Today is National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day.
Like so many ills in our society, HIV/AIDS disproportionately affects marginalized people – the very people with the fewest resources and limited access to quality treatment and care.
The Black Aids Institute is an activist organization dedicated to nothing short of ending the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the Black community. How? By “engaging and mobilizing Black institutions and individuals to confront HIV.”
BAI was founded by a Black, gay man living with HIV, a Black, gay doctor, and a Black, lesbian doctor. They established BAI in 1999 to mobilize and educate Black Americans about HIV/AIDS treatment and care.
They envisioned an organization that directly challenged the systems of oppression that marginalize Black health and that also developed culturally specific programming to address the unique needs of Black people. With a foundation in advocacy and policy work, BAI works towards improving the health and wellness of Black people through research, community efforts, and clinical work.
BAI expressly defines its work as “Blackcentric”:
Recognizing that health justice is a racial and social justice issue, BAI is deeply committed to exposing the systems and roots of oppression that marginalize Black people and exacerbate our health burden. We are revolutionizing the HIV response by centering Black experiences and perspectives to ensure that Black people can live their fullest, healthiest lives with dignity, care, and respect.
Listen to Raniyah Copeland, BAI’s President and CEO, explain in the video below the key pillars of their work, and for a detailed look at BAI’s strategy and vision, read the We The People publication here (pdf).
Finally, if you are able and inclined to contribute financially to BAI’s ambitious and visionary initiative, you can donate here.
Day 1 of Black History Month 2022 (Lori Teresa Yearwood) is here.
Day 2 of Black History Month 2022 (Mallence Bart-Williams) is here.
Day 3 of Black History Month 2022 (Emmett Till) is here.
Day 4 of Black History Month 2022 (A Tale of Two Citizens) is here.
Day 5 of Black History Month 2022 (Trayvon Martin) is here.
Day 6 of Black History Month 2022 (Franchesca Ramsey) is here.