Louis "Kengi" Carr

Louis

Louis "Kengi" Carr is a California native, born and raised in Santa Monica. He is a published photographer, writer and guest speaker. Formerly a private chef and events caterer, this formerly homeless, HIV positive, proud Angelino is now a activist and advocate for people with HIV and homeless individuals. He is the creator/founder of Project Kengikat, Do Something Saturday, Unplugging HIV and the author of 29 Months.

A lover of photography, blogging and vlogging and USC Football, Kengi has been rediscovering his love for Los Angeles, ceramics, painting and cooking while elevating the conversations of HIV and homelessness. He enjoys being outdoors, spending quality time with his friends and his amazing rescue dog Dodger.

Keeping love centre at Pride LA

published: July, 04, 2017 Written by // Louis "Kengi" Carr - L.A. Correspondent Categories // African, Caribbean and Black, Social Media, Activism, Gay Men, Current Affairs, International , Living with HIV, Media, Opinion Pieces, Louis "Kengi" Carr

PositiveLite.com's L.A. Correspondent, Louis Kengi Carr goes to L.A. Pride and is reminded of the things that keep him strong in his advocacy.

Keeping love centre at Pride LA

Full disclosure. Let’s just get this out of the way up front ok? I’ve been gay my entire life and I’ve never once attended gay pride. Well not the mainstream gay pride. It just never felt like something I wanted to attend because as a Black man I’ve never felt welcomed, embraced or celebrated by gay pride. It’s just too white for me and let’s just be honest, West Hollywood doesn’t represent the fullness of gay life and it certainly does not represent the City of Los Angeles eithe

The importance of staying busy

published: March, 23, 2017 Written by // Louis "Kengi" Carr - L.A. Correspondent Categories // African, Caribbean and Black, Activism, Social Media, Aging, Gay Men, Mental Health, Photography, Pets, International , Living with HIV, Opinion Pieces, Louis "Kengi" Carr

Our L.A. correspondent Kengi deals with bereavement and stress by keeping busy - and does some great work in the process.

The importance of staying busy

I’m sitting down to write this post, because on those rare occasions when escaping with my camera for a photography excursion doesn’t seem to work, I then try to relax, calm and center myself by writing. As a backup, I have my candle burning, I really love a nicely scented candle. Damn, if I had some sage this would be perfect. I’m sipping my hot tea and my little Daisy has pulled her blanket off the sofa, placing it right next to my work space. She’s the dog that loves to be close to

Lots to be thankful for and lots to challenge us as 2017 opens.

published: January, 25, 2017 Written by // Louis "Kengi" Carr - L.A. Correspondent Categories // African, Caribbean and Black, Community Events, Social Media, Gay Men, Current Affairs, Pets, Health, Photography, International , Treatment, Living with HIV, Opinion Pieces, Louis "Kengi" Carr

Our L.A. guy Kengi says 2017 is sure to be a challenging year.

Lots to be thankful for and lots to challenge us as 2017 opens.

As I sit down to write this entry I do so with a heavy heart, but a spirit that is encouraged. I say this because my Great Aunt is still not doing well and last night I received word that one of her daughters, my cousin, has suffered a stroke. They both are recovering in separate hospitals. Your good thoughts, affirmations and prayers are greatly appreciated. I’m encouraged and even comforted because I know God, my creator, will provide what is best for them both. So, I guess I should say H

World AIDS Day; Normalizing the conversation

published: December, 16, 2016 Written by // Louis "Kengi" Carr - L.A. Correspondent Categories // Community Events, African, Caribbean and Black, Social Media, Activism, Gay Men, International , Spirituality, Living with HIV, Opinion Pieces, Louis "Kengi" Carr

Our L. A. correspondent Kengi on a Black church World AIDS Day event like nothing he's ever witnessed; Honoring those we've lost by focusing on how we can help those living with HIV.

World AIDS Day; Normalizing the conversation

I must be honest and say that I normally skip Word AIDS Day events because they all tend to be too sad and if I’m going to be honest, they also tend to be very boring. Maybe this is because I’m an activist and I hear the information all the time. It certainly isn’t because I don’t care. I just think there are far better ways to honor those we’ve lost than by crying, marching and lighting candles. This year my friend Donta asked me if I would cover (photograph) a World AIDS Day event

Living on a tight budget :"Rainbows don't pay my bills"

published: October, 26, 2016 Written by // Louis "Kengi" Carr - L.A. Correspondent Categories // African, Caribbean and Black, Social Media, Gay Men, International , Living with HIV, Opinion Pieces, Louis "Kengi" Carr

How organizations could support people living with HIV more..Our LA guy Kengi says "Imagine if “great exposure” and “great opportunity” translated to “we will pay you fairly...”"

Living on a tight budget :

Every Monday morning I wake at 5 am, an hour earlier than normal, in order to spend an hour sending out my resume and looking for gigs in order to help me stay afloat. If you’re counting, it’s been six years since I’ve been employed. For me each month is a complete hustle to make enough money to pay my rent, gas, electric and cell phone bills. Not to mention my fees for my website, memberships for Microsoft and Adobe. Then there’s the cost of transportation and of course my awesome do

Equal access and equal voices: where?

published: September, 21, 2016 Written by // Louis "Kengi" Carr - L.A. Correspondent Categories // Social Media, Aging, Activism, Gay Men, General Health, Mental Health, International , Living with HIV, Opinion Pieces, Louis "Kengi" Carr

We all love a feel good story, but why only those stories? Kengi, our L. A. correspondent, gives voice to the voiceless.

Equal access and equal voices: where?

Today the United States Conference on AIDS kicks off in Hollywood, Florida. I was hoping to be there but unfortunately I did not qualify for a scholarship to attend. I think part of the reason is because folks who work for agencies, magazines and organizations apply for the scholarships as well, thus making it much harder for someone like me to be considered. Furthermore, my focus on HIV and AIDS is around fair access to things like housing and quality health care and making sure folks aren’

Abundance

published: June, 29, 2016 Written by // Louis "Kengi" Carr - L.A. Correspondent Categories // Activism, Social Media, Arts and Entertainment, International , Living with HIV, Opinion Pieces, Louis "Kengi" Carr

"Happy, content and thriving," our LA guy Kengi reflects on how he got there - with a tip of the hat to PositiveLite.com.

Abundance

I’m sitting inside a McDonald’s on a hot Saturday afternoon and I’m thinking to myself just how different my life is. I just left the Reef where my gallery is located. Imagine that, I’m a gallery owner. This is pretty crazy when you think that I once stood outside this location begging for something to eat during my 29 months of homelessness. Today I simply walked in and paid with no problem whatsoever. Not only that, as I sit here I’m recalling the nights I slept in the dirt in fro

When HIV and the art world connect

published: May, 13, 2016 Written by // Louis "Kengi" Carr - L.A. Correspondent Categories // Art, Arts and Entertainment, Hobbies, Mental Health, Upcoming Events, Photography, Opinion Pieces, Louis "Kengi" Carr

Our L. A. guy Kengi on finding a voice and empowerment through art

When HIV and the art world connect

As I sit down to type this article I’m smiling, listening to ‘Higher Than This’ by Ledisi, while sitting inside my gallery. Yeah, I know right? My gallery. I still giggle every single time I say it. As many of you know my life has always been filled with music, art and photography and as I’ve said many times before, photography has been and still is my therapy. During homelessness photography was my voice. It spoke loud and clear for me, allowing me to raise awareness for many issues

Giving exposure to women and HIV

published: April, 11, 2016 Written by // Louis "Kengi" Carr - L.A. Correspondent Categories // Activism, African, Caribbean and Black, Arts and Entertainment, Women, Photography, International , Living with HIV, Population Specific , Louis "Kengi" Carr

Our LA guy Kengi takes on a photography assignment which opens his eyes to the work of Christie's Place, an agency serving women living with HIV and their families.

Giving exposure to women and HIV

As someone living with HIV, I’m always drawn to personal stories from people I can relate to, but those stories are very hard to find in mainstream HIV media. I’m not interested in reading stories that have more to do with fundraising efforts or advertisements. I love real life stories from the person who has experienced it. So I spend a lot of time reading personal blogs, watching YouTube or speaking to people I meet on the street.  As a photographer I’m always drawn to and interested

Complete health care

published: March, 21, 2016 Written by // Louis "Kengi" Carr - L.A. Correspondent Categories // African, Caribbean and Black, Gay Men, General Health, Health, International , Living with HIV, Opinion Pieces, Population Specific , Louis "Kengi" Carr

After a bout of surgery, our LA guy Kengi says “how very important it is for us living with HIV to remain proactive and vigilant about our overall health and wellbeing”

Complete health care

The past two months have been rather hard for me. Since 2010 my right wrist has really bothered me. There have been times where it would swell so badly I would not be able to use it for a couple of weeks. I’ve mentioned this to my previous doctors, but nothing was ever done about it. I was simply told to let it rest.  Last year, five years later, the pain had progressed to the point where the entire arm would hurt, Using my camera and allowing it to simply rest was no longer an option or a

A change in care - and the importance of being proactive

published: December, 29, 2015 Written by // Louis "Kengi" Carr - L.A. Correspondent Categories // Health, Treatment, Living with HIV, Opinion Pieces, Louis "Kengi" Carr

Our LA guy Kengi with how his HIV care and treatment has evolved and says “stand up for yourself without apology. After all, you have to live with HIV and you should be completely comfortable and at ease with your HIV care”

A change in care - and the importance of being proactive

It’s 10:57 pm on December 16, 2015 and I’m just shy of two days before my 47th birthday on the December 19th. I can’t even begin to explain how awesome another year of life has been or how HIV has been pretty much non-existent in my everyday life.  The fact that HIV is irrelevant to me is cause for celebration, because as you recall, I was homeless when I was diagnosed on April 3, 2008 and things did not get off to a great start. I went through five doctors and three clinics in the fi

All about us

published: November, 05, 2015 Written by // Louis "Kengi" Carr - L.A. Correspondent Categories // Activism, International , Living with HIV, Opinion Pieces, Louis "Kengi" Carr

Our LA guy Kengi says it’s not all about celebrities and expensive galas. ”Our lives matter, our stories matter and we deserve the same respect and dignity as anyone else. This fight should always be about us.”

All about us

This past week I had the opportunity to attend a gathering of over 50 HIV-positive individuals here in Los Angeles. The event was designed to honour those living and in some cases struggling with HIV or AIDS.  From the time I arrived the event just felt different from HIV events I normally attend. While there was a step and repeat, there weren’t many, three to be exact, photographers or even media outlets covering the event. Although it was held at a very nice hotel which featured a beauti

The dogs in his life

published: September, 28, 2015 Written by // Louis "Kengi" Carr - L.A. Correspondent Categories // Pets, Lifestyle, Living with HIV, Opinion Pieces, Louis "Kengi" Carr

Pets can be super important to people living with HIV. Our LA guy Kengi loves His Dodger and Daisy and asks “why can’t humans be more like dogs?”

The dogs in his life

For as long as I can remember there has been a dog in my life. It’s just that they were much bigger dogs. To say that I’m a dog lover would be a huge understatement. I’ve had some pretty awesome dogs in my lifetime, but Dodger and Daisy are far different from the others dogs I’ve had the honor of owning. From the first day I met Dodger over five years ago there was something special about him. As I’ve written about before Dodger was a foster dog, I wanted a boxer, but this little ma

Got love

published: August, 12, 2015 Written by // Louis "Kengi" Carr - L.A. Correspondent Categories // Hobbies, Lifestyle, Living with HIV, Louis "Kengi" Carr

Our LA guy Kengi uses the gift of photography to bring HIV+ people who need help out of their shell, says “I’ve always believed that art and photography can be very healing and calming“

Got love

It’s 4:01pm on Tuesday, August 04, 2015. It’s beautiful outside and I’ve just come in from a short walk with Dodger and Daisy. It’s been a long day for me which started pretty normally. 5am alarm, shower, coffee and out the door with Dodger and Daisy at 5:42am for our morning walk and homeless outreach. We arrived back home a little after 7am. I began to clean my apartment with the intent of working on two projects I have scheduled for next year. However shortly after 9am I get a call

Precious

published: June, 10, 2015 Written by // Louis "Kengi" Carr - L.A. Correspondent Categories // Arts and Entertainment, Women, International , Living with HIV, Population Specific , Louis "Kengi" Carr

Our LA poz guy Kengi features Precious A. Jackson, a women living with HIV who has written a book about her journey, “a raw, uncensored look into her life - and Precious leaves nothing off the table.”

Precious

Sharing stories As a photographer I’m always on the hunt for amazing people to photograph and share their stories of triumph, success and even those stories of sadness and defeat. And as an activist I’m always encouraging people living with HIV to live their best life and to share their story in their own words., no matter how sad, heartbreaking, thrilling or exciting that story may be. I think sometimes the only stories often put in front of us are the pretty and polished stories. But I

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