The Philadelphia NAACP Hosts Social Justice‐Based HIV Training for Faith Leaders in Philadelphia

June 18, 2015

Philadelphia, PA (June 18, 2015) – The NAACP Philadelphia Branch and Rev. Glen Spaulding of Deliverance Evangelistic Church will host a training for faith leaders in the Philadelphia area to start an open dialogue about HIV in the Black community, and inspire action in the fight against the epidemic. The training comes to the “City of Brotherly Love” as part of The Black Church and HIV: The Social Justice Imperative, an initiative that aims to educate Black faith leaders and encourage action in the fight against HIV. This educational effort is critical in Philadelphia where 63.3% of all people living with HIV/AIDS are African American. In the United States, the Black community is more impacted by HIV than any other race or ethnicity, accounting for 44 percent of all people living with HIV, and nearly half of all new diagnoses. In fact, if Black America were its own country, it would rank 16th in the world for new HIV diagnoses – ahead of Ethiopia, Botswana and Haiti. HIV is the most pressing health issue facing Black Americans today, and the disproportionate impact has made a social justice issue. Historically, the NAACP and Black faith leaders have been a catalyst for change on critical social issues including voting rights and employment opportunities. An estimated 20 million Black Americans attend church every week. Pastors have an unparalleled opportunity to engage parishioners to end HIV stigma and begin to view the disease as a critical social justice issue facing their communities. NAACP Philadelphia Branch President, Minister Rodney Muhammad and NAACP National HIV Programs Manager, Rev. Keron Sadler, will be available for comments with the media before and after the training. The training is closed to the press.

What:      The Black Church and HIV: The Social Justice Imperative Philadelphia, PA Faith Leader

When:        Thursday, June 18, 2015     9:30am – 1:30pm Press    availability before and after the event

Where:   Deliverance Evangelistic Church 2001 W. Lehigh Ave Philadelphia, PA 19132

About The Black Church and HIV: The Social Justice Imperative Through The Black Church and HIV: The Social Justice Imperative initiative, the NAACP, in partnership with Gilead Sciences, Inc., is harnessing the historic power of the Black Church to end the HIV epidemic in Black America. In 2013, the NAACP and Gilead Sciences, Inc. made a joint Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Commitment to Action to expand the pilot initiative from 12 cities to the 30 cities that make up nearly two‐thirds of the nation’s HIV epidemic. Over the next five years, the initiative aims to engage nearly 3,000 faith leaders to reach approximately 1.125 million people in the Black community with messages about HIV. The initiative is working to overcome stigma and address HIV as an issue of social justice by conducting faith leader trainings; securing formal resolutions from 7 of 9 historically Black denominations to include HIV as a social justice issue in church activities; and integrating HIV‐related coursework into the required curricula at predominantly African American theological seminaries. Learn more at www.TheBlackChurchandHIV.org.   About the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) The NAACP is the oldest and largest civil rights organization in the U.S. Born out of the Niagara Movement and its deep connection to the Black faith community, social justice advocacy has always been a central focus for NAACP. In keeping with this tradition, NAACP is committed to eliminating the racial and ethnic health disparities in the U.S., including prevention and treatment of HIV infection.

 

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