University of Iowa student Apoorva Raikwar is organizing IC Red Week, during which everyone will be seeing the color red on lapel ribbons, clothing, posters and even on buildings.
“Tonight, if you look at the Old Capitol, you’ll see that it’ll be glowing red, the windows,” Raikwar says. “It’ll be like that the whole week and tomorrow, which is World AIDS Day, a lot of events will be happening.” From dawn tomorrow (Tuesday) until dusk, volunteers at the centerpiece of the U-I campus will be reading aloud from a lengthy list of names — all people who have died from AIDS.
“We want to show that we stand by those who are effected and that they do matter,” Raikwar says. “By reading actual names of people who have passed away, we’re hoping to make it a bit more personal so that you’re not just hearing numbers, you’re hearing actual names.” Dozens of volunteers will be taking five-minute shifts on the east side of Old Capitol to read names all day.
Readers include: U-I Hospitals and Clinics CEO Ken Kates, State Senator Joe Bolkcom, Dean of Students Lyn Redington and Faculty Senate President Christina Bohannon.
Raikwar says, “There will be over 100 people reading and last year, it was the first time we did this event, and they read over 20,000 names, so we’re expecting somewhere around that.” There are events planned all week with speakers, live music, a multi-cultural fashion show and free AIDS testing at the Iowa City Public Library.