Black AIDS Institute Launches Black Health Matters Initiative and 2017 National Healthcare Access Tour

Posted in: News, News 2017

The Black AIDS Institute (BAI), in partnership with other national organizations is launching the 2017 National Healthcare Access Tour to engage Black communities across the country in the fight for equal access to healthcare.

The tour is designed to increase awareness about the Afforable Care Act (ACA), President Obama’s signature healthcare legislation. The ACA has played a critical role in reducing uninsured rates among Blacks and decreasing disparities in healthcare access in communities of color.

Since his inauguration in January 2017, President Donald Trump and the Republican-controlled United States Congress have significantly increased their efforts to dismantle the ACA; the Trump Administration cut funding for outreach and advertising ACA benefits, making it harder for people to find the help that they need to apply for healthcare coverage. Even though the president has declared the ACA “dead” and “gone,” a record-number of Americans have signed up for healthcare through state and federal exchanges since the open enrollment period began on November 1.

In an effort to bridge the void in government support created by the Trump Administration’s callous actions, BAI is taking their message of empowerment and healthcare advocacy to communities across the country.

The 2017 National Healthcare Access Tour is just one component of BAI’s more comprehensive “Black Health Matters” initiative.

The Black Health Matters initiative is designed to increase awareness about importance of preserving the benefits, coverage, and reach of the Affordable Care Act on the future of the AIDS response, both broadly and specifically in Black America; to increase the capacity of Black America to engage and influence current and future federal, state, and local discussions and decisions about how healthcare; and to facilitate the mobilization of Black communities in response to actions to repeal and replace the ACA.

The Black AIDS Institute also released the “State of Healthcare in Black America” report that includes a primer for Black communities on the ACA, with the aim of closing knowledge gaps about the ACA and dispelling myths and misunderstandings about the program.

The report was developed with oversight by the National Black Health Advisory Board of subject matter experts including Phill Wilson (BAI); Jen Kates (Kaiser Family Foundtion); Robert Greenwald (Harvard Law School); Jeffrey Crowley (Georgetown University); Jeff Levi (George Washington University); Donna M. Christensen (U.S. Congressman, retired); Gregg Millett (amfAR); Jesse Milan (AIDS United); David Munar (Howard Brown Clinic); and Marlene McNeese (Houston Health Dept.).

The National Healthcare Access tour begins this Friday, November 10 in Melbourne, Fla.

2017 National Healthcare Access Tour Dates:

November 10 – Melbourne, Fla.

November 11 – Orlando, Fla.

November 13 – Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.

November 15 – Birmingham, Ala.

November 17 – Nashville, Tenn.

November 18 – Atlanta, Ga.

November 20 – Charlotte, N.C.

November 27 – Houston, Texas

November 29 – Baton Rouge, La.

December 1 – Washington, D.C.

December 2 – Richmond, Va.

December 4 – Baltimore, Md.

December 5 – Chicago, Ill.

December 7 – Detroit, Mich.

December 9 – Jackson, Miss.

December 11 – Oakland, Calif.

December 14 – Los Angeles, Calif.

Find more information about the 2017 National Healthcare Access Tour or the Black Health Matters Initiative, contact Lestian McNeal at


Founded in May of 1999, the Black AIDS Institute is the only national HIV/AIDS think tank focused exclusively on Black people. The Institute’s Mission is to stop the AIDS pandemic in Black communities by engaging and mobilizing Black institutions and individuals in efforts to confront HIV. The Institute interprets public and private sector HIV policies, conducts trainings, offers technical assistance, disseminates information and provides advocacy mobilization from a uniquely and unapologetically Black point of view.

Our motto describes a commitment to self-preservation: “Our People, Our Problem, Our Solution.”



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