World Vitiligo Day 2016
June 25th is a day of celebration of our lives and our community. The first World Vitiligo Day was held in 2011 and has since become an annual, global event. Over the years, its purpose has broadened to include recognition of the bullying, social neglect, psychological trauma, disability.
World Vitiligo Day 2016 was an upbeat and festive event that drew huge crowds around the world numbering thousands of participants and many more spectators. From Australia to Kazakhstan, India, Croatia, Kenya, Nigeria, Spain, Cuba, Brazil, Canada and the U.S. people marched the streets and occupied classrooms.
Prof. Jana Hercogova, the Chair of WVD 2016 campaign, held a key media event in Prague, Czech Republic. At the axis of Europe, this beautiful city is a center of dermatology ideas and home to a number of young, intelligent and engaged skin specialists. It also has much to offer the visitor, from its stunning architecture and river, to its vibrant cultural scene and famed beer halls and cafés.
Dozens of MJ Fans walked the streets of Barcelona, from Ramblas and Gaudi's Sagrada Familia Temple to Plaça Catalunya, the heart of the city, in memory of the most famous vitiligan, the King Of Pop, beloved Michael Jackson who passed away on June 25, 2009. We look forward to working together with Lydia Giménez-Lloret, President of 4LOVEprojects foundation on the music festival dedicated to MJ and vitiligo next year. See photos.
Vitiligo Association of Australia held a marathon run and a fundraising dinner the night before. Members of the national vitiligo society VISOKE marched busy streets of Nairobi to draw attention to vitiligo in Kenya, accompanied by elected officials and TV reporters.
Vitiligo community in USA organized a series of events in Washington DC on June 24-25. This idea came alive after successful rally at the Massachusetts State House organized by VITFriends from Boston last year. Yet nobody could expect that number of participants would grow exponentially.
This year, Valerie Molyneaux, President of VITFriends, (photo, right) led a 300-plus members rally, representing an array of activists, nonprofits, and also researchers, healthcare workers, politicians and elected officials. Hundreds of onlookers lined up under the tree canopies to hide from sun that dominated the clear blue sky and to enjoy a program with 20 speakers and entertainers from across the lawn.
Our dear friends Vicki Tiahrt and Natasha Pierre McCarthy, President of Vitiligo Bond, organized key meetings at the Congress (including one with staff of US Presidential candidate, Marco Rubio!). Last year, these matters became a part of Congressional record. Check out the Washington DC Rally 2016 program and photos.
In India, Professors Davinder Parsad and Torello Lotti held a two-day event focused on vitiligo and pigmentary disorders.
VR Foundation was also proud to support an upbeat event in Toronto, Canada. A hip-hop artist Marcus Haran, who suffers from vitiligo himself, held a party on Woodbine Beach for hundreds of locals to raise awareness for vitiligo and collect signatures for WVD petition. The event caught attention of the popular CityTV channel.
We will be updating this report with news and photos from across the world.
Photo: rally members gathered in front of the Capitol in Washington DC on June 25, 2016.
I support the petition to designate June 25 as Vitiligo World Day and save millions of people worldwide from social isolation and persecution.
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