In the Community

Faith Leaders

Faith leaders are the key to building a movement around HIV as a social justice issue. As trusted conveners and educators of the community, faith leaders serve as the voice of the initiative, speaking about health equity and HIV as a social justice imperative. The Black Church & HIV initiative is calling on faith leaders to serve not only as spokespersons, but as change agents to translate awareness into action, and help eliminate the HIV epidemic within our communities.

We have developed an Online Training Manual to help you learn more about how you can incorporate HIV as a social justice issue within your congregation.

As a faith leader, here are a few things you can do:

Read the Manual and Pastoral Brief. We have also developed an Online Training Manual to help you learn more about how to engage your congregants in conversations about HIV/AIDS and advocate for change in your community to address HIV as a social justice issue.

Consider inviting the initiative to your home church to facilitate in-person trainings. Faith leader trainings are a central component in helping you and your leadership develop or expand your church’s response to the HIV crisis in your respective area.

Increase dialogue about HIV and commit to on-going actions to raise awareness, engagement, and advocacy about HIV as a social justice issue within your church and the larger community using the strategies outlined in the manual.

We also encourage you to participate in the annual Day of Unity on July 23, 2017, which unites faith leaders across the country in a social justice movement against HIV. Learn more by visiting the Day of Unity page.

For questions and support as you look to implement strategies in your congregations, please contact us. We are also interested in hearing your stories and feedback. You can read testimonials from faith leaders across the country by visiting our Updates page.

Denominations

Historically, denominational leaders of the Black Church have been instrumental in energizing multiple social movements, including those to end slavery, expand educational opportunities, and increase voter registration. With the initiative’s goal of making systemic cultural and behavioral change in communities that are heavily impacted by HIV, support from denominational leadership plays a vital role in establishing and sustaining a national network of knowledge and action around HIV.

The Black Church & HIV is focused on expanding partnerships within the leading African-American denominations to secure support for the advancement of the initiative.

To date, the initiative has secured denominational commitments from:

  • Progressive National Baptist
  • National Baptist Convention of America
  • Disciples of Christ

As a denominational leader, here are a few things you can do to endorse the initiative as a core priority at the denominational level:

Verbal and written commitment to support The Black Church & HIV Issue a public statement (such as a press release, resolution, annual sessions, etc.) supporting the involvement of the church in the fight against HIV.

Integration of principles and framework of the Initiative into the church meetings, educational curriculum, and ministry. Direct pastors within your denomination to address health as a social justice issue and normalize HIV testing within their congregation and local communities.

Training for ministry leaders for the initiative’s manual. Commit to having pastors participate and/or host trainings in their respective areas.

We also encourage you to participate in the annual Day of Unity, July 12, 2015, which unites faith leaders across the country in a social justice movement against HIV. Learn more by visiting the Day of Unity page.

Seminaries

The Black Church & HIV initiative focuses on engaging faith leaders in social justice and advocacy championed by past generations and advanced by leaders of this generation. The initiative is committed to engaging with predominantly African-American theological seminaries to integrate HIV as a social justice issue into required curricula.Accredited seminaries play a key role in the Black Church by providing training and practical pastoral leadership development for current and future faith leaders.

To date, the initiative has secured integration of the social justice imperative messaging into the core course curricula of the following:

  • Hood Theological Seminary

As a seminary academic leader, here are a few things you can do:

Read the Pastoral Brief & Activity Manual. We have also developed an Online Training Manual to help you learn more about how to engage your congregants in conversations about HIV/AIDS and advocate for change in your community to address HIV as a social justice issue.

 

Consider inviting the initiative to your school to facilitate guest lecturers during the academic year. HIV lectures are a central component to helping seminarians learn more about HIV as a social justice issue so that they are equipped with the knowledge and skills to encourage action and share the social justice imperative message.

Increase dialogue about HIV to empower seminarians to commit to on-going actions to raise awareness, engagement and advocacy about HIV as a social justice issue within their church and the larger community using the strategies outlined in the manual.

Additional materials can be provided by the initiative to support coursework, and may be requested by emailing info@TheBlackChurchandHIV.org.