April 1, 2013
On April 23, Nashville restaurants will donate part of their proceeds to Dining Out for Life, which has been involved in raising funds for the battle against HIV/AIDS for two decades. This year, the program estimates that more 275,000 diners will give their support and will raise more than $4 million dollars. The funds raised will go to support organizations -- like Nashville CARES -- in their efforts to fight HIV/AIDS in local communities.
Pam Grier, an actress known for empowering female roles in the 1970s, including Foxy Brown, and who appeared on Showtime's hit "The L Word," will be one of the national spokespersons for Dining Out for Life. Grier said she lost a hair stylist and a fashion designer to the disease. She described the experience as heartbreaking and explained that she agreed to work with Dining Out for Life four years ago because of the heartbreak. Grier commented on the suffering caused by the disease and that HIV infection continues to spread, but that she was grateful that, due to medical science and community support like Dining Out for Life, people are living with the disease and the suffering is lessened.
Grier also is passionate about ending the discrimination suffered by members of the LGBT community through educating the public about HIV/AIDS and how it affects this community. Grier explained that the need for education about LGBT issues was the reason she did the show "L Word" -- so she could understand and learn more about that community. Grier advocates continued focus on HIV/AIDS in addition to the forum provided once a year by the Dining Out for Life program.