Thank you all so much to everyone who has contributed to the process of renaming AVI South Island's program formerly known as the Men's Wellness Program. The clear leader from the last survey was Prism Wellness! So we are pleased to announce that the program formerly known as the Men’s Wellness Program will now be Prism Wellness. In the coming days and weeks, we will be renaming our social media, email list, and website and updating with the program’s new logo.
For those of you who haven’t seen the previous letter about why we have changed the program name, you can find that here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1_ntDLQ59372PgJoyMGh5-YmOz1vhDBLCo78Ai9VDtCA/edit?usp=sharing
This process was a collaborative effort with the South Island Education Team at AVI (most of whom are 2SLGBTQIA+), as well as community members who have provided feedback over the years and all those who voted on the name. One of our Special Focus Educators, Shane Jeffery, designed the new logo, with the help of our communications person at AVI. Here is what Shane had to say about the new logo:
“SIGN OF THE TIMES
We have always used signs and symbols to represent, identify, classify or stand behind, and as we evolve so does our iconography. It was important for me to acknowledge those identifiers we've stood behind: The Butterfly and The Pink Triangle (GayLiberation), the Red /Yellow and Purple Ribbon (HIV, Hep C and Overdose Prevention), the rainbow flag and now the Progress PRIDE flag which includes Trans and BIPOC colours, and in doing so our new logo for PRISM Wellness came to life.
BREAKING IT DOWN - Folded up our logo makes a PRISM. A diamond to be precise, and in order to "shine bright like a diamond' I wanted to pay homage to the 80's, our founding decade with the icon of the day - the Mirror Ball, its reflective tiles represents the self discovery and care that our programs aim to assist with, The Triangle signifies remembrance and the acknowledgement of our past and the battles that many people have fought to get us to where we are today, the 5 individual squares represent AVIs 5 founders and have the 5 Education Team Values as its guiding reference. Standing alone or as a collective the individual squares added to the triangle represents community and what that looks like in 2022, and finally the colours reflected in the mirrored tiles represents variance and the different shades and tones in the rainbow collective.
I would like to thank the supportive team at AVI for giving me the opportunity but also to Oren Levine for refining and adding the professional touch to what you see today.”
For folks who aren’t familiar with our program, here is a summary of who we are and what we do:
Prism Wellness’ primary focus is to reduce HIV, Hepatitis C, STIs, and stigma in the Southern Vancouver Island communities of gender and sexual minorities. By promoting queer and trans health in these, our communities, we are accomplishing that goal.
We encourage our community to make informed choices about their own sexual and substance use practices and wellness. Sex and harm reduction education to reduce HIV, hepatitis C and other sexually transmitted infections is part of our mission. It is paired with the cultivation of attitudes and behaviours that support safer, strong and stable foundations for overall community health and wellbeing.
By taking good care of ourselves, we take good care of our communities.
Prism Wellness offers
- INFORMATION: Receive health and event information by becoming a Prism Wellness subscriber. Contact email@example.com to join. We produce a periodic newsletter. We also maintain a facebook page with up to date information about sexual health, harm reduction, and overall wellness for the rainbow community as well as sharing information about our upcoming events. https://www.facebook.com/prismwellness
- GROUP SUPPORT & WORKSHOPS: Prism Wellness is committed to offering a safe environment for individuals to talk about the sex they’re having, and how that impacts on their sexual, physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual health and wellbeing. We facilitate various group meetings in the Greater Victoria area, one-off social events, health & wellness info sessions across Southern Vancouver Island, conferences and peer training in Victoria and throughout the island. Some examples of our regular group programming are:
- PEER LEADERSHIP PROGRAM: A Peer Leadership Program where participants help build empowered healthy communities and fight the stigma, discrimination, homophobia and transphobia standing in the way of justice and health for the 2SLGBTQIA+ communities. All folks within the rainbow community are invited to join some of the Peer Leadership series offerings, while other series are for specific groups within the community (ex. folks who PnP (Party n Play), or gender variant folks, etc). Alumni of our Peer Leadership series are invited to share the knowledge they gain with community as Peer Educators, while receiving a stipend to do so. For more information and to pre-register for our next series, email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
- BIANNUAL CONFERENCE: The conference is held every other year at various locations on Vancouver Island, BC. 2SLGBTQIA+ folks impacted by HIV and Hepatitis C gather for workshops and to reflect upon the diversity and intersectionality of issues that impact our communities.
- WELLNESS GROUPS: These community-based groups are for folks in the 2SLGBTQIA+ communities to come together for support and engagement about issues that are prevalent in the community. Current groups include:
- Gender Variant Drop-In Group: A monthly drop-in space covering different topics and activities for the diverse array of trans, non-binary, genderqueer, Two Spirit, and otherwise gender variant individuals in the Southern Vancouver Island area. Meetings currently run virtually on the last Thursday each month from 6-8pm. For more information, visit https://www.facebook.com/southislandGVDI or email email@example.com.
- Queerabilities: In collaboration with the Victoria Disability Resource Center, Queerabilities Victoria is a lightly moderated weekly check-in for folks in the 2SLGBTQIA+ community who also live with mental and/or physical disability(ies)/chronic illness(es) and/or identify as disabled, regardless of formal or self diagnosis. Meetings currently run virtually, every Monday 3-5pm, and the second Thursday of the month, 7-9pm. For more information, visit https://www.facebook.com/Queerabilitiesvic or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- SOLO SUPPORT: Prism Wellness educator is available for one-to-one discussion, support and outreach around Southern Vancouver Island, mostly focused around sexual health and harm reduction. Email email@example.com for more info.
- OUTREACH: Prism Wellness provides free access to safer sex and other harm reduction supplies in Victoria BC. We also carry safer sex, harm reduction, and hormone injection supplies for free at all our locations across Vancouver Island. Outreach and delivery of supplies to local cruising areas, other groups, events, schools and individuals in Southern Vancouver Island is also part of our service. In addition, we do outreach on various hook-up apps and sites to share information about events and allow folks to reach out to us and ask questions about sexual health, harm reduction, and community resources.
- DROP-IN TESTING & PrEP NIGHTS: These have been on hold due to COVID, but starting in May 2022 we will be resuming our drop-in testing and PrEP access nights, offered through the CoolAid Clinic (713 Johnson St). Testing nights will be held on the 1st and 3rd Thursday each month from 5:30-7:30pm.
- QUEER EYE FOR THE SERVICE PROVIDER TRAININGS: Our Queer Eye training is aimed to provide 2SLGBTQIA+ cultural safety training for service providers, particularly those working in health fields. If you are interested in having us do a training for your workplace, email firstname.lastname@example.org
- COMMUNITY ADVISORY BOARDS & PARTNERSHIPS: We sit on a number of community advisory boards and working groups doing work in queer and trans health and maintain a number of community collaborations and partnerships. If you’d like to connect more about this, email email@example.com
Stay tuned for new programing and opportunities through Prism Wellness in the coming months. We are working hard to create new, exciting, and inclusive programming in a community near you!