Abby Martin talks to Jamila Aisha Brown, global strategist with HUE Global, about Obama’s recent visit to Latin America, and discusses how the economic growth in the region is shifting the dynamic between industrialized nations and the global south.
Abby Martin talks to Jamila Aisha Brown, global strategist with HUE Global, about Obama’s recent visit to Latin America, and discusses how the economic growth in the region is shifting the dynamic between industrialized nations and the global south.
POSTED BY JAMILA AISHA BROWN FOR THE CONGRESSIONAL BLACK CAUCUS FOUNDATION’S THE VILLAGE
The Carters, rapper/mogul Jay-Z and his wife Beyoncé, found themselves caught in an international controversy after vacationing on the communist island of Cuba for their fifth wedding anniversary.
Rumors and allegations swarmed the couple’s visit as photos were released of the two touring the sites of Old Havana. Were they guests of the Castros? Was their trip sending the wrong message? Did they acquire the necessary travel visas from the U.S. Treasury Department?
Amid outcry and outrage heard across the nation, the denouncement from Cuban Americans rang loudly. Travel to Cuba by American citizens being a federal offense, Republican Florida representatives Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Mario Diaz-Balart issued a letter of investigation into the couple’s visit to the communist nation.
Jay-Z true to his battle rap roots, voiced his response to critics over a Swizz Beatz and Timbaland produced track:
“This communist talk is so confusing/When it’s from China, the very mic that I’m using”
While the moment could be dismissed as a celebrity gaffe and yet another diss track to be easily forgotten in the annals of celebrity pop culture, it provides an opportunity for lawmakers and citizens alike to revisit the United States’ 51-year-old economic embargo against the Republic of Cuba.
The embargo stands as one of the last remaining vestiges of American Cold War policies. Despite the fall of the Soviet Union and Fidel Castro’s advanced age and illness forcing him to relinquish leadership to his younger brother Raúl, the regime still stands. Sanctions have neither quelled human rights abuses nor coerced the communist country into embracing democracy and are widely condemned as a failure of U.S. foreign policy.
Even Cubans in opposition to the communist government, among them dissident blogger Yoani Sánchez, support an end to the U.S. embargo against Cuba saying the embargo is “anti-Cuban and not anti-Castro.”
When I traveled to Cuba in 2010 with the US Women and Cuba Collaboration to meet with Afro-Cuban women to discuss gender and racial equality, signs of the embargo were evident even before arriving at our destination. Cuban-American families brought with them an abundance of “gifts” for their relatives mainly clothing and household items many of us take for granted. On the island itself universal healthcare is juxtaposed by the lack of access to high-quality medical equipment and medicines (most of which carry U.S. patents and therefore are prohibited) and the benefit of free education comes at a cost of limited school supplies.
American policy is not only aberrant in comparison to the rest of the world that regularly trades with Cuba, but it highlights the stark contradictions in U.S. foreign policy.
As Jay-Z rhymed, the United States has normalized, albeit at times contentious, relations with communist China. Moreover, its vow to penalize Cuba for its humanitarian record brings into question its relationship with other noted oppressive regimes such as Saudi Arabia and Bahrain whom the American government counts as close allies.
After five decades the US-Cuban embargo has only succeeded in pushing residents of the island deeper into poverty and with American economic constraints unable to sway Cuban political will, it is time for a new approach to Cuba. While visiting a school in Matanzas, Cuba that trains students to become art, music, and dance teachers in efforts to preserve Cuban culture, I was struck by the talent of this singer and composer who performed his song “El Momento Es Ahora” (The Moment Is Now). Indeed it is.
by Jamila Aisha Brown
Jamila Aisha Brown completed her term in Rabinal, Baja Verapaz as a human rights accompanier with NISGUA’s Guatemala Accompaniment Project (G.A.P.) in November 2005. “Justice Served? Commemoration and Reparations in Plan de Sánchez” was originally published in the Fall 2005 issue of the Report on Guatemala.
Last year, witnesses stood before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights and denounced the 1982 massacre of their village of Plan de Sánchez, Rabinal, Baja Verapaz. After years of state delays and denial, in April 2004 the Óscar Berger Administration admitted responsibility for the violation of nine articles of the American Convention on Human Rights. [See Report on Guatemala V.25 N.3.] Following this admission, the Inter-American Court released a historic settlement mandating the government to provide monetary, infrastructural, and symbolic reparations to the massacre’s survivors and their community. The Court further ordered the Guatemalan government to prosecute those responsible for the violence.
However, despite a large-scale commemoration of the massacre in which the Vice President publicly announced state culpability, it remains to be seen if the government will fulfill its obligations. At present the state appears to have prioritized the completion of national reparations to former civil patrollers (ex-PACs) over the Court’s decision. Furthermore, the national cases charging former officials with genocide continue to experience slow and arduous progress. In the midst of threats to their personal safety by those opposed to the process of justice, the people of Plan de Sánchez continue to await their reparations.
On July 18, 2005, Vice President Eduardo Stein admitted to the people of Plan de Sánchez that the government was responsible for the 1982 massacre of their loved ones. His acknowledgment came 23 years after Guatemalan armed forces and civil patrols barraged a home with grenades and bullets, setting fire to 268 Achi Maya men, women, and children after hours of rape, torture, and assassination. “We are here today to ask forgiveness in the name of the Guatemalan state from all the victims of the conflict,” Stein declared to a crowd of nearly one thousand.
This was not the first massacre commemoration in Plan de Sánchez. For many years, survivors had gathered together, far away from the spotlight of the Vice President and the press, using their meager resources to mourn and remember. Meeting in the small hillside chapel that stands as a monument to the massacre site, they would adorn the altar with pictures, candles, and flowers to pay homage to those lost.
This year’s commemoration presented a remarkably different scene. Hordes of national and international reporters, human rights activists, government officials, and curious onlookers descended onto the soccer field of the rural mountain village to witness this historic event, overwhelming the small community of approximately 35 houses. The President’s Office of Human Rights (COPREDEH), now led by Frank La Rue, organized the event, providing programs listing the day’s speakers and sequence of events. No candles, flowers, or photographs of those assassinated surrounded the metal fence enclosing the stage on which the Vice President sat. The chapel stood in the background as a quiet remnant of the past as the activities commenced.
Nevertheless, one familiar element of past commemorations remained: the dramatization of the violence that had occurred, enacted by school children and members of the community. The reenactment opened the day’s events with a powerful message: “These are not theatrical plays. They are the stories of our families, so that [history] will never repeat itself and we will never forget them.” As the students portrayed what had unfolded that day, the Vice President openly wept in unison with the grieving. During his turn to speak, he once again became emotional as he confessed that the state’s army had “unleashed bloodshed and fire to wipe out an entire community.”
Unfortunately, his tear-soaked speech failed to answer the questions of those seeking reparations and justice. He made no mention of when the money would come to Plan de Sánchez. Nor did he state when prosecution against the alleged perpetrators would begin.
Moreover, after having claimed state responsibility, thereby fulfilling his obligation to the Court, Stein quickly exited. He did not stay to hear the words of Fernando López, outgoing director of the Center for Human Rights Legal Action (CALDH), the team providing legal counsel to Plan de Sánchez survivors. López spoke of the achievements in the Plan de Sánchez case and the importance of advancement within the Guatemalan courts. [See related article, page 13.]
On November 19, 2004, the Inter-American Court delivered its sentence finding the government of Guatemala guilty of committing acts that amounted to genocide. The unprecedented ruling was the Court’s first to accuse a nation of ethnic cleansing.
This ruling was accompanied by the highest amount of reparations ever awarded by the Court: almost eight million dollars (US), approximately 55 million quetzales, to be allotted to Plan de Sánchez for community projects meant to promote socio-economic development. The decision acknowledged the destruction of homes, livestock, and crops as part of the scorched-earth strategy and the fact that the community was left with no resources afterwards with which to rebuild. As part of the hefty package the government has pledged to:
These projects are to be completed over the course of five years, with the government sending a yearly report to the Inter-American Court on its advancements.
In accordance with their findings, the Court assigned the government to complete the following acts in order to demonstrate the State’s admission of its wrongdoings and its commitment to support indigenous culture:
Moreover, in an effort to recoup the personal losses and suffering of the victims, the Court ordered that Q175,000 (US$25,000) be awarded to each massacre survivor and next-of-kin of those murdered. The Court set a deadline of payment of January 2006, after which the Guatemalan State will have to pay interest. As of this writing, the government has not set a date for delivering the individual payments or carrying out the communal projects.
After ten years of fighting within the court system, it appeared that Plan de Sánchez finally received its justice. However, for people who have been failed by their government multiple times, the promise of reparations without immediate results was not convincing. “It was nice for him to come, but it still has not helped us,” voiced one community member in the Guatemalan daily, Prensa Libre. These words reflect the sentiments of most throughout Plan de Sánchez. Many, who believed the Vice President was coming not only to denounce the acts of the state but also to deliver the money, found themselves once again disappointed by the government. Others, who never believed the state would honor its promises, had their doubts reaffirmed.
Those within the community remain astutely aware of the power that Efraín Ríos Montt and other government officials who led the violence hold within the government today. It was only two years ago that Ríos Montt came to Rabinal to rally support in his race for the presidency. Though he was met with boos and rock-throwing in Rabinal, Ríos Montt enjoys a considerable following in some rural areas. He continues to be a player in the Guatemalan Republican Front (FRG) party. His status as a high-profile leader disturbs those seeking justice. “Ríos Montt is free, eating well, and living well. He is rich and happy while we continue to suffer,” remarked one survivor. This state-condoned impunity for the perpetrators makes it difficult to believe the government’s commitment to awarding reparations in Plan de Sánchez.
Survivors note that the amount of money allotted will never repay the lives that were taken that day. “If they had killed my cow, I can tell you exactly how much it cost and I would ask for the value I paid for it,” explained María. “But I do not know how much to ask for the life of my husband. I cannot calculate the amount of money he would have earned over the years or how much his not being here has cost my family.”
The only resolution that would give survivors a semblance of peace is for those responsible to go to jail. “We hope that they fulfill the sentence and prosecute those responsible…they killed us, took advantage of us and left us without anything, then persecuted us for years,” bemoaned Juan.
Even if the money is delivered as promised, opinions of its effectiveness remain mixed. Some believe that the financial reparations will lift them from abject poverty, while others doubt that the payment will have a significant, long-term effect. As of now the decision of the Inter-American Court has not made any impact in the lives of those in the village, and they can only wonder about the changes and challenges reparations will bring.
Challenges Facing the Community
Located in the midst of heavily organized ex-PAC communities, Plan de Sánchez has endured much resistance in their struggle for justice. Many of the former civil patrollers participated in the 1982 massacre and fear prosecution should criminal cases advance. Further complicating matters, the government has agreed to give reparations to ex-PACs with the condition that they complete a reforestation project. Those who participate will receive nearly 6,000 quetzales (US$780) over the next three years, a mere fraction of the US$25,000 Plan de Sánchez’s victims will receive.
Consequently, tensions have worsened between the two groups. Following the commemoration, one ex-PAC from a neighboring village promised that “there will be deaths” once the money arrives. He claimed to have connections with gang leaders who would organize the robbery and possible murder of those in Plan de Sánchez.
Petty thefts of animals and home invasions are currently on the rise in Rabinal as the popularity of feared gang Mara 18 grows. In the midst of pre-existing social delinquency, the handover of large sums of money to individuals will augment security concerns.
The Impact on the National Genocide Cases
People from Plan de Sánchez have joined the Association of Justice and Reconciliation (AJR) to file charges in domestic courts against the intellectual authors of Guatemala’s genocide. These genocide cases were halted for nearly seven months without a public prosecutor until July 2005 when Hans Noriega was assigned to the post. He holds the authority to prosecute Ríos Montt and others accused of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes. On September 9, 2005, Noriega attended the bi-annual conference of the AJR at which he pledged to push forward the cases.
Noriega’s nomination could be viewed as a direct response to the Vice President’s promise “to push the investigation into the events that occurred to allow for the clarification of what happened and permit us to identify, try, and punish the intellectual and material authors of these offenses.” However, a series of other factors may have influenced the government’s actions.
Several days before Noriega’s appointment, approximately 30,000 secret files of the National Police (PNC), containing information of people disappeared, tortured, and kidnapped during the violence, were uncovered. The discovery of these police files serves as a reminder to foreign funders that the Guatemalan government has yet to come to terms with the atrocities of the past.
Guatemala has recently signed economic agreements with the United States and Japan. Heavily dependent on international funding, Guatemala hopes to demonstrate, at least superficially, that it is tackling human rights issues in order to create a more favorable atmosphere for trade.
These elements, together with the public and historic decision by the Court, have pushed the government to pledge reparations and judicial action. Whether deeds will follow these words is a matter to be seen. War survivors across the country wait to see if the Court’s ruling will truly succeed in advancing a State commitment to justice and improving the lives of people in Plan de Sánchez.
originally posted by the United Nations
For over 400 years, more than 15 million men, women and children were the victims of the tragic transatlantic slave trade, one of the darkest chapters in human history.
The annual observance of 25 March as the International Day of Remembrance for the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade serves as an opportunity to honour and remember those who suffered and died at the hands of the brutal slavery system, and to raise awareness about the dangers of racism and prejudice today.
This year’s theme, “Forever Free: Celebrating Emancipation,” pays tribute to the emancipation of slaves in nations across the world. This year is particularly important with many key anniversaries, including 220 years since France’s General Emancipation decree liberated all slaves in present-day Haiti; 180 years since the Slavery Abolition Act of 1833 ended slavery in Canada, the British West Indies and the Cape of Good Hope; and 170 years ago, the Indian Slavery Act of 1843 was signed. Slavery was also abolished 165 years ago in France; 160 years ago in Argentina; 150 years ago in the Dutch colonies; and 125 years ago in Brazil.
2013 is also the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation in the United States, which declared that, on 1 January 1863, all persons held as slaves within any States, or designated part of the State, the people whereof shall be in rebellion against the United States, shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free.
by Jamila Aisha Brown, originally posted on the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s The Village
As we exit Black History Month, we march into the celebration of her story – Women’s History Month. First recognized by the United States in 1911, Women’s History Month is a global phenomenon in which billions honor the lives, contributions and accomplishments of women.
But what of black women in history, I found myself wondering as I baulked the scarcity of women of color in the PBS documentary Makers: Women Who Make America, chronicling the evolution of the modern U.S. women’s movement. I watched the film for three hours anxiously awaiting the mention of noted feminists, Bell Hooks, Audre Lorde, and Angela Davis, only to find them absent.
I waited ten minutes before the film acknowledged that the trappings of being a mother and housewife were neither the reality nor the catalyst in the pursuit of equal rights for women who were not white and middle class in the 1950s. These racial and class divisions, which fractured first wave feminism and formed its second wave and a separate and more intentionally inclusive feminist theory called “womanism”, were only briefly mentioned. And while the documentary featured many works central to the advancement of the women’s movement, it excluded the seminal anthology This Bridge Called My Back, a collection of writings by feminists and women of color.
Taken aback by how cavalierly our accomplishments are overlooked, I was reminded a passage from Ms. Lorde’s essay The Master’s Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master’s House:
“Women of today are still being called upon to stretch across the gap of male ignorance and to educate men as to our existence and our needs. This is an old and primary tool of all oppressors to keep the oppressed occupied with the master’s concerns. Now we hear that it is the task of women of color to educate white women — in the face of tremendous resistance — as to our existence, our differences, our relative roles in our joint survival. This is a diversion of energies and a tragic repetition of racist patriarchal thought.”
The activist in me holds a strong commitment to teach anti-oppressive ideologies such as the Combahee River Collective which outlines how the intersections of race, gender, class and sexuality negatively oppress and impact black women, but I find myself torn. In rediscovering this quote I am particularly struck by the expression “diversion of energies” leading me to the question of how black women should forge the reclamation of our history in our own words and on our own terms.
Perhaps the time to educate has passed and the time for action is upon us?
When I think about what this action looks like, it is personified by many examples: young Oscar nominee Quvenzhané Wallis triumphantly raising her arms as her name was announced for Best Actress; it is the brilliant and bold Crunk Feminist Collective’s blog; the Twitter community of Girls Like Us; and environmental activist Tanya Fields.
Storytelling has long been a part of our heritage and through technology, we now possesses a variety of mediums by which we can preserve and share our histories chronicling the realities and complexities of what it means to be black and a woman. While mainstream media continues to omit, revise and distort our images, we have the opportunity to recount our tales without dilution.
This International Women’s Day, March 8, I encourage black women to create, act and stand in solidarity with our sisters throughout the Diaspora – La Red de las Mujeres Afro (The Network for Black Women) in Latin America, the African Indigenous Women’s Organization and CODE RED for Gender Justice in the Caribbean –who also work to reclaim their history and tell their stories in their words and on their own terms
Afro Venezuela News is a collection of articles on the socio-political status of Venezuelans of African descent. Afro Venezuela News is part of the larger digital initiative Afro Cuba Web, which seeks to celebrate African heritage, history and identity on the island of Cuba while promoting racial equality throughout the Americas.
Common Dreams is a non-profit independent newscenter created in 1997 as a new media model. By relying on our readers and tens of thousands of small donations to keep us moving forward — with no advertising, corporate underwriting or government funding — Common Dreams maintains an editorial independence our readers can count on.
We are optimists. We believe real change is possible. But only if enough well-informed, well-intentioned — and just plain fed up and fired-up — people demand it. We believe that together we can attain our common dreams.
The Global Research website publishes news articles, commentary, background research and analysis on a broad range of issues, focussing on social, economic, strategic and environmental processes. The Global Research website was established on the 9th of September 2001, two days before the tragic events of September 11. Barely a few days later, Global Research had become a major news source on the New World Order and Washington’s “war on terrorism”. Since September 2001, we have established an extensive archive of news articles, in-depth reports and analysis on issues which are barely covered by the mainstream media.
In an era of media disinformation, our focus has essentially been to center on the “unspoken truth”.
The North American Congress on Latin America (NACLA) is an independent, nonprofit organization founded in 1966 that works toward a world in which the nations and peoples of Latin America and the Caribbean are free from oppression and injustice, and enjoy a relationship with the United States based on mutual respect, free from economic and political subordination. To that end, our mission is to provide information and analysis on the region, and on its complex and changing relationship with the United States, as tools for education and advocacy – to foster knowledge beyond borders.
We believe that knowledge is essential for change, so we use a unique combination of information/media activism and popular education to provide people the tools they need to understand the world in order to change it. We’ve been doing just that for more than four decades: from the U.S. invasion of the Dominican Republic in 1965 to the U.S.-backed coup in Chile in 1973; from Washington’s support for brutal repression in Central America in the 1980s to the Washington Consensus on neoliberal austerity in the 1990s; NACLA has been, for the last 40 years, the premiere source of information—providing English-language news and analysis not found anywhere else—for journalists, policymakers, activists, students and scholars in North America and throughout the world.
Half a century after its foundation, Prensa Latina has a solid, modern structure allowing it to successfully insert itself in the complex, competitive world of international news agencies. A team of editors, writers, reporters, photographers, as well as correspondents and stringers worldwide contribute to PL news services, supported by highly qualified technicians and engineers who make possible that PL messages on the most diverse issues reach the world.
Over 400 dispatches comprise the world news service PL transmits each day in Spanish, English, Portuguese, Italian, Russian and Turkish.
The newspaper is intended to be a tool for the movement. Its purpose is to give updates about the state of the campaign, to provide information and analysis about events and developments in the Americas and to get more people involved in the work to change oppressive U.S. foreign policy and to end the racist system of violence and domination. Many thanks to all the authors and artists who have put their skills in the service of the movement and contributed to ¡Presente! and to Thorsten Witt who helped a great deal to create this webpage.
Upside Down World is an online magazine covering activism and politics in Latin America. Founded in 2003, it is made up of work from writers, activists, artists and regular citizens from around the globe who are interested in flipping the world upside down…or right side up.
Upside Down World provides concerned global citizens with independent reporting on Latin American social movements and governments that have refused to prostrate themselves to the interests of corporate globalization, and instead have focused their work on addressing the needs of the people. While corporate media often distorts or overlooks this progressive, regional trend, we seek to provide an alternative resource for information about the achievements and challenges of these people-powered movements.
Venezuelanalysis.com is an independent website produced by individuals who are dedicated to disseminating news and analysis about the current political situation in Venezuela.
The site’s aim is to provide on-going news about developments in Venezuela, as well as to contextualize this news with in-depth analysis and background information. The site is targeted towards academics, journalists, intellectuals, policy makers from different countries, and the general public.
Web server services and bandwith is donated by Aporrea.org, a larger site maintained by grassroots groups in Venezuela. Venezuelanalysis.com is a project of Venezuela Analysis, Inc., which is registered as a non-profit organization in New York State and of the Fundación para la Justicia Económica Global, which is a foundation that is registered in Caracas, Venezuela.
Venezuelan Politics and Human Rights, a blog hosted by the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA), is a unique resource for journalists, policymakers, scholars, activists and others interested in understanding Venezuelan politics and human rights.
The contributors call it as they see it, providing insights on Venezuela’s politics that go beyond the polarized pro-Chávez/anti-Chávez debate. The views expressed in the posts are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect WOLA’s institutional positions.
HUE is a proud guest blogger for the Congressional Black Caucuses’ The Village and Essence magazine named us as one of the 10 things they’re talking about!
The Village – Real people. Real Talk.
The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation (CBCF) brings a sense of community online with its new weekly blog, The Village. Through a series of featured guest bloggers, The Village will cover current events and issues critical to the advancement of African Americans and the Diaspora.
The Village is a place where honest conversations take place. A circle of trust where we can speak candidly about the real issues affecting our lives. From education to the economy to entertainment, The Village a place where you can count on real talk from real people.
We invite you to share your thoughts! Interact with us in the comment section and share The Village with your networks!
If you would like to contribute to The Village as a guest blogger, please contact Jada Irwin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Inc. (CBCF) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan public policy, research and educational institute that aims to help improve the socioeconomic circumstances of African Americans and other underserved communities.
For more information, please visit www.cbcfinc.org.
(Pictured: Members of WE SPEAK, a program of Young Women of Color HIV/AIDS Coalition. Kymsha Henry (bottom left) is the Co-Director of YWCHAC, and Claire Simon (middle) is the chair of the YWCHAC steering committee)
Originally posted by Nicole Clark, MSW
February 7th is National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NBHAAD), a national effort to encourage more HIV testing in the Black community, education about how HIV is spread, and advocacy around developing sound interventions that encourage more Blacks to get tested for HIV. National organizations, researchers, academic institutions, and local social service programs continue to provide more ways to encourage the Black community to not only get tested for HIV, but to also become more knowledgeable about ways to reduce HIV transmission, and where to go for treatment if one receives a positive test for HIV.
The biggest focus of NBHAAD is on testing. In many communities, along with the Black community, we often see individuals get tested, via blood testing or through testing the saliva using rapid tests like Oral Quick. While testing is always a bigger component to preventing the spread of HIV, it’s nothing if it’s not paired with education (including how the virus is spread as well as how it’s not spread, when someone as an AIDS diagnosis, and universal precautions to prevent infection) that empowers others to get tested, decrease the stigma of getting testing, and seeking treatment.
Many of these efforts are being led by young people, and especially young women of color, who care enough about their communities to make sure that their peers do not fall victim to HIV/AIDS. Through creative workshops, campus and community advocacy, social media, and entertainment, many young people are becoming the face of HIV activism.
Here are two youth-focused groups that hold a special place in my heart and are changing the way we look at HIV activism. Learn more about their effect in their communities and school campuses, and find out how you can support their efforts:
WE SPEAK: Women Empowered Support Protect Educate Advocate and Know (WE SPEAK) is the peer education and advocacy group of the Young Women of Color HIV/AIDS Coalition. Recognizing the increasing HIV rates of young women between the ages of 13-24, WE SPEAK members are empowering their peer to be HOV prevention advocates in their schools and communities through education, advocacy, media, and entertainment. WE SPEAK members facilitate workshops, conduct safer sex education parties, and one of the highlights of WE SPEAK is its annual Power of My Parts Film Festival, a great event that showcases New York City based and national short films with powerful messages for youth. WE SPEAK members are also instrumental in YWCHAC’s quarterly meetings held in New York City, inviting prominent voices in the fields of HIV, sexual wellness, mental wellness, and youth-focused agencies share their expertise on how adults can work with young people of color in preventing the spread of sexually transmitted infections as well as getting young people into treatment. You can follow YWCHAC on Facebook as well as make a donation.
(Pictured: Members of Advocates for Youth’s Young Women of Color Leadership Council)
Young Women of Color Leadership Council- The Young Women of Color Leadership Council (YWOCLC) is part of the young women of color initiative through Advocates for Youth. In response to the high rates of HIV and AIDS among young women of color, YWOCLC began in efforts to promote HIV prevention among young women of color and to build the next great youth leaders. YWOCLC is composed is young women of color from across the United States who come together to live out YWOCLC’s mission, which is to educate, include, and empower young women of color to become activists in HIV awareness. Many of YWOCLC’s members are young Black women who care a lot about making sure that their peers are educated and empowered to get tested. YWOCLC members present workshops at local and national conferences, meet with state and local lawmakers to advocate for more youth-centered advocacy in HIV prevention and comprehensive sex education, as well as establish local YWOCLC chapters on their campuses. You can follow YWOCLC onAmplify and make a donation to Advocates for Youth to support their young women of color initiatives.
These youth initiatives hold a special place in my heart for many reasons. When I first learned about YWCHAC and WE SPEAK, I jumped at the chance to offer my help to co-director Kymsha Henry. Also, I was a member of YWOCLC for several years during my college years, and it is through YWOCLC and Advocates for Youth that I truly began my HIV activism. These youth-focused groups are doing amazing things, for National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, and beyond.
Raise Your Voice: Do you know of other youth-focused and young women leadership initiatives who are leading the fight against HIV/AIDS in the Black community? Share their information below and more about their work.
We all need a little encouragement every now and then. Kid President, knowing this, has put together a video you can play each morning as you wake up or to share with your friend who needs a kick in the right direction. Take a moment and spread some encouragement. “It’s everybody’s duty to give the world a reason to dance.”