Pyxis Partners President & CEO donates painting of legendary LGBTQ rights activist to Whitman-Walker
For immediate release
October 18, 2023
Contact: Lisa Clough
Washington, DC (October 18, 2023) - A painting by renowned artist Gio Black Peter of legendary LGBTQ rights activist Marsha P. Johnson was donated today to Whitman-Walker’s new Max Robinson Center by Michael Manganiello, President and CEO of Pyxis Partners.
We are all standing on the magnificent shoulders of Marsha P. Johnson, who became a fearless and iconic figure advocating the rights of homeless and LGBTQ communities, and people living with HIV or AIDS world-wide beginning in the 1960s. Johnson was a civil rights leader and trans woman who has been recognized for the pivotal role she played in the Stonewall uprising – an event recognized as the beginning of the LGBTQ liberation movement – and helped pave the way for equity in healthcare. This donation of Black’s painting is made in recognition of Whitman-Walker’s health equity leadership in opening the new Max Robinson Center in the Southeast DC community and helping to remove barriers for communities to engage in healthcare in an environment that affirms and recognizes the continued struggle that these same communities reckon with today. Black is a queer artist who honors LGBTQ history through art. The painting will hang in the fifth floor waiting area of the behavioral health unit.
“Our partnership with Whitman-Walker is rooted in the longstanding commitment to health equity and healthcare access for underserved communities,” said Manganiello, who is gay and has lived with HIV for nearly 40 years. “This magnificent painting is not only a beautiful addition to the new Max Robinson Center at Whitman-Walker, but also a reminder of what is possible when we commit ourselves to justice and equality for all people. We hope this painting of the legendary Marsha P. Johnson will be an inspiration to all who come through these doors.”
For over fifty years, Whitman-Walker has been part of the fabric of the local DC and national community as first responder and care-provider for those living with HIV; a leader in LGBTQ care and advocacy; a research center working to discover breakthroughs in HIV treatment. Whitman-Walker envisions a society where all people are seen for who they are, treated with dignity and respect, and afforded equal opportunity to health and wellbeing.
“Marsha P. Johnson is a hero, and especially so for the communities we serve. She is fierce and beloved,” says Naseema Shafi, CEO of Whitman-Walker Health. “Gio Black’s rendering of Marsha as a sphynx, with the tail in the shape of the iconic HIV ribbon interconnects our work in a deeply meaningful way. This piece will mean so much to patients. We’re thrilled the piece has found a home at Max Robinson Center.”
Through care, advocacy, research, and education, Whitman-Walker strives to ensure all persons can live healthily and love openly. At the core of the organization is a desire to create safe spaces where people are seen for who they are. Whitman-Walker’s new Max Robinson Center will allow the organization to serve an additional 10,000 people per year and will allow their research program to expand from 19 trials per year to close to 60.
“Whitman-Walker Health is at the center of providing healthcare that is centered around dignity, respect and love, and has a long history of serving the community, people of color, and the LGBTQ and Trans communities,” said artist Gio Black Peter. “ I am extremely happy that this is where the painting will live.”
Pyxis Partners is a Washington, DC based public affairs and social impact firm that advances health equity, access and affordability with a unique expertise in authentic work around equity, diversity and inclusion in the healthcare and clinical trial universe. The firm is defined by developing creative solutions that create pathways to progress which are anchored in a commitment to improving the lives of others and building up communities. Pyxis Partners is fueled by a collective passion for lifting the voice of those who have been underrepresented. The firm is a Certified LGBT Business Enterprise with the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) and Certified by the Department of Small and Local Business Development (DSLBD) as a District of Columbia Certified Business Enterprise.
For over fifty years, Whitman-Walker has been part of the fabric of the local DC and national community as first responder and care-provider for those living with HIV; a leader in LGBTQ care and advocacy; a research center working to discover breakthroughs in HIV treatment and prevention science; and one of the DC’s most trusted partners during the current COVID-19 pandemic. Whitman-Walker envisions a society where all people are seen for who they are, treated with dignity and respect, and afforded equal opportunity to health and wellbeing.
Through care, advocacy, research, and education, the organization strives to ensure all persons can live healthily and love openly and to feel true equality and inclusion in all aspects of their lives. At the core of the organization is a desire to create safe spaces where people are seen for who they are.
Today, Whitman-Walker is a collective of 501 (c)(3) organizations centered around delivering care to the community. The organization is led by two CEOs: Naseema Shafi and Cindy Lewin. Shafi leads Whitman-Walker Health and Lewin leads Whitman-Walker Health System which oversees Whitman-Walker Foundation, Whitman-Walker Institute and Whitman-Walker Real Property Holdings. For additional information, please visit: www.whitman-walker.org.