The 2020 Virtual World AIDS Day Houston will feature an array of speaker and performers who are passionate about ending the global AIDS epidemic. Take a look at who we have scheduled to appear on December 1
Host of Town Square with Ernie Manouse
2020 WORLD AIDS DAY HOST
Ernie Manouse, a native of Binghamton, NY and a graduate of Loyola University Chicago, launched his broadcasting career with NBC News before working at Chicago radio station WLS-AM. In 1996, Ernie joined HoustonPBS (now Houston Public Media), and as an anchor and producer, he has garnered eleven Emmy Awards, five KATIE Awards, a Houston Press Club Lone Star Award, “viewer’s choice” recognition from multiple local and regional publications, and the title of “Ultimate Interviewer” from the Houston Chronicle.
Founder, The NAMES Project National AIDS Memorial Quilt
2020 SHELBY HODGE VISION AWARD RECIPIENT & KEYNOTE SPEAKER
Cleve's career as an activist began in San Francisco during the turbulent 1970s, when he met pioneer gay rights leader Harvey Milk. Following Milk's election to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, Cleve worked as a student intern in Milk's office while studying political science at San Francisco State University.
Mayor, City of Houston
Elected in December 2015 and overwhelmingly re-elected in December 2019, Sylvester Turner is serving his second four-year term. He is Houston’s 62nd mayor.
Since taking office, Mayor Turner has expertly managed significant challenges facing the nation’s fourth-largest city, including budget deficits, homelessness, and natural disasters such as Hurricane Harvey. He is currently leading Houston’s response to the COVID-19 global pandemic. Amid national unrest and calls for improving community and police relations, the mayor signed an executive order restricting the use of force and created a Task Force on Policing Reforms.
Mondo Guerra is a designer and social influencer whose innovative style and bold prints have caught the fashion world’s imagination, while his truth and courage captured the hearts of fans around the world when he first revealed his HIV+ status on “Project Runway” Season 8. He later went on to win the debut season of “Project Runway All Stars” and became an audience favorite as a mentor on Lifetime’s spinoff series, “Under The Gunn”.
Mondo’s visual aesthetics often carry a social message that intersects his art with his advocacy. The Denver born artist was commissioned to create a custom World AIDS Day design for the 2015 Subaru Legacy that was revealed during Art Basel, Miami and is a spokesperson for Merck’s iDesign HIV/AIDS educational initiative.
President & CEO, Victory Fund
Victory Fund and Victory Institute President & CEO Annise Parker is the first former elected official to lead the organizations, having served six years as a Houston City Council member, six years as City Controller, and six years as Mayor of the city. She is one of only two women to have been elected mayor, and is the only person in Houston history to have held the offices of council member, controller and mayor. She was the first openly LGBTQ mayor of a major American city.
She currently serves on the Policy and Global Affairs Committee of the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine and the boards of Houston Botanic Garden, Houston BARC Foundation, Patient Care Intervention Council, and the Climate Disclosure Project (CDP).
Christina Wells is a singer, actress and inspirational speaker from Houston, TX. After years of caring for others as a Registered Nurse, and single mother of her two incredible sons, Ethan and Ty, Christina began to embark upon a journey of self-discovery that would lead her to national recognition.
During her time on America’s Got Talent, Christina won over the judges and won the hearts of America-- making it all the
way to the semifinals. Christina was also noted to be quite the speaker during her time on national television. News
publications such as USA Today, Forbes, People.com, The Houston Chronicle, and Billboard Magazine all featured her as
the performer with a message of positivity while also “blowing the roof off of the Dolby Theater”.
Drag Queen & Performer
Dessie Love-Blake is one of the most in-demand drag queens in the country. As one Houston club owner recently stated, “A true perfectionist in all aspects of his multiple shows and performances, everything he touches turns to gold. He is a top-notch showgirl!” Beginning as a casual performer at charity events, Dessie quickly gained attention and was awarded the “Miss EJ’s” title during the 2012 Pride season. Dessie’s star power has rapidly increased and most recently was first runner up in the 2019 Miss Gay America Pageant.
In addition to national competitions, Dessie performs five nights a week in the Houston and Galveston areas and has hosted 17 seasons of the wildly popular “Dessie’s Drag Race."
More to be announced soon!