MEMPHIS — Focus Mid-South and Focus Middle Tennessee magazines will be honored with the Light of Hope Award, awarded by Shelby County Health Department. The award is presented annually to recognize a person, business or organization in the community that has demonstrated activities to increase awareness and understanding of HIV/AIDS.
“This year Shelby County Health Department is honored to present your business ‘Focus Magazine’ a Light of Hope Award in recognition of your efforts to bring awareness and to fight against the spread of HIV/AIDS in Shelby County,” wrote Cedric M. Robinson, manager of Infectious Disease Section of Shelby County Health department in a letter to Focus Mid-South.
The Shelby County Health Department and Shelby County Schools will observe the day and honor Focus Mid-South’s efforts on International World AIDS Day during a special program with the theme “Leadership. Commitment. Impact.” The program will be held at 1 p.m. Friday, Dec. 1, at Melrose High School, 2870 Deadrick Ave., Memphis.
“I’m honored to accept this award on behalf of Focus Mid-South and Focus Middle Tennessee,” said Raymond Rico, owner and founder of the magazines. “We have done so much work but there is still so much more to do.”
Focus Mid-South and Focus Middle Tennessee are published by Ray Rico Freelance, LLC. Focus Mid-South has been published since September 2015 and Focus Middle Tennessee has been published since June 2017. The publications focus on LGBT+ people and their allies and cover the Memphis metro area within a 100-mile radius. The magazine’s mission statement includes: “Focus Magazine will promote LGBT+ inclusivity through dignified delivery of content that is relevant to LGBT+ persons.”
International World AIDS Day is a is a global observance to pay homage to the devastating impact of the HIV/AIDS epidemic.