- Goldmine: Root
- Oral History Collections
- Charlotte LGBTQ+ oral histories
- Debbie Warren oral history interview 2, 2016 July 13
Debbie Warren oral history interview 2, 2016 July 13
In this second of three interviews, Rev. Debbie Warren begins by illustrating Charlotte in 1992--the year she founded the Regional Aids Interfaith Network (RAIN). Rev. Warren witnessed a great deal of social stratification between faith leaders and AIDS sufferers in Charlotte, prompting her to employ creative ways of bridging the divide. After Rev. Warren laments the death of her friend Henry Finch in 1994--a former Baptist minister who was involved in early AIDS work in Charlotte--she discusses how she and other members of RAIN gained deeper cultural competency that would broaden the organization's reach of care. In particular, Rev. Warren describes how her colleague Stephanie Speller Henderson ingeniously helped more marginalized people affected by AIDS, and how board member Scott Vitez (stage name Shileta Ham) forged valuable connections with heterosexual allies through highly popular Gay Bingo fundraisers. Amidst the continuation of the AIDS epidemic during the 1990s, Rev. Warren explains the unique and vital role that lesbians played in caring for AIDS sufferers, illustrating powerful connections between different factions of the larger LGBTQ community. Throughout this interview, Rev. Warren's describes how she continues to use sacred religious texts as a guide to produce a just and loving world.