Valentine Offers Free HIV Testing on World AIDS Day


November 21, 2018

Eric Steigleder
Director of Public Relations & Marketing

Valentine Offers Free HIV Testing on World AIDS Day

RICHMOND — As part of the Valentine’s public health exhibition Pandemic: Richmond, the museum, Nationz Foundation and Diversity Richmond are partnering to offer Richmonders access to free HIV testing in honor of World AIDS Day on Saturday, December 1, 2018.

Nationz Foundation, a non-profit focused on providing education and information related to HIV prevention, health and wellness, will be on site at the Valentine in their Mobile Testing Unit & Food Pantry, providing free HIV tests from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“We are excited to partner with The Valentine and Diversity Richmond, to provide education and information related to HIV,” said Zakia McKensey, Founder of the Nationz Foundation. “It is important to erase the stigma related to the virus and make sure everyone is aware of their status!”

“The Valentine remains committed to our timeless mission of pursuing community engagement and providing relevant programming to the people of the region,” said Valentine Director Bill Martin. “We are honored to be partnering with Nationz Foundation to provide free HIV testing to the neighborhood as a part of our Pandemic exhibition, and we look forward to additional partnerships like this that help us use our history to inform our present and shape the future.”


About the Valentine
The Valentine has been collecting, preserving and interpreting Richmond’s 400-year history for over a century. Located in the heart of historic downtown, the Valentine is a place for residents and tourists to discover the diverse stories that tell the broader history of this important region.

About the Nationz Foundation
Nationz Foundation  501(c)3 was organized to fufill a mission to provide education and information related to HIV prevention and overall health and wellness, while inspiring the community to take responsibility for their health while working towards a more inclusive Central Virginia for LGBTQIA+ identified individuals.

About Diversity Richmond
Diversity Richmond is a catalyst, a place and a resource for the LGBTQ+ community. We champion and celebrate our diverse community, working closely with many other non-profits to ensure our vision for a vibrant, inclusive society.


Valentine Intern Spotlight: Yelyzaveta Shevchenko

The Valentine’s Controversy/History intern shares her experiences conducting in-depth research for our conversation series, returning November 6!

VCU Student and Valentine Intern Yelyzaveta Shevchenko.

My name is Yelyzaveta Shevchenko. I am currently a senior at Virginia Commonwealth University studying History and Political Science. As an optimistic and objective problem solver, I initially came to study Political Science in attempt to understand and develop solutions to issues within our society. However, I soon realized that to properly appreciate contemporary problems, it is vital to understand their historic context. When I learned about the Controversy/History program at the Valentine and the internship that would allow me to research the historic context to modern controversies, I knew it was the perfect opportunity to apply my skills and engage with my community.

Each month, the Valentine hosts an evening that brings together historic and modern scholarship to discuss Richmond’s controversies with the local community. In the past, the program has addressed the issues of transportation, monuments, immigration and other concerns relevant to Richmond. With my previous experience with the Virginia Department of Historic Resources studying the histories of minority groups, I knew I wanted to provide an accessible but rigorously researched historical context to this year’s topics. Because the stories of many minority groups in America have been underrepresented in the historical narrative, I think it is necessary to study these histories to not only address the problems that they face, but to help restore a sense of cultural heritage to their communities.

 Research in the Valentine Archive.

My interest in education and public history stems from my own intrinsic curiosity about the world around me. From a young age, my parents instilled in me a love of learning, and my unique cultural heritage awakened an appreciation for the arts, culture and history. Working at a museum where all of those fields intersect has been a rewarding and informative experience and has inspired me to consider career options outside of academia.

I am currently researching segregation in education for the November 6 event. I am deeply grateful to Director of Public Programs Liz Reilly-Brown and Director of Public Relations and Marketing Eric Steigleder for the guidance they have given me in this project. Thanks to the Valentine Archives and VCU Special Collections, I have come across some intriguing leads that have inspired me to pursue additional independent research on the subject of the 1970-71 busing protests, which I will be presenting at VCU’s School of World Studies Conference. I look forward to taking my research further and following wherever my curiosity will lead me next.

Yelyzaveta Shevchenko is the Controversy/History Intern at the Valentine in Richmond.