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FCB Health Partners with Gay Men's Health Crisis and Jordan Eagles to Unveil One in Our Blood: Blood Mirror

Press Release - New York, 22 September 2017

Exhibition Challenges Issue of Blood Equality for Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Men

FCB Health is proud to continue its commitment to “Blood Equality,” a pro bono advocacy and awareness campaign in partnership with the Gay Men’s Health Crisis (GMHC), through One in Our Blood. The collection of events will feature Blood Mirror, an interactive installation dedicated to highlighting donation inequity for gay, bisexual and transgender men (GBT). The events are set to begin on September 22nd in Birmingham, Alabama, a city rich in civil rights history and home to one of the U.S.’s largest HIV/AIDS research centers. 

“We’re very proud to partner with GMHC and Jordan Eagles as we further our commitment to highlighting issues of blood equality through our work,” said Rich Levy, Chief Creative Officer, FCB Health. “True to our Never Finished principle, this creative partnership lends us an important opportunity to challenge the discrimination based on outdated stigmas around blood donation by building equity for donors, influencing long-term behavior and leaving behind a positive impact.” 

The programming will address the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) update to the lifetime ban on gay, bisexual and transgender male blood donors, now requiring a 12-month period of celibacy prior to donation. A UCLA Williams Institute study found that lifting the ban could save up to a million lives annually. Not only does the updated ban exacerbate the growing issue of blood shortage, it infringes on the civil rights of would-be donors within the GBT community. 

To inspire dialogue about the FDA’s discriminatory policy and its equally flawed revision, Birmingham Civil Rights Institute (BCRI) will host New York-based artist Jordan Eagles’ Blood Mirror from September 22 – December 9, 2017. The seven-foot-tall sculpture allows viewers to see themselves reflected in the blood of 59 gay, bisexual and transgender men, which has been encased in resin and fully preserved. 

Concurrent with the exhibition at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, Blood Equality will be on view at the Abroms-Engel Institute for the Visual Arts at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (AEIVA). This exhibition focuses on the process of blood collection, science and the community of men who donated blood for Jordan Eagles’ Blood Mirror. Sculptures created from the blood bags, blood collection tubes, and protective medical gear gathered during the blood collection 

and making of Blood Mirror and other works will be featured. This exhibition will also highlight the collaboration between Eagles’ Blood Mirror project, FCB Health and GMHC to create Blood Equality – an advocacy and awareness campaign featuring blood donors from diverse ethnic, racial and religious backgrounds. 

Additional programming includes the Blood Equality Medical Advisory Board Panel hosted by the University of Alabama at Birmingham Medical School on October 19 and Blood Divided: The Story of Doctor Charles R. Drew, an installation at the Birmingham Public Library that brings to life the story of Dr. Charles Drew, a pioneer for the modern blood donation system, himself precluded from donating during the Jim Crow era. 

The One in Our Blood series will culminate in a special event on World AIDS Day, December 1, 2017, and end on December 9, 2017. For more information, visit www.blood-equality.com

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About Gay Men's Health Crisis (GMHC) Gay Men's Health Crisis (GMHC) is the world's first HIV/AIDS service organization. GMHC is on the front lines providing services to over 12,000 people living with and affected by HIV/AIDS. Programs include: testing, prevention, nutrition, legal, supportive housing, mental health and substance use services. GMHC also advocates for stronger public policies at the local, state and federal levels with the goal of ending AIDS as an epidemic. For more information, visit www.gmhc.org. 

About BCRI 

The mission of the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute (BCRI) is to enlighten each generation about civil and human rights by exploring our common past and working together in the present to build a better future. The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, is a cultural and educational research center that promotes a comprehensive understanding and appreciation for the significance of civil rights developments in Birmingham, with an increasing emphasis on the international struggle for universal human rights. BCRI is a “living institution” that views the lessons of the past as crucial to understanding our heritage and defining our future. Since opening its doors in 1992, BCRI has been visited by more than 2 million people from all 50 states and around the world. Visitors include adults, school children and students, families, researchers, and scholars. Each year, BCRI reaches more than 140,000 individuals through teacher education, including curriculum development and teacher training, group tours, outreach programs (school and community), award-winning after-school and public programs, 

exhibitions and extensive archival collections. BCRI encourages visitors to examine basic issues of morality, law, justice and responsible citizenship. It also teaches that silence and indifference to the suffering of others can only perpetuate social problems and divisions. 

About AEIVA 

The Abroms-Engel Institute for the Visual Arts (AEIVA) opened in January 2014 as UAB’s dynamic institute of visual art, serving as a cultural gateway between the UAB campus and the broader Birmingham community. AEIVA provides UAB students, faculty, and staff as well as the broader Birmingham and Southeastern community an opportunity to engage with art and artists of regional, national, and international significance and serves as a dynamic nexus for the intersection of art and ideas. AEIVA is committed to presenting exhibitions and programs that explore diverse cultural, social, and aesthetic approaches to art and that facilitate engaged discussions about social, cultural, historical, and aesthetic issues through the direct experience of art. 

About FCB Health 

FCB Health is one of the world’s most awarded communications networks, focused on creating game-changing marketing solutions for consumers, patients and healthcare professionals. With specialized units covering a wide range of wellness practices, FCB Health employs more than 1,500 people across an extensive global network, delivering multichannel capabilities that include DTC and HCP communications, professional education, branding, scientific services, strategic planning and media services. Its integrated agency offering includes Area 23, Neon, FCBCURE, FCB Halesway, ICC, ProHealth, Hudson Global, Trio, Mosaic Group and FCBVio. The FCB Health network was named “Agency of the Year” by Med Ad News in 2006, 2009, 2015 and 2017 and by Medical Marketing & Media in 2007, 2010 and 2015. In seven of the past eight years, an FCB Health company has received “Most Creative Agency” honors, and its Area 23 unit was named “Healthcare Agency of the Year” in 2017 by Cannes Lions, the world’s preeminent annual creative awards festival. 

About FCB 

FCB (Foote, Cone & Belding) is a global, fully integrated marketing communications company with a heritage of creativity and success dating from 1873. Based on a deeply developed understanding of diversified local markets and global cultures, FCB focuses on significantly changing consumer behavior to the benefit of its clients, its people and society. With more than 8,000 people in 109 operations in 80 countries, the company is part of the Interpublic Group of Companies (NYSE: IPG). Learn more at www.FCB.com and follow us on Twitter and Instagram (@FCBglobal) and Facebook (FCB Global).