This week I’ll once again journey to New Orleans for the Essence Festival. This year marks the 25th Anniversary of this gathering celebrating Black women with one of this year’s headliners being our Forever First Lady, Michelle Obama. Essence Festival is the largest gathering of Black women in the country and I’m ready to celebrate #blackgirlmagic in NOLA.
We are excited to participate and have a booth presence sponsored by Gilead Sciences called, “Black Women United for Healhty Sex.” Other coalitions partners include SisterLove, Iris House, and the GLOW ladies of NMAC. We are bringing it with Black women leadership. We are a coalition that understands the need for a holistic view of Black women’s health working in reproductive health, doing STI and other sexual health work, and ending the HIV epidemic in Black America. Black women are leading the fight to end HIV in our communities.
I also have the privilege of gracing the main stage this year on Friday, July 5 at 1 p.m. and on Saturday, July 6 at 11:30 a.m. I will talk about the work of the Institute and ending the HIV epidemic in Black America.
In this issue of Black AIDS Update we lay the groundwork for our forthcoming response to Trump’s initiative to “End the Epidemic” by 2030. Every issue of our update will highlight efforts to ensure that Black folks are central to every ETE in the national dialogue and within jurisdictional efforts. We also introduce you to one of our newest staff members, David Coleman, who has been on staff before at BAI in a different capacity. We also report on signing with 150 other organizations to hold California Governor Gavin Newsom accountable for his campaign promises.
As always, see where BAI has journeyed for the past month and engage with our upcoming events. If you are coming to New Orleans see where to find us and stop by for visit. Finally, see what we’re reading and consuming.
Raniyah Copeland, MPH