Now What? Continuing Our Work for Day of Unity and Beyond
By Pastor William Francis
As The Black Church & HIV: The Social Justice Imperative initiative draws near to completing its Clinton Global Initiative commitments to action in addressing HIV as a social justice issue, I want to reflect on the important work we have accomplished over the last eight years. We have:
- Trained more than 2,000 faith leaders on the social justice challenge of HIV;
- Conducted 45 faith leader trainings across the 30 cities with the greatest burden of HIV;
- Incorporated the issue into four seminary schools; and
- Won the support of six denominations via public endorsements.
As I look back at our initiative’s town hall events, I remember every faith leader’s hand that was shook, every presentation that was made, all the folks I had the opportunity to work with, all the lessons learned, and I have to ask myself: “Now What?”
After a few moments of reflection, the answer became clear. Even in its complexity, the work CONTINUES!
While its these moments that ultimately defined the initiative’s work, we want the initiative’s annual Day of Unity to continue to serve as a platform for other faith leaders so they can continue to elevate HIV awareness as this initiative comes to a close. Because this work MUST continue.
In just a few weeks, the initiative will celebrate its annual Day of Unity. This means that on July 15th, 2018, faith leaders across the nation will preach for the sixth year about the social injustice of HIV, uniting to inspire action to end the epidemic, and we want you to join us.
Thus far, we’ve received commitments from more than 150 faith leaders to preach on Day of Unity about HIV as a social justice issue and you can commit too. It’s in our hands as faith leaders to use the power of our voices to demand justice for our communities.
This initiative has moved thousands of faith leaders from “awareness and engagement” to “strategy and implementation.” Yet, eyes have not seen, and ears have not heard of the message of HIV as a social justice issue.
If you know my testimony, you know that I personally face HIV every day and have been more than a Conqueror. I need you to join me in continuing this fight to end the disparaging impact of HIV on Black America.
As we approach the Day of Unity, there is still time to ask yourself, “Now What?” Preach with us this Day of Unity and every third week of July after that. Together, we hold the power to ending HIV in the Black community.
Pastor William Francis is Lead Servant at The HUB, Atlanta, GA. He is also a life coach, author, consultant, playwright, and producer. Pastor William can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.