response to have a meaningful impact on the health (gender & racial) disparities represented by these statistics recognizing that these statistics barely scratch the surface of very complex social-economic-political-cultural drivers of the identified problems.
Our Origin Story
The first ever Ribbon Rouge event was initiated by Moréniké Ọláòṣebìkan, powered by students of the Kamit African Caribbean Society at the University of Alberta and held on the 17th of March 2006. The event was hosted as a “fun” fashion, art and music event to raise funds for HIV relief in African Countries.
The event has since grown into a non-profit Organization registered in Canada, Nigeria and Botswana, with a growing membership of 181; which runs on a constellation model, with multiple initiatives and two subsidiary groups who use art to spread messages for positive social change and advocate for Health Equity for the African, Caribbean, Black community.
— Our Mission
Ribbon Rouge Foundation is committed to raising the voices of people affected by HIV. We believe in the liberating power of the arts to promote self-expression, build community and facilitate positive social change.