Joy Is The New Currency - My Trip To Jackson, Mississippi

In December, 2016, I visited Jackson, Mississippi for the first time. In 2014, the Human Rights Campaign reported that Jackson had the fourth highest rate of HIV infections in the country. I wanted to learn more about the city and HIV activism there. I also wanted to learn ways we could assist and possibly participate in activities. I had several meetings while visiting including an inspired conversation about what a National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NBHAAD) weekend of events could look like with My Brother’s Keeper, Inc. (MBK). I was grateful to get the call for Counter Narrative Project to thought partner and come in to participate in a weekend of events for NBHAAD.

How do we manufacture joy? This became the question as I boarded the plane.

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Why More is At Stake This Election Than You Think

Unless you have been living under a rock for the past year, you will likely already know that Tuesday, November 8th is Election Day across the United States. To say that this election cycle has been been hard to watch would be an understatement. The news cycle has been primarily focused on the general public’s disdain towards the candidates and the nasty attacks and harmful rhetoric that has been on display for the world to see (and hear). While having to select the next leader of the free world in these conditions may seem to be disheartening for some, we still need to participate in the political process because too much is at stake.

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I WILL BE HEARD: Countering the Narrative of 1 in 2 #IWillBeHeard

The landscape ahead for our movement can be reduced to a single key moment in 2016: the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI). There, the Director of CDC's Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention (DHAP) Eugene McCray took to the mic at the plenary to present new analyses on the lifetime risk of acquiring HIV:

Half of black gay men are projected to be diagnosed within their lifetime... if current HIV diagnoses rates persist, about 1-in-2 black men who have sex with men (MSM) in the United States will be diagnosed with HIV during their lifetime...

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