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 For Benefit Organization registered in Canada and Nigeria with a growing membership of 58; which runs voluntarily in a service club type model to provide a platform for artists, spread messages for positive social change and generate funds towards Zero HIV.
Today, the foundation exists to frame and surface social justice issues which contribute to the spread of HIV for public engagement on these issues. We exist to sustain/ help sustain/ contribute to a public conversation by providing pathways for solutions for addressing underlying social justice problems which currently contribute to the spread of HIV such as: gender & sexuality based violence, health inequity, racism, and poverty. We hope to support cultural shift through media, communication, arts and story telling to contribute to larger policy change which is ultimately needed to achieve zero new HIV infections.
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.