When Mary Fisher discovered she'd been infected with
the incurable AIDS virus,
she could have retreated. Almost inconceivably,
Two decades later, she rubs shoulders with world leaders and Third World mothers. She's as comfortable on New York’s Fifth Avenue as she is in remote African villages. By choice, she has become a voice and an ambassador for those who cannot speak for themselves.
Her award-winning art has
been installed in corporate headquarters, fine galleries and prestigious museums, and her
words have been carried in books
and magazines and newspapers worldwide.
But the nobler touchstones of her life go far deeper than text and headlines—the result of contracting the AIDS virus, and in the defining moments that followed, realizing how artistry and advocacy can co-exist to feed and clothe and soothe. "In 1992, when I delivered my speech—'A Whisper of AIDS'—
at the Republican National Convention, I was not only making
a plea, but in effect saying my goodbyes—to my young sons,
to my parents, to all my friends
and loved ones. "I never imagined
then that emerging therapies would
keep me alive another two decades, which has provided me the opportunity not only to wonder
and rejoice, but to act."
In ways both subtle and demonstrative, Mary Fisher
supports and partners with
select organizations in the U.S.
and abroad to build communities
with health, beauty and hope.
The charities she supports range from the Mary Fisher Clinical AIDS Research and Education (CARE)
Fund at the University of Alabama
at Birmingham to The ABATAKA African Project to the promotion
of community through theater
in the U.S.
"With privilege," says Mary, "comes responsibility. Giving back to the community that surrounds us or the world that supports us is not nice;
it is necessary. We are here not
to consume but to contribute. We
were put here to make a difference."