Communities of Care: A COVID Keywords Conversation

Participants in “Communities of Care: A COVID Keywords Conversation” will consider the lessons we have learned, or failed to learn, about concepts like public health, risk management, criminalization of disease, and collective power and action from artists and activists responding to the ongoing HIV/AIDS crisis as we face the unpredictable landscape of COVID-19. While COVID-19 and HIV/AIDS are different diseases that need different solutions, our experiences of both pandemics serve as a reminder that artists and marginalized communities often develop and use some of our most potent tools in response to crisis, while institutional insistence on business-as-usual often magnifies harm and inequity.

About the COVID Keywords Conversations: The COVID-19 pandemic and its associated policies, guidelines, and practices have laid bare fundamental, systemic inequities, tensions, and sites of struggle and power coursing through our cultural and social frameworks. As an extension of Headlands’ Thematic Residencies—our cross-sectorial convening and residency program—the Keywords Conversations take their name from both a “keyword” project that resulted from a Headlands Thematic Residency on climate equity, and from Raymond Williams’ essential work, Keywords, a collection of cultural histories of words as sites of struggle.


  • Theodore (Ted) Kerr (moderator), a writer, organizer and artist focusing on HIV/AIDS, community, and culture.
  • Kneeshe Parkinson, motivational speaker, facilitator, activist, and the Positive Women’s Action Network’s State Lead for Missouri.
  • Sarit Golub, Ph. D., Professor of Psychology at Hunter College and Director, Hunter Alliance for Research & Translation
  • Dr. Andrew Jolivette (Atakapa-Ishak Nation of Louisiana [Tsikip/Opelousa/Heron Clan]), Chair of Ethnic Studies at the University of California, San Diego, poet/writer, and author of “Indian Blood: HIV and Colonial Trauma in San Francisco’s Two-Spirit Community.”