Created in tribute to June Callwood, The Casey Awards annually celebrate individuals and organizations across Canada that demonstrate leadership in HIV/AIDS and social justice whose dedicated activism, volunteerism, leadership and compassion has made our world a better and more humane place.
Darien has been living with HIV since the late 1980s, when very few women in Canada had been diagnosed.
At that time, the information and support for women’s specific needs was practically non-existent. Darien co-founded Voices of Positive Women to empower and support women living with HIV. Beyond prevention messages, Voices of Positive Women strove to help people survive with HIV.
Along with Andrea Rudd, Darien published an anthology of work from HIV positive women in 1992, Positive Women: Voices of women living with AIDS that was later adapted into a short film.
She worked tirelessly as an advocate for treatment research, patient education, peer support and improvement of quality of life for PHAs.
The former co-chair of AIDS Action Now, past director of CATIE and of Casey House, Darien has found a new challenge.
She is currently leading the charge on Toronto to Zero, an ambitious initiative to end HIV in our city. Building on existing partnerships among individuals, community-based organizations health care providers, researchers and government the movement is working to end the HIV epidemic. Darien is co-chairing the Toronto to Zero champion team, alongside Murray Jose-Boerbridge.
For her leadership and activism in Toronto’s HIV/AIDS community, which are emblematic of the Casey Awards and the spirit of June Callwood.