AIDS Interfaith director tops list of Heroes of Humanity recipients
The Art of Living Foundation awarded the Rev. Steven Pace, executive director of AIDS Interfaith Network, the Sri Sri Ravi Shankar Award for Uplifting Human Values at the foundation’s annual Heroes of Humanity Award Reception at the Dallas Sheraton on Nov. 5.
For almost three decades, Pace has served the Dallas HIV/AIDS community in many capacities.
In an emotional acceptance speech, Pace acknowledged all of those from AIDS Interfaith Network in the audience, who gave him a standing ovation in recognition of his many years of service.
"In the beginning of the AIDS pandemic, I had survived all of my friends," Pace said. He said he performed many funerals that no one else would and has held the hands of many of the dying in 27 years of service to the HIV/AIDS community.
"Be the change that you want to see in the world. You and I all can be the agents of change," Pace told the crowd of more than 100.
Other Heroes of Humanity recipients were Susan Wisneski of Legacy Counseling Center, Cora Giddens from UT Southwestern’s HIV Healthy Relationships program, William Wallace, Joe Pacetti, and Janel Jones and Cheryl Edwards sharing the award for their organization, A Sister’s Gift. All of the recipients were honored for their dedication, care and compassion above and beyond the call of duty, said Priyanka Malhotra, the event coordinator.
"Because of these local heroes we are able to strengthen the HIV/AIDS community here in Dallas," Malhotra said.
The Art of Living Foundation sponsors many courses to promote a stress-free, violence-free society and has sponsored the course Yoga of the Breath for people living with HIV/AIDS in Dallas since 2007.
The course is taught by Dr. Francesca Jackson of San Fransisco who travels to Dallas regularly to teach the Yoga of Breath class, which has more than 50 graduates.
"We come here tonight to honor those that have been in the trenches," Jackson said in her welcoming speech.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition November 13, 2009.